No matter how great your product is, or how great your website looks, your online business will be left spinning its wheels unless the search engines know you exist… and your potential customers can find you in the search engines!
We wrote on Day One about giving your website a thorough tune-up, and on Day Two about providing great content on your website to keep your visitors and customers coming back again and again.
Now we’re going to give you some tips on snagging more search engine traffic in 2010.
Revisit your keyword research regularly: If it’s been a few months (or a few years!) since you did keyword research on your market, you could be targeting keywords that no one is searching on anymore, and missing out on keywords that would bring great, highly targeted traffic to your website. Things change pretty quickly in the search engines!
We’d suggest that you revisit your research quarterly to make sure that your content and your SEO strategies are taking direct aim at your market.
Don’t ignore the power of local search: Showing up at the top of the results for your local area in Google has never been more important, and Google is reaching out to businesses to make sure they take advantage of the opportunity. Google’s Local Business Center offers a robust set of tools to help you get your business listed and exposed to a local audience, and they’re even introducing flat-rate AdWords advertising for local businesses, rather than the traditional bid model.
Also, don’t forget to research location-based keywords when it comes to optimizing your website. The traffic they’ll deliver will be more targeted, since location-based searches tend to indicate a greater intention to purchase!
Extend your business presence socially: Increasing your social presence offers a ton of SEO benefits. First, you’ll show up in searches across social sites like Twitter and Facebook, where more and more people are going in search of information and products. In fact, if you have video content, you’ll be interested to find out that YouTube is now the second-largest search engine on the Web!
Review sites like Yelp and Epinions are also directing targeted traffic to businesses that interact with customers (and potential customers) on their websites. You can set up and monitor a business profile within your product or business category, and pepper your description and tags with relevant keywords to show up in searches in your local area — and nationally, too!
Getting more social also enables you to take advantage of Google’s new real time search focus — if people have been talking about you recently, you’ll show up in their “latest results.”
Keep your focus on the 80%: Yes, Bing is offering great results for some business owners, and worth SOME of your SEO effort to keep a solid ranking for your search terms — don’t ignore a new opportunity! But Google is still getting 80% of ALL the search traffic on the Web, so you can’t afford to scrap it altogether for the new kid on the block.
Remember, targeting relevant keywords will always be the key to making sure your traffic generation strategies lead to actual conversions. Too many online businesses focus on getting volume over gaining targeted visits — and end up with few conversions to show for it.
You can have millions of visitors headed to your site every day — but if they’re not looking for what you offer, those visitors simply won’t become buyers. Focusing on relevant keywords is your best hope of standing out from the competition.
And speaking of traffic generation, we’re doing to dig into your PPC campaigns in the next of our Your Online Business Tune-Up series!