You need traffic to your website and it’s no secret that content marketing and optimising your website for search traffic is a fantastic way to go.
“Search is the number one source of external traffic for content sites, handily beating social media by more than 300%” [source]
In this article, you’ll learn:
- Why search optimising your website IS NOT a guaranteed traffic generator
- Why the keywords you want aren’t always the right keywords to go after
- How to create website content for your target customers
Search optimising your website IS NOT a guaranteed traffic generator
Here’s the truth. Working on the search optimisation for your website IS NOT going to guarantee you a source of traffic. Just by increasing your ranking and where your website places on Google, doesn’t mean you’re going to get a flood of traffic.
It’s also important to note that being top of any search engine never EVER guarantees more sales and customers.
“The average company that blogs has 55% more visitors, 97% more inbound links and 434% more indexed pages” [source]
Why aren’t the keywords you want always the right keywords to go after?
If you’re at the top of Google for the keyword “shoes”, you might think that this means more awesome traffic and more customers for SURE!
1.5 million people a MONTH search for the term shoes. Even if you captured 1% of that search market, that’s 1500 clicks!
True, but why are they searching for shoes? Do they want images of shoes? Do they want to buy or sell? Are they browsing or getting ideas? There’s NO indication of what they want and why they want to visit your site.
Broad keywords aren’t always productive, they’re really hard to rank for AND there isn’t any strategy behind them.
Sandton based arborist might capture the top ranking in your immediate geographic area, but how many people are searching for that?
We at IdealMedia DO believe that focusing on a geographic area is a good idea if you’re tied to one. But don’t think that you ALWAYS have to think local.
Being too specific could limit the number of people searching for your business. Often businesses are guilty of assuming that their customers know exactly what they’re looking for. Or, that the terminology you use is known by your customers
How To Get The RIGHT Search Traffic
Research, research, research! It doesn’t take a genius to spend a little time researching the right keywords for your business.
“Today it’s not about ‘get the traffic’ — it’s about ‘get the targeted and relevant traffic.’ ”
– Adam Audette, Chief Knowledge Officer, RKG
Businesses make assumptions that they need to really back up. Do people actually search for your business name? Be realistic. Unless you’re Apple or Nike, they probably don’t.
Typically people search or ‘Google’ questions to help them solve a problem. Or they’re looking for a specific product.
Search question examples
How much should I spend on a bed?
How do I clean an oven?
What’s the best way to record a phone call?
Understanding what your customers and users want to learn and know, is exactly how you should be targeting your SEO.
Now comes the tricky part – actually working on your site to build your search engine rankings. It’s not about meta data or writing tons of keywords into every page and blog post.
Effective content marketing is about creating and writing content that ANSWERS the questions that people are SEARCHING for. Revolutionary right?
People might moan about algorithms, content updates, spider-bots etc. etc. Don’t worry about keeping up with Google or Bing’s employees. Assume that they want to get the most relevant articles, posts and products in front of an audience. Your job is to make content that people want to read when and if they find you.
Businesses that stick to the old “stuff a post with keywords” formula WILL get left behind. SEO isn’t about tricking Google or working with spiders, it’s about creating content that wants to get read by your customers.
“Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing, but generates about three times as many leads.” [source]
So how do you create content for your target customers?
Having a consistent blog post structure for your posts is a really fast way to build content that does 3 things.
- Easy to read and digest, making it easier for visitors and customers to consume.
- Easier to write – forget writer’s block, you can now write blog posts quickly.
- Easier to crawl for search engines like Google, meaning you’ll rank faster.
If you’re struggling to create a blog post format, feel free to copy ours.
Summary – Use a short sentence to introduce the post. For example “in this post we talk about [topic]” or “if you read this you’ll be able to [result]”.
Quote – Search the Internet for a quote to use relating to what you’re talking about. There’s always something written somewhere that you can quote and use. You should also link back to that article for SEO gains and because it’s good karma.
Key takeaways– List the 3 key points you’re covering in your article.
Key point 1 – Write a few paragraphs explaining the top 3 learning points for your topic. Give answers, show solutions and explain how to get results.
Key point 2
Key point 3
Conclusion – Write a brief summary. The easiest way is to highlight your favourite point in the blog and turn an objection.
For example, “My favourite part about cleaning an oven is that it’s easier than people think. You can just leave the chemicals to work and you’re away! I know a lot of people say they haven’t got time to clean like that, but what we’ve found is if you just set aside half a day, it’s done sooner than you think”
Next steps – Give next steps if they want to take it a step further. My favourite line is “if you’re serious about this topic, then you need to…” then give an email address, a lead magnet or some way for them to follow up.
“The average content length for a web page that ranks in the top 10 results for any keyword on Google has at least 2,000 words. The higher up you go on the search listings page, the more content each web page has.” [source]
Content marketing means regular posting
Posting regular content is key to building trust with search engines and your customers alike. A posting schedule is easier to stick to when you’re writing regular content. Feel free to use our calendar below.
We find writing two blog posts a week and only publishing one is a great way to give yourself some space when you really can’t write anything.
Monday – Brainstorm 5 ideas to write about. Common questions, things they should know etc.
Tuesday – Write out the structure for both blog posts. Use our framework above.
Wednesday – Write the first post.
Thursday – Publish a post.
Friday – Write the second post and schedule it for another time.
“By creating and publishing remarkable content in the form that educates, informs, inspires and entertains, marketers can begin to build relationships with prospects early on in the buying cycle.”
– Jonathon Lister
Choosing topics for content marketing
Choosing topics is probably the easiest part of content marketing. You have 3 main areas to find ideas.
- Google your own topics and industry and look at what other businesses are writing.
- Search forums, groups and boards for questions that your customers are asking. LinkedIn, Facebook and Quora are great for this
- Brainstorm ideas that you want to talk about. Think of a few broad topics and then write down more specific titles and sub-topics for blog post ideas
We actually find it helpful to not keep everything we think of. Whenever we brainstorm 5 (or 50!) ideas, whatever we haven’t written that week, we’ll discard.
If it’s really a good idea, we’ll think of it again, or come back to it.
So there we go! The truth about SEO is writing content that people want to read. Make sure to update and submit your new sitemap every time you publish new content (although you can automate this – or we can show you).
Our favourite part about this is that SEO doesn’t have to be hard. If you’ve got a process and a structure, you can rank your content really quick. Just keep in mind that you need to commit. If you’re not really ready to write and create content regularly, then you’re not going to get the results you want.
“Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue”– Andrew Davis
If you’re serious about getting more traffic from content marketing then you need to check out our Traffic Checklist. We’ll give you the exact steps you need to take every time you publish a blog post, so you can rank on Google faster. Just click on the link below to get yours right now.