You may have read many posts on Search Traffic and SEO, but in this post I am going to make it as simple as possible so anyone can understand the basics of SEO.
You need traffic to your website and it’s no secret that optimizing your website for search traffic is a fantastic way to do this.
What I want you to take away from this post.
• Search optimizing your website is NOT a guaranteed traffic generator
• The keywords you want aren’t always the RIGHT keywords to go after
• The key secret to getting the RIGHT search traffic
Search Engine optimizing your website IS NOT a guaranteed traffic generator!
Here’s the truth. Working on the search optimization for your website IS NOT a guaranteed 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.
Similarly having a lot of traffic also does NOT guarantee more sales and customers.
If you’re at the top of Google for the keyword “paint”, you might think that this means more awesome traffic and more customers for SURE!
8100 people a MONTH search for the term “paint” in South Africa. Even if you captured 1% of that search market, that’s 81 clicks!
81 may seem like a decent amount of clicks, but why are they searching for Paint?
Do they want images of paint? Do they want to buy or sell paint? 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.
Think like a buyer not an owner
Often businesses are guilty for assuming that their customers know exactly what they’re looking for. Or, that the terminology you use is known by your customers.
It’s pretty simple if you were searching for something you offering what would you Search for? You also need to know your target market, if for example your target market is 30+ Men, how a 30 year old will search compared to how a 60 year old will search is completely different.
Where people go wrong
Research, research, research! It doesn’t take a genius to spend a little time researching the right keywords for your business.
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.
People Generally Search:
Looking for a good Plumber in Durban?
What is the going rate for a plumber?
Plumber reviews in Johannesburg?
Understanding what your customers and users want to learn and know, is exactly how you should be targeting your Search Engine Optimization (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.
What you need to do is create and write content that ANSWERS the questions that people are SEARCHING for. Revolutionary right? Remember you are writing for humans not robots!
People might moan about algorithms, content updates, spider-bots etc. etc. Don’t worry about keeping up with Google’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. No algorithm is ever going to penalize quality, original content.
Businesses that stick to the old “stuff” a post with keywords and use meta data” 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.
Google is changing all the time but recent changes show that they are working towards ranking good quality content, they are trying to weed out the SEO hackers, who want to use under hand tactics to rank higher.
Put simply Google answers questions and if your content is the best possible answer to a question that a user is searching for, than Google wants your content to show up first to the searcher.
So how do we do it?
Before we get to the content there a few basic tactics that every website has to apply.
Structure Your Website
Having a consistent website structure is a really fast way to start ranking quickly on Search Engines.
1. Make sure your contact details are clearly visible and easily accessible, you are most likely targeting local searches for your business so having your contact details easily accessible is really going to help.
2. Embed a Google Map to make it easy for users to find your location/s.
3. Your website should be easy to navigate, no one wants to visit a website that is hard to navigate. We all want to find everything easily and seamlessly.
4. Have clear call to actions (CTA) your CTA’s should be used to guide a user on what you want them to do next.
Let’s face it in this day and age with everyone complaining about a shortage of time we definitely cannot afford to have a slow loading website.
1. Use good reliable hosting, good hosting will come with good speedy servers and good speedy servers will ensure a speedy website.
2. Optimize your images, nothing drags down a website more than large unoptimized images. There are many free tools to optimize your images like tinypng.com and https://shortpixel.com/
3. Enable caching on your website, caching basically stores a copy of your web page and loads it faster for return users. To get a better understanding of caching you should check out this article : https://www.a2hosting.com/blog/website-caching/
Now we get to the most important part, the content!
Having a consistent blog post structure for your posts is a really fast way to build content that does 3 things.
1. Easy to read and digest, making it easier for traffic and customers to consume and stay longer.
2. Easier to write – forget writers block, you can now write blog posts fast.
3. 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.
Promise – use a short sentence to introduce the post. For example “in this post we talk about how to choose a venetian blind that’s just right for you” or “if you read this you’ll be able to easily maintain your venetian blinds”. Make the reader excited and show them exactly what they will be getting out of the post. Show them the future they will have by reading the post.
Problem – Outline a common problem related to the topic you blogging about, do your research and find out problems that are common. This will give you an extra edge as the reader will immediately feel that you actually wrote this post specifically for them. Giving the reader that feeling is the ultimate goal of any post.
Myth – Outline a common myth related to the topic you are blogging about, here again do your research find out the myths that are common. Human nature is such that after they get the feeling of “we are speaking directly to them“ they immediately create an objection in their minds and we should be there to list out the myth and immediately dispel that myth. With this we are reaffirming their feeling of: “this guy is actually speaking to me” An example of a myth would be something like this: “Yes I know it’s easy for you to choose the right Venetian Blind but with so much of choice my head starts spinning” you immediately dispel this myth and explain to the reader why it’s actually easier than they think to choose the right Venetian Blind.
About Me – Give the reader a brief understanding of who you are and what you do. Earlier we tried give the reader the feeling of “we are speaking directly to them” now we are giving a personal touch to the post, people are more likely to take action or share something that they can relate to, by letting the reader get to know you, you are becoming relatable to them.
Solution – Show them exactly how to solve the problem they are having, remember Google wants to give the best possible answer to the searcher so your solution should be as descriptive and informative as possible.
List out a few solutions e.g ”5 ways to achieve….” This will make it easier for you to write out the solution, you will be surprised at the amount of ideas that come to mind when you make bullet points.
Objection – Before you wrap up the post you layout an objection, so if the reader still has an objection in their mind you lay their fears by answering that objection. An example of an objection is: “But what if I can’t write and I don’t like writing”. You assure the reader that they still have options. 1) They could hire someone to write content for them or 2) you could mention: just like everything in life practice makes perfect, so the more you write the better you will get at it.
Call To Action – The most common problem that I come across. You have got the reader engaged you have their attention now is the best time to tell them what to do next. Your CTA could be to get them to subscribe to your email list and you could offer them a lead magnet. Or you could just simply have a CTA to your contact form or your contact details.
Summary – Lastly you want drive home the promise that you made in the beginning of the post and leave with a feeling of a better future. Go over what was discussed in the post and make sure that your article creates value to the reader.
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. Here is a good template to follow.
Generally 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.Choosing topics
Choosing topics is probably the easiest part of creating content. You have 3 main areas to find ideas.
1. Google your own topics and industry and look at what other businesses are writing.
2. Search forums, groups and boards for questions that your customers are asking. LinkedIn and Facebook are great for this.
3. 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.
4. Use free tools like https://answerthepublic.com to get ideas.
You may actually find it helpful to NOT keep everything you think of. Whenever you brainstorm 5 (or 50!) ideas, whatever you haven’t written that week, discard it.
If it really was a good idea, you most probably will think of it again.
It’s easy for you to blog
The truth is it is still not easy for me to blog, I never liked writing but once I saw the results I was getting by blogging I made sure that I continued doing it until I became reasonable at it, I won’t say I am good at it, I get my message across and that’s all that matters. Remember initially nobody is going to be reading your posts, only after you post 10 to 20 blog posts will your posts start getting any followers and by then as we said earlier practice makes perfect. So don’t stress hit the publish button and in no time you will be writing blog posts quicker than you can imagine. If you are knowledgeable in a certain area you will find writing comes easier, so find the area you are most knowledgeable in and go from there.
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So there we go! The truth about Search Engine Optimization 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 Search Engine Optimization doesn’t have to be hard. If you’ve got a process and a structure, you can rank your content really quickly. 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 content you want. It’s similar to going to the gym, if you workout once in a while you not really going to see any results however if you workout regularly and consistently you are more likely to get results.
I really want you to take away something useful from reading this post!
Not sure where to start? If you’re serious about getting more traffic and generating more customers and sales, fill out the form below to setup an obligation free consultation.
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