One simple way to dramatically increase website visits

The original working title for this post was “Landing pages for long tail keywords and service pages – a little utilised SEO goldmine”.  I looked at it and thought to myself, what a bunch of jargon – no one will know what you are talking about!

So I changed it, but the gist is that a single concept you can apply to your website will improve your visibility in Google.  And as a result, you will get more visitors.

Here is the single idea in detail

Create an individual page for every one of your services and for all the associated questions or concerns people have. By avoiding the temptation to 'simplify' and reduce your content to a few bullet points on a single page you present many more pages for Google to potentially find. Pages that speak to the specific questions, desires and concerns of your target audience.

There is also a nice little flow on effect in that it will make your visitors happier too.

Many smaller businesses fail to do this – yet it is something that is within their grasp to implement, unlike many other marketing tactics that require deep pockets.

How it improves search visibility (i.e ranking)

The search visibility game is all about persuading Google that your site is the best result for a give search phrase – and you aren't going to do that with a five page site that is never updated.

Separating content and continuously increasing the number of pages, is a good way to:

  • regularly increase the number of pages on your site
  • provide more material to share via social media
  • effectively target a range of what is called 'long tail keywords'. These are keyword searches that include three or more words. While not used as often, they are more specific.

Each of these pages should rank and attract visits in their own right, and together will improve not only your visibility for these phrases but your search visibility overall. Often you can do this quicker and easier than you will by targeting a highly competitive one or two word phrase.

One service page will NOT rule them all

First, let's look at the content that covers your services and/or products.

Let's say you are an insurance broker. It would be common for a brokers' website to have a page headed 'insurance services' with a list of different insurances summarised in a paragraph.

But if you search for insurance brokers, most of the sites on the first page of results will have a separate page for each type of insurance (even if it's collected together in a services section), i.e.:

  • business insurance
  • house and contents insurance
  • marine insurance
  • health insurance
  • income protection
  • life insurance
  • etc.

You can then optimise each page for a specific type of insurance, including benefits and social proof (e.g. testimonials) specific to that service.

People who are looking for insurance are usually looking for a specific type. Not only do they NOT want to read about marine, business or house insurance if they are actually looking for life insurance, they will tend to search for that specific type of insurance as well.

And if you have a single page targeting that phrase you are more likely to appear in the search results.

Long tail keyword search phrases

Long tail keyword phrases include:

  • questions – e.g. “how much does a website cost” or “how much does it cost to build a house in Auckland”
  • location qualifiers – e.g. “web designers in Auckland”, “promotional bags new Zealand”
  • quality qualifies or cost qualifiers– e.g. “best web designer in Auckland' or “cheapest website templates”
  • technology or brand specifier – e.g. “Joomla developers in Auckland”, “Xero certified trainer north shore Auckland”, “Toyota panel beaters”
  • how to's and tips e.g. “best way to wear red shoes”, “how to get the best roast potatoes”
  • problem solving “how to get more enquiries from your website”

We could target the phrase 'website design' for all our own SEO work. But this is a very competitive search phrase and we'd be up against bigger companies with deeper pockets and more resources than we have. It is better if we target 'web design north shore' because these are people close to us – and more likely to want a local company than one that they might have to travel an hour to meeting.

One thing about long tail keywords is that while it will increase your website's visibility, some of the people you attract will not necessarily be looking to purchase right then and there, depending on what you target.  How to's and other question-answer type content will attract visits but you'll need to do some work on your conversion to get them to translate into action. Sometimes it will be hard to measure specifically how having a better, more helpful website helps convert more visitors to customers.

How to get started

  • brainstorm your services and split them into different types, as described above in the insurance broker example
  • go as granular as you can – as a rule of thumb, if something isn't 'part and parcel' of another service, then it deserves it's own page
  • start with creating a headline that is a question that your customers ask frequently
  • start with a list of keyword phrases you want be found for – as many as you can think of. Group them together into phrases that have the same words – e.g “bookkeeping services, bookkeeping Auckland, best bookkeeping, bookkeepers etc.”

Once you have a list of potential pages, then it is just a matter of creating the content.  If you need help, check out the free eBook: The Good Content Guide

How to fit it into your website.

Your services (or products) should be core to the design of your site so it should be easy to add pages, even if you have a generic 'services' page at the moment.

Much of the content marketing and SEO advice on this topic will talk about a blog. But the advice is the same. If you don't have a blog to put your long tail content into or just don't want to add a blog, consider adding a section like:

  • Resources
  • News
  • Helpful Tips
  • Getting the most from....

Caveats and myths

It is surprising how many people want their site to be on the front page of Google by just wishing it to be so. Unless you are the only one it town doing what you do, it won't happen.   If you don't want to spend the time or effort, pay someone else to do it or pay for Adwords.

Being highly visible is earned, and takes a mix of tactics that take time to come to fruition.  Sometimes you just have to be patient.

It is also a skill that you won't get by paying $10 an hour or anyone that comes with the word “cheap”. Don't assume your web developer knows how to do SEO - this blog post will give you some ideas of how to tell the difference.

So here are the things you'll have to bear in mind

  • it takes work – hours of work
  • it takes time – think months, not weeks. The newer your site is the longer it will take
  • it relies on your site having good on-site optimisation
  • it may also need off-site optimisation but this is easier with more specific, unique pages
  • the more competitors you have, the harder you'll have to work to break through
  • the bigger your competitors are the harder you'll have to work
  • you need to target phrases that people actually search for
  • it could be that people don't search the way you think they do, so you'll need to do some research and be prepared to change what you are targeting

How you can help your webmaster/mistress

If you have tasked your website administrator to improve where you are on Google, and assuming they know how to do this you can help them by providing the content.

But unless you are an enthusiastic and somewhat skilled writer, it may be hard. But you can:

  • Provide copies of any off-line promotional material you have developed including tender documentation, quotes and brochures.
  • Provide links to suppliers websites if you can use their content
  • Give them the time to do the work
  • Tell them what your customers and potential customers are asking you
  • Tell them what you do that is different/unique/special so it can be weaved into the content
  • Give them permission to alter the website structure and layout if necessary

The proof is in the pudding

Depending on where you are located, go ahead and search in Google for any of these phrases and you'll find us on the first page (at the time of writing this!) for these long tail keyword phrases:

  • web design content ideas
  • how much does a website cost nz
  • Joomla developer Auckland
  • weird referrals in Google analytics
  • how to increase referral traffic
  • get a copy of Adwords invoice

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