Are you getting the right website traffic?

Why getting the right traffic to your website is more important than sheer traffic volume.
There are a lot of misconceptions floating around about search engine optimization (SEO). Part of my job as a website optimizer is to educate prospects and clients on what works and what doesn’t.

The biggest problem I see is that people go for sheer volume of website traffic, mainly to the home page. They think that more traffic equals more customers, but that’s not necessarily true. This can work for you if the “right type” of people are visiting your site and your website has engaging content. By “right type,” I mean your potential customers.

Here’s an example, let’s say 1000 people visit your website every day, but 800 people exit your website right away for a bounce rate of 80%. Of the 200 people that stay, they view 2 pages for an average of 30 seconds each. Clearly, this website is not engaging its visitors. (In order to get these statistics, you need to use a website statistics package like the free Google Analytics application.)

When I evaluate a website, I look at statistics like in the above example. My initial optimization goals are to get the bounce rate under 50% and visitors to view 3-5 pages per visit for an average of 3 minutes per visit. These may just be numbers to you, but the bottom line is to revise your website strategy to get the right type of traffic, engage the visitor, and get them to take action with the ultimate goal of turning them into a customer.

Improve website findability for your target audiences

Another common problem is that the findability of the website is low. What this means is only a few keyword phrases such as the business name and a key service category are used for SEO. In addition, I often analyze websites where no local geographic phrases (town, county, state) are used.

So, search engines can only find the website through the business name and a few other limited phrases. Since the goal with web marketing is to find new prospects in your target area, these prospects probably won’t know your business name and thus won’t be able to find your website easily through a search engine.

So, how do we get from the initial example to the goals we all want? Start with your own website first, by updating the web pages’ content and keywords, adding an analytics package, and a clear call to action for each page. You need to look at your online competition and align any changes with your marketing strategy. One of the techniques I use is what I call “foot in the door.” You want to funnel web traffic toward something that will get people to call you. This may be only one product, one service, or a special deal you can offer to web customers.

Here’s a 5 step checklist to get you started on improving your website traffic:

Analyze your online competition.
Perform a search engine keyword analysis to identify a diverse set of keywords for the website for SEO: including products, services, geographic terms, and commonly searched phrases.
Identify what you will use to get visitors to take action and stick their “foot in the door.” Create a web page or special offer centered on this.
Update the website using Organic SEO Techniques.

Use analytics to monitor website traffic and visitor behavior and adjust over time.
There is much more to website optimization than just the above steps. So, if you don’t have the skills to do this yourself, it is best to hire a professional SEO consultant who specializes in Organic Search Engine Optimization.

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