SPONSORED BY BUSINESS SOIL
“How do we drive more traffic to our website?” “How do we get our website on the first page of search results?” These are common questions we hear from our clients. Some also inquire about paid search engine ads. Although investing in paid ads can be a good way to increase traffic, it shouldn’t be considered until the website is fully optimized. Here’s why:
You can spend tons of money paying search engines to drive traffic to your website, but just because the traffic might make it there doesn't mean they will want to stay and do business with you. Which is ultimately your goal, right?
There are many elements that can help optimize your website, but here is how we suggest you get started.
Know your audience
If you picture your website as a physical store or office, your audience will be the people who enter and have a need for your product or service. Nailing down who your audience is might seem challenging at first. But, if you look at who is already buying from you, chances are you can begin to define a good portion of your audience.
Some things to consider when determining your audience:
- Your audience will likely be more than one “type” of person. Start by determining the largest segments of your buyers. The information below can help identify your buyer:
- personal demographics (age, sex, location, marital status, income level, etc.)
- educational background (level of education, areas of study if applicable)
- what does a typical day look like in their life (put yourself in their shoes)
- what are their greatest challenges
- what are their goals
- think about how your products or services help them… jot down a few notes
- If you’re a business to business company, you will also want to answer these questions.
- what industry (or industries) are your buyers in?
- what does the revenue and company size look like?
- what is the job title of the person you typically do business with?
- what are this person’s key roles at this company?
- what tools do they use to do their job?
- think about how your products or services help them do their job better… jot down a few notes
Once you’ve begun to grasp who your audience is, you can begin to make a strategy for web content that best speaks to and resonates with your audience.
Optimize your website content for your audience
Now that you know a little bit more about who your audience is, you can begin to optimize your website’s content around them. You will want to use words and pictures on the pages of your website that clearly show how your business will help and be of value to them. By creating quality content that educates and provides value to your audience, you will begin to naturally optimize the SEO on your website.
Optimize metadata and use long tail keywords
Optimizing the metadata and using long tail keywords on each page of your website is also important. To optimize the metadata, each page’s meta title, URL, and description should best describe what’s on that page. This will generally be what your audience sees in search results. In addition to having optimized metadata, the content on your website should also include the natural use of long-tail keywords. The long-tail keywords you use should match what your audience is naturally searching in search engines.
Search engines really like to see that a website is active. This means that you are consistently editing and adding new content that is useful and valuable to your audience. You didn’t just create the website and forget about it, did you? A well-maintained website that is consistently adding new, useful content, not only shows search engines, and your audience, that your website is relevant, it also helps to establish your website as a tool for your audience and your business. You wouldn’t just open your store or office and never dust or restock the shelves, would you? In addition to keeping the website up to date, one of the most effective ways to continually add valuable new content to your website is by creating and maintaining a blog.
Having a blog, in which you are publishing valuable content, consistently, can be one of the most effective ways to increase organic SEO for your website. Now, “a blog” can be just about anything you want it to be as long as it brings value to your audience. Our largest audience is comprised of small business owners who want to grow their business by developing an online presence. That is why we wrote a blog article about optimizing a website before driving more traffic. There are so many opportunities for your business to blog, from new products and services to industry and company changes. Try to think about what would bring the most value to your audience as it relates to your business.
If you want to begin to build traffic to your website, you should first consider the website that will receive that traffic. If your website is inactive, out of date, and not clearly useful to the traffic landing there, it will be highly unlikely they'll want to give you their business.
Above you read about a few of the ways you can naturally optimize your website. There are many more elements that should be implemented in your website and marketing strategy. If you can get a good handle on the elements mentioned above, you will begin to build a good foundation for everything else.
If you would like help with any of the above mentioned, we would love nothing more than to assist you. Check us out online at businesssoil.com or call Paula at (989) 545-1432.
This month's 'Work Blog' was written by Paula Mausolf, project manager at Business Soil LLC, a local, small business development team that specializes in creating and maintaining a strong online presence, marketing strategies, and websites for small businesses.