There’s always a lot of hullabaloo about SEO or Search Engine Optimization going on with most people that own a website. If you have a website, the trick is to get people to it. A friend of mine and I got into a conversation about it the other day. I have always preferred to get people to the site via just being on top of the rankings. She had some different ideas. And the synopsis of our conversation is below. How do you do it?
Marketing Methods to Get People In
There are a lot of different ways that people can be brought into a website. The methods range from old school to “new school” methods.
Old School – Print Campaigns
You can always run print campaigns. It’s important to find a medium that actually reaches your target demographic. And makes it easy to GET to your website. This is effective if you have a couple of things going for you. The first would be to make sure you are getting to the right people in the publication. Understand the demographics of your clients and be able to understand what target audience any print advertising is in. For example, if your business relies on older customers – those over 60 – that demographic still DOES use the phone book. Phone book advertising for that group – maybe not so bad. If you have a product that appeals to homeowners, a new homes magazine may be useful to you.
Now, once you have a print publication targeted, you need to make sure that they can get to you. IF YOU HAVE a domain that’s more than about 10 characters or a few words long, the odds of someone typing in a long URL go down in relation to the length of the domain name. And if they can’t type it, they’re NOT visiting it.
How long can a domain name be?
Domain names can actually be up to 67 characters. HOWEVER, if you ever chose a domain name length of 67 characters, you better hope you come up well in the search engines as someone typing all 67 characters in correctly are small.
If you have a long domain name, you may consider using a scannable QR code to get them there. This of course depends on them having a smart phone. You can get a free QR code here at QRStuff.com.
Old School – Signs / Yard Signs
Any type of sign can be great. If it’s a read it while driving sign placement though and not a sign on the front of a business, you have a very short time to get the point across and as well pick up the domain name to type in when they get home. Add that to likely not having a pen in their hand. The long domain name becomes ever more difficult to overcome in these situations. Need to buy a good domain name?
Enough of this old school – let’s get to the meat of this – just wanted to present a rounded view of the situation.
Getting traffic to your website – New School
SEO – Search Engine Optimization
You can be clocking down up to 40% of searches to your website when you are ranked #1 for a particular search term. If you can get that kind of ranking, you will find traffic is a lot easier to get. The trick is to find what you want to rank for. Remember that Google pays attention to the traffic you get and how long they stay among other things. If your site requires a lot of traffic to work properly for your needs – say a local service – you may want to not knock yourself out trying to get huge numbers, but very targeted traffic. I’d personally rather have 10 targeted visitors on my service websites than 100 looking for something that I really don’t have. Important to this is likely going to be learning to understand Google Adwords and the keyword tool specifically.
Need HIGH Traffic?
Then you need to start building a bigger website that has a lot of content OR rank a term that has a lot of searches that you can capitalize on. If you have a local website, the search traffic is only going to be so much – think of Cityname HVAC. The people that visit your site will likely be local and looking for HVAC. How about if you are actually trying to make money on clickthrough traffic – maybe you’re shipping candy for Valentine’s Day as a clickthrough. You obviously don’t need them to be in your local area. Now, can you RANK for something like Valentine’s Day candy shipping? Don’t know. But you might be able to rank for something like “ship gourmet chocolate valentines day” – the more specific you can be, the odds of competition go down. When you need a good company to talk to about stuff like this, you can call Eric over at OutsideRaleigh SEO – he’s usually pretty helpful on these kinds of things!
The trick is to find something, probably more of an informational search than a buying search. The odds of people fighting over informational traffic is a lot less than the odds of getting in the middle of an SEO war on some highly paid and SEO’d traffic words – like “Valentines Day candy.” You very well may be able to rank for “how do I pack chocolate for shipping?” and be at the top. If you then have affiliate content on there such as maybe Harry and David products, you might get some good traffic. You can also ping them over at SEO-Raleigh.net – they usually have a few good suggestions!
New School – Social Media
If you are one of those people that just love interacting on social media, then this may be perfect for you. Some people just thrive on social networks – I’m not among them. My partner in this conversation is though and she fully believes in the power of social. We both feel that it is important to make sure your website has the necessary social signals from G+, Facebook, Twitter and perhaps LinkedIn – and Pinterest is great if you have a visual product.
You need to be chattering about corollary items – I think her rule is 80/20 – eighty percent misc stuff with some corollary info in there and only about 20% of your chatter directly about your product or service. This gives you the best chance of creating community and not just a page that reads “Buy our product” over and over and over again. Once you’ve built up your community, you have an audience that will continue to see your carefully thrown “buy our product/visit our website” messages.
There was more to this conversation, but I’ll save it for another time. Happy marketing!