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How to get the most traffic to your site, SEO tips

April 15, 2013

Many years ago, if you wanted more business leads you would just fork out big money and buy the biggest color ad in the phonebook.   Traffic could be bought with a slick color ad that was first to appear in the section.  If you were not one of those big color ads, you still had a chance with the smaller black and white ads, which was a little easier on the wallet and still followed the big ads.   The other strategy if you didn’t have a big ad, was to name your business something that began close to the beginning of the alphabet.   How many people remember doing this?

So the yellow pages and all that past strategy is out the window now.  I mean who has a yellow page book now and who uses them? Actually it was so simple back then to make that solution work for you.   Now, it doesn’t really appear that simple, right?  That is where you are wrong.   It is a simple concept, one that is not easily understood and also one where you have tons of companies and businesses out there gaming the system.   It all boils down to a few simple steps which I am going to lay out for you.

Just some statistics for you  Comscore just released numbers and Google searches dominate the market with 67% of all searches belonging to them.  Think about 1.2 trillion searches in 2012 just with Google alone.  Facts about Google   This is an alarmingly high number of searches each day.  I will have to admit – I Google everything from short terms to complete questions.  I search on my computer, my iPad and my phone – its all easy – just Google it !

Step one: Get your keywords ready

The first step in this process is to try to determine what your best keywords will be to incorporate and use on your site.   I suggest going to Google Keyword tool and doing some research.  If I put in the term Insurance – that is so popular and with the number of searches on the keyword insurance – if that alone was your main keyword – get out your money and be prepared to buy that big color ad (like the phonebook).  When you are in the Internet space, you are competing for big space (think globally) not just your little community.  Think about how you can take your keyword and modify it to something that is moderately searched.  If I type in Westerville insurance that keyword combination gets approximately 590 hits compared to the 55,600,000 searches that the word insurance does.  If you are an agency in Westerville, that would be like getting 2 phone calls per day (if you were on the first page and selected)  from the phone book and that is just one keyword phrase.  Now couple that with one of your companies – like Erie auto insurance and add another 720 calls a year.  You get the picture.  See if you can get to about 10 good keyword combinations so that you can work all of these keyword combinations into your site and into your content.   Think of it as every keyword is a different place in the phone book (category).

Next – I am going to throw in a term here that you may or may not be familiar with – Search Engine Optimization or SEO for short.   In short and simple terms, SEO is the online methodology used to rank web pages by relevancy to what you are searching for, just like the old days of yellow page placement – except that the SEO analytics aren’t so black and white (or published for various reasons).  I think that most people when they do a search will choose a product/service/business that appears most of the time on the first page.   Now, occasionally people do make it to the second page – but you really want to be on the first page as much as you can.   How can you get there?   I am going to focus my attention to two areas.  On site and off site search engine optimization.

Here are the things that you can do to optimize on-site SEO (in simple terms)

  • Update your site (more often the better).  If your site hasn’t been updated in a year – most of the search engines do not even consider it relevant.
  • More content relevant to your products / services and business – Get a blog! and add content.
  • Tagged images  (paying attention to your keywords)
  • Good site title (again using keywords)
  • Generally one heading (H1) per page (using keywords if possible and still having it read well)
  • No frames and no flash
  • Write your content for your reader and not SEO.  Nothing worse that reading a fake sentence using a sites keywords just for SEO purposes.  Do not title every blog post with your three keywords then a few other words .  In the end, that may hurt you. Yes, use your keywords if it makes sense, but not if it doesn’t flow.  If your keyword is westerville insurance, and your blog post is about identity theft – don’t use : Westerville Insurance and Identity theft, but perhaps you could title your blog – Westerville Insurance agency helps educate clients about Identity Theft.   See how much better that flows?

Now that I just made that list above, realize that if you just have a blog on your site you can solve every single one of those issues of on site SEO with a blog.  Now, I am not saying that a blog is the end all – there is more to it, but remember how I mentioned I would keep it simple here! For now, getting a blog would really be in your benefit.

Off site SEO is probably more beneficial for you to focus on, however, it is not the easiest.  Off site SEO if I were to use simple terms, means popularity.   The easiest way to increase your popularity naturally is to publish promotable and great content. (Blog) The kind of content that people want to share – remember when I said content is king – it is!  It is easier said than done, trust me I know – as does every other blogger when they first start out.

The things that help off-site SEO are:

  • Links to your site.  The more relevant and the more credible links that you have the better you are.   There are some services that you can pay $5 to for a ton of back links in an hour.   While this may help you out in the short term, if these links are not from credible sources and just bogus sites, you can actually be penalized.  Links come from local community businesses, chambers of commerce, associations and some legitimate directories which is my next point.
  • Directories are a good source of links, however there are a number of directories out there that were created just as a place to put your link and really serve no other purpose. While some of these are okay – I wouldn’t go crazy finding too many directories.  This will probably be (I think) one of the next areas that cracks down and as a result you will be penalized.
  • Social media – very important and I think will ultimately increase in importance.  This is one of the ways that great content can go viral.  Have the social sharing buttons on your website so that your content can be shared very easily.   Promote it so that it gets out there.  If you only have a few social media networks – I would suggest Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin  (depending on your customer profile)

Looking at the two types of SEO (on page and off page) I would spend 75% of your time in the off page optimization.  The on page I would just focus on content and keywords and if you can incorporate a blog and post at least once a week – then this will be helping you promote through off page optimization.  I know that in this post it sounds so easy – believe me, it takes work and consistency.  Remember that this is just like a marathon and not a quick sprint – so make sure you continue to turn out great content, promote your site well and use keywords when you can.

Good luck with optimizing your site, thanks for visiting The Sales Plan and be sure to subscribe to get updates automatically.

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