You have a shiny new website, it looks great, you’re excited about the future but something is wrong
You find your website is languishing somewhere on page two of Google and the enquiries aren’t flooding in like you were expecting. You are all dressed up for a night out but no one is asking you to dance!
Google doesn’t like wallflowers
In fact, they discriminate against them. Search engine optimisation is essentially a popularity contest. The most relevant and engaging websites are the stars of the first page of Google search results. Websites that appear on this page enjoy a massive 95% of all search traffic. A funny meme was floating around the Internet recently suggesting that the best place to hide a dead body was indeed page two of Google! So how do you avoid the tumbleweed affect of appearing in the lower echelons of Google search results?
The Answer: Having a cohesive SEO strategy that involves content, social and search. All three elements work together to give you greater credibility, drive traffic to your website and improve your ranking with Google. You can see our SEO tips here (insert SEO).
So Where To Begin?
Knowing your keywords is a good place to start. Since 64% of web traffic is from organic search, it is very important that you know what your customers are searching for. Do the words on your website match these search words? If your website is not displaying for these related search results, you need to revisit your keyword strategy. If there was no keyword research done prior to creating your website content, a complete overhaul might be necessary.
Using Google Keyword Planner or Wordstream will give you an indication as to how popular and how competitive certain keywords are. Choosing less competitive keywords that are searched frequently gives Google a better chance of finding your website. Identifying longer search terms, known as ‘long tail keywords’, can also be very beneficial. Customers using these longer, more specific search terms are often further along the purchase funnel and more intent on purchasing. Google suggest and Uber Suggest are good sources for tapping into these key phrases.
For example; a travel agency looking to optimise their website for ‘Skiing holidays’ could benefit from these Google suggested terms.
- Before creating website content, brain storm 10-100 words related to your business. Then use Google Adwords or WordTracker to discover more words
- The most valuable keywords are low competition but with a high search volume
- Use Uber Suggest or Google to discover long tail keywords and use these phrases strategically within your web content
- Create a spreadsheet for your keywords. Organise the words into a few columns showing competition and search volume
- Make sure you have relevant keywords in the title of each page of your website
You need to update your site regularly to ensure that search engines continue to crawl your site and enhance your ranking. If you haven’t already, start a blog on your website and start publishing relevant and valuable content. You can utilise your keyword research to find popular subjects to blog about. It’s also important to stay vigilant to what is going on in the world and see how you can leverage your content to tap in to popular topics and events.
Knowing Your Audience
Capture emails where possible so you can build up a better picture of your audience and start forming a relationship. The design, location and usability of the email capture form on your website are all very important. You must make visitors a tantalising offer in exchange for their email address. Once you have a better idea of who your audience is and how they behave on your website, you can better tailor your content.
Using Social Media
Social media users tend to be less receptive to a sales pitch. Therefore there should always be value attached to any promotional posting that you do. Focus instead on forging a presence online and be entertaining. This will gain you more followers and potential customers in the long run. Being entertaining, however, is easier said than done. But you can learn a lot from the pros. Follow some of the best brands on Twitter and observe how they connect with their followers.
You should also experiment with paid for social media advertising. Well crafted and targeted ads can have very positive results and drive lots of traffic to your website. You can control exactly how much you spend, choose your audience and schedule what times your ads will appear.
Search Engine Advertising
Search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing allow users to pay to appear in their search listings. This can be a very quick way to drive traffic to your website and is a great solution if you want to create a buzz around a new website or product. It’s premise is pretty straight forward: if you invest enough to get your ads in top position, then potential customers will see you first. If people are searching for the same key words you have bid on, and you correspond that with well-written ads, you will get clicks almost as soon as your campaign goes live. Contact us if you want to know more about search engine marketing.
Good inbound links from other websites to yours are highly valued by Google. Ideally, these websites should be authoritative, relevant to your industry and should hyperlink keywords within their text back to your site. Similarly, using good outbound links within your own content will gain you greater relevancy in the eyes of search engines. Internal linking within your own pages is also good practice as it improves the navigation experience for the user and helps your overall ranking.
On Page SEO refers to what you do to your website directly to improve its SEO performance. Conducting regular diagnostic checks is important so that you can identify any technical issues that could be affecting your ranking. You can practise good house-keeping by writing headlines that reflect users search queries, using header tags correctly, making sure all images have relevant ALT tags and checking for broken links.
Learn from success as well as from failure. Use Google analytics and social media analytics to measure the impact of web traffic. Regularly assess gathered data and use it to inform the future content of your website. This will allow you to engage with your customers in a more meaningful way.
Is your website failing to drive traffic? Get in touch today and our SEO experts will talk you through how we can help you improve your ranking and get the attention you deserve!