You need traffic to your website, otherwise what’s the point of having a website at all? There are many ways to get website traffic, but it’s no secret that optimizing your website for search engine traffic is a great way to go.
“93% of online experiences begin with a search engine.” – By SEJ
“Companies are rushing headlong into content today, and rightly so. It’s a battle to get noticed online amidst the noise and crowds.” ~ Adam Audette, Chief Knowledge Officer, RKG
In this blog post, I’ll explain 3 Key Takeaways:
- Search optimizing your website is not a guaranteed traffic generator
- The keywords you want aren’t always the right keywords to go after
- The key secret to getting the right search traffic
1. Search optimizing your website is not a guaranteed traffic generator
Here’s something to know: working on the search optimization for your website is not a guaranteed source of traffic. Just because your website ranking and place on Google may have increased, it doesn’t mean you’re going to get a flood of traffic.
It’s also important to note that being at the top of any search engine will never ever guarantee more sales or customers.
“Today it’s not about ‘get the traffic’ — it’s about ‘get the targeted and relevant traffic.” – By Adam Audette, Chief Knowledge Officer, RKG
“75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results.” – By SEJ
2. The keywords you want aren’t always the right keywords to go after
Your keywords could be too broad.
If you’re at the top of Google for the keyword “shoes”, you might think this means more awesome traffic and more customers that will purchase your product.
1.5 million people a MONTH search for the term shoes. Even if you captured 1% of that search market, that’s only 1500 clicks!
You have to ask, why are they searching for shoes? Do they want images of shoes? Do they want to buy or sell shoes? Are they browsing or getting ideas? There’s really no indication of what they want and why they want to visit your site.
Broad keywords aren’t always productive, they’re really hard to rank for and there isn’t any strategy behind them.
“Minneapolis based website support” might capture your immediate geographic ranking, but how many people are searching for that?
We at Smart Web Ninja do believe that focusing on a geographic area is good, if you’re tied to one. But don’t think that you always have to think local.
Being too specific could limit the number of people that are searching for your business. Often businesses are guilty for assuming that their customers know exactly what they’re looking for. Or, that the terminology you use is known by your customers.
Where people go wrong
Research, research, research! It doesn’t take a genius to spend a little time researching the right keywords for your business.
“Successful SEO is not about tricking Google. It’s about PARTNERING with Google to provide the best search results for Google’s users.” – By Phil Frost, Main Street ROI
Businesses make assumptions that they really need to be backing up. Do people actually search for your business name? Be realistic. Unless you’re Apple or Nike, they probably don’t.
Typically people search (or ‘Google’) for questions to help them solve a problem. Or they’re looking for a specific product.
For example, people search:
“How much should I spend on a bed?”
“How do I clean an oven?”
“What’s the best way to record a phone call?”
Understanding what your customers and users want to learn and know, is exactly how you should be targeting your SEO.
Now comes the tricky part – actually working on your site to build your search engine rankings. It’s not about meta data or writing tons of keywords into every page and blog post.
What you need to do is create and write content that answers the questions that people are searching for. Revolutionary right?
People might moan about algorithms, content updates, spider-bots etc. Don’t worry about keeping up with Google or Bing’s employees. Assume that they want to get the most relevant articles, posts and products in front of an audience. Your job is to make content that people want to read when and if they find you.
Businesses that stick to the old “stuff a post with keywords and use meta data” WILL get left behind. SEO isn’t about tricking Google or working with spiders, it’s about creating content that wants to get read by your customers.
3. The key secret to getting the right search traffic
So how do we do it?
Having a consistent blog post structure for your posts is a really fast way to build content that does 3 things:
- Easy to read and digest, making it easier for traffic and customers to consume your content and stay longer.
- Easier to write – forget writers block, you can now write blog posts fast.
- Easier to crawl for search engines like Google, meaning you’ll rank faster.
If you’re struggling to create a blog post format, feel free to copy ours. Here’s the structure:
Summary – Use a short sentence to introduce the post. For example “in this post we’ll talk about topic” or “if you read this then you’ll be able to result…”.
Quote – Search the internet for a quote to use relating to what you’re talking about. There’s always something written somewhere that you can quote and use. You could also link back to that article for sweet SEO gains.
Key takeaways– List the 3 key points that you’re covering in your article.
Key point 1 – Write a few paragraphs explaining the top 3 learning points for your topic. Give answers, show solutions, and explain how to get results.
Key point 2
Key point 3
Conclusion – Write a brief summary. The easiest way is to highlight your favorite point in the blog and turn it into some sort of a call to action. For example, “my favorite part about cleaning an oven is that it’s easier than people think. You can just leave the chemicals to work and you’re away! I know a lot of people say they haven’t got time to clean like that, but what we’ve found is if you just set aside half a day, it’s done sooner than you think.”
Next steps – Give next steps if they want to take it a step further. My favorite line is “if you’re serious about this topic, then you need to…” then give an email address, a lead magnet or something for them to follow up with.
Posting regular content is key to building trust with search engines and your customers alike. A posting schedule is easier to stick to when you’re writing regular content. Feel free to use our calendar below.
We find writing two blog posts a week and only publishing one is a great way to give yourself some space when you really can’t write anything.
Monday – brainstorm 5 ideas to write about. Common questions, things they should know, etc.
Tuesday – Write out the structure for both blog posts. Use our framework above.
Wednesday – Write the first post.
Thursday – Publish a post.
Friday – Write the second post and schedule it for another time.
Publishing one blog post per week might seem like a lot, but it’s a good schedule. However, it’s ok to not publish as often, such as 1-2 times a month, as long as you’re publishing on a regular basis.
Choosing topics is probably the easiest part of creating content. You have 3 main areas to find ideas:
- Google your own topics and industry and look at what other businesses are writing.
- Search forums, groups, and boards for questions that your customers are asking. LinkedIn, Facebook and Quora are great for this.
- Brainstorm ideas that you want to talk about. Think of a few broad topics and then write down more specific titles and sub-topics for blog post ideas.
We actually find it helpful to not keep everything we think of. Whenever we brainstorm 5 (or 50!) ideas, whatever we haven’t written that week, we’ll discard.
If it’s really a good idea, we’ll think of it again, or come back to it.
So there we go! The truth about SEO is writing content that people want to read. Make sure to update and submit your new sitemap every time you publish new content (although you can automate this – or we can show you).
Our favorite part about this is that SEO doesn’t have to be hard. If you’ve got a process and a structure, you can rank your content really quick. Just keep in mind that you need to commit. If you’re not really ready to write and create content regularly, then you’re not going to get the traffic you want.
Not sure where to start? If you’re serious about getting more traffic from your SEO then you need an SEO audit. Here is a great website where you enter your website address to get a comprehensive SEO audit of your website: https://www.seoptimer.com/. You can then begin to make the changes needed to your website to be more SEO friendly. This all in addition to the 3 points we just talked about.
Need help with your website SEO audit and remediation? Let us know! We actually run all our client websites through an SEO audit and suggest changes. If you’re on our Blue Belt, we’ll even make the changes for you!