Monday, 8 October 2012
It’s not simply a case of driving traffic to your site – it has to be the ‘right’ people coming in i.e. those you want to do business with. Too often we see the mistake being made of focusing on traffic in general and not targeted traffic.
Website success ultimately comes from conversions, which means visitor interest being turned into a positive next step along the way to doing business with you. That can only happen if you have the right people coming to the site.
Who are your right people? Not everyone who comes to your site is your target audience, same as not everyone you do business with is your ideal customer.
Your customer base will be made up of all types of people, but who is it that really has the potential to grow your business? You need to identify these people (or groups) and make sure your website content is specifically geared up to satisfying their needs. For clarity, these people will typically be the 20% of your customer base who make up 80% of your revenue
Before we start this section, it’s important to make one thing very clear - your content is the most important aspect of your website. To put it into context – the content is as important to your website as food is to a restaurant, or animals are to a zoo. Content IS the reason people come to your site.
So on that vein, it must be written primarily for your identified target market, and only secondly for Google.
Creating content for your audience means you first have to understand their:
If you want to engage with them you have to use the language they’re comfortable with. This means avoiding trade or technical terms if that is not what your audience would use. Many websites are full of acronyms etc. that although well known in the trade are totally lost on the target audience. Another example is language style: lawyers and accountants often use a form of high brow language that is out of sync with their audiences.
However, understanding their language has another key benefit; it means you can use it to bring them into the site in the first place. This is done by using the words they use in their search enquiries prominently in your content.
Google’s primary purpose is to present web pages that relate directly to a searcher’s enquiry. If your content matches these search terms, you are already on the right path for drawing them in.
We strongly advise researching these search terms (known as keywords) before writing your content, so that you can structure your content around the right words for your ‘right’ people. This is known as Keyword Analysis.
Sometimes a simple choice of word can make a huge difference. In the webinar we used the free Google keyword tool (http://adwords.google.co.nz/keywordtool) and imagined we were a campervan rental company. We showed a significant difference in the number of people searching for ‘motorhome’ over the word ‘campervan’. We also looked at the potential target market. For motorhome rentals (as opposed to sales) these are likely to be overseas tourists. If we feel that the US is the primary source of these, using ‘motorhome’ won’t be as effective as using ‘Recreational vehicle’, or better still ‘RV’. We also discussed the differences between the short generic terms such as ‘motorhome’ (known as short tail key words) and the much more specific long tail keywords such as ‘Auckland motorhome rental’. These long tail terms will obviously have fewer people searching for them, but it goes back to the opening diagram, if you are a rental company based in Auckland, the people using these longtails are extremely likely to be your right people.
This diagram shows that each keyword, whether short or longtail has 3 factors influencing whether it is the right word or not. It needs to be relevant, so in the example above it needs to relate to the particular target audience (RV renters from the US), it needs to carry a high degree of commercial intent (someone looking for a rental company not just in NZ but in Auckland is indicating quite an intent to want to hire a van out as they start their trip in NZ). Competition – this is probably the hardest thing to get right. Obviously, the most obvious terms for each business sector will be highly competitive. Look at alternative keywords that aren’t as competitive. Sure, the number of searchers using them might be less, but you have a much better chance of being shown in the search results.
Here’s another useful article keyword research
A huge assumption often made when talking about website traffic is that it is NEW traffic. However don’t forget about returning visitors. These include existing customers – ideally so that you can sell to them again, either more of the same or better still, other stuff. Returning visitors also includes people who have been on the site, liked what they saw, but for whatever reason weren’t ready to take the next step at that point. Often people will need to visit the site several times over as they do their research before they end up doing business with you.
What is it that will get people returning? New content – particularly relevant content. Articles and new product information, plus promotions are key areas for new content additions. Our suggestion is that content is updated every 1 – 2 weeks at least, and that before each bit of new content is added you perform a keyword analysis based on the subject matter to find the most productive terms to base it around.