First off, let’s make one thing clear: Traffic does not mean sales. Truth be told, search engine positions do not mean automatic sales either. There is a common misconception that you’ll be financially made if you dominate search results for broad terms relating to your industry. Your Online Marketing Strategy must not be based on your expectations. In fact, expect the worst to avoid disappointment. That strategy must be based on data and that data may take some time to earn.
So how do you identify WHAT to rank for especially since the dreaded ‘keyword not provided’ implementation by Google? Yes, you want traffic but ideally you want traffic that actually meant to end up on your website with the intention of buying!
Quite simply, you should use tools to guide you and remember that it won’t be search engines who actually buy from you, it will be people. So make sure that you are not obsessing over what you think you SHOULD rank for, instead look for the terms people are actually searching for and create informative pages with compelling text that would make you want to buy.
“Research”: *Yawns* – Don’t be put off, as research is what will make you money.
But it’s not as bad as you think! Google provides a couple of cheeky tools to help you along:
Go here: http://www.google.com/trends/
Pop a keyword into the search bar and you’ll land on the page below.
This epic tool is a breeze to use! If you’re unsure whether to back one term over another… Just take a look. Remember to filter by the relevant country (Click on the map on the page) and simply enter your queries into the ‘+ Add Term’ box. You can easily see which terms are on the rise, which times of the year it peaks and whether one term would be more beneficial to use over another.
It is very important to look at trends, you can see which keywords are rising and falling. Even though there may be a high search volume for a specific term or set of terms if the general trend is falling then you should look for alternatives. Don’t pur ‘all your eggs in one basket’ and back just one term that the trend shows is falling year on year. Look for terms on the rise… Chances are they will continue to grow and you want that traffic!
If you have used Adwords in the past then simply sign in or sign up if not… Don’t worry you don’t need to spend money on Adwords! But the tool is good for coming up with ideas for the right terms to back. The process is less straightforward that Google Trends but it may help with keyword ideas for your content. (There are a tonne of online tutorials for using this software!)
SEO takes time. If changes you made last week are yielding no extra traffic, don’t be surprised. Search Engines will take time to index a site and decide where it ranks for select key terms. Typically, after writing a page’s contents and improving the page elements it will take Google around a month to index those changes and start bouncing you around the rankings whilst it decides where you belong. Even then, you will dance around in the rankings and go up or down for a while.
BUT LEAVE IT! Don’t become impatient and go ahead making more major changes on impulse. You need to leave that webpage and move on… work on other site elements. Give it three to four months and look at the results. The last thing you want is to undo any good work you’ve done by changing a good thing. It can be tough when you desperately want to rank for something but you will rank higher as and when search engines feel you deserve to.
If you’re seeing no traffic to specific pages then obviously there are some elements that can be improved and you’ve nothing to lose. Go ahead and get to work. Remember the Meta Title and H1 / H2 tags are HUGE ranking factors… Make the on page description compelling and format it so it is clear and concise. Use bullet points for example where necessary, highlight salient points or words in bold.
Get creative and take a gander at these quick-fire tips.
This is a seriously slimmed – down guide but it will stand you in good stead. Building an Online Marketing strategy is difficult without any data to work from. It should be focused and data-driven.