How do you make sure your small business website gets enough visitors to make it worthwhile? How can you increase website traffic to get more clients? Even better, how do you dominate your niche?
There are actually a variety of things that you need to do to get visitors, but one of the most basic is one you do when you build your web pages. Each page you build needs to target a particular keyword, one that is actually used by your potential clients when they search on the search engines.
For example, if you offer weight loss exercise programs on your website, what will your ideal client type into a search engine to find your business? Would it be “weight loss fitness program”, “weight loss exercise programs”, “weight loss exercise program” or something totally different? Small differences in keywords can mean a big increase in website traffic, or maybe the opposite – a website that fails.
To know if a keyword is good or not you need to know two things: the number of people searching for that keyword, and the number of other websites competing against yours for that keyword. Ideally you want a keyword with lots of searches and little competition. Then your website has a better chance of getting onto the first page of the search engine results page with the resulting increase in website traffic.
With our example, “weight loss fitness program” had 742 searches in a month with 10,200 competing websites. “Weight loss exercise programs” had 7,650 searches with 14,300 competing sites. “Weight loss exercise program” had 1,890 searches, and 26,700 competing sites.
Having information like this gives you a big headstart in increasing your website traffic, but how do you find it?
Fortunately there are a number of keyword tools that give you all the information you need. There are free programs that are quite basic but are handy for getting the feel of things. If you’re building a business website it’s better to pay for a keyword tool at least while you’re setting up your website. It’s an investment that could give you big returns.
To use a keyword tool you enter a seedword for example “fitness program”, and the tool spits out a long list (maybe hundreds) of keywords that contain your seed word such as “weight loss fitness program”, “best fitness program”, “cheap fitness program”, and so on. The paid keyword tools typically give search numbers and competition, a ratio of the two, and they let you sort and filter the results. That’s very handy when you get a list hundreds of keywords long. They usually let you get related keywords that don’t contain the seedword, and with some you can use country specific databases. If you live in Australia, you could get Australian search results.
Before you purchase or subscribe to a keyword tool make sure it will do what you want.
The free tools are fine for some preliminary work, but they’re not good enough for a serious business website. You may get between 10 and 100 keywords and you may only get search numbers with no competition data. Have a play with them before you pay for a keyword tool though.
So when you have the list of keywords and have decided which ones you’re using how do you use them in your web page?
First of all, using one keyword per page is best. The idea is to sprinkle the keyword throughout the webpage to provide enough hooks for the search engines to tell what your page is about. You should have the keyword in the main headline of the page, and in a text link to another page. It should be used in the page title and page description, and in the URL. You should use it several times throughout the page. Most experts say the keyword should make up between 1% and 3% of the content. In other words if your page was 1000 words long you’d use the keyword between 10 and 30 times. Don’t go overboard using the keyword, or the search engines may thing you’re keyword spamming and actually give you a lower page ranking so you get less traffic.
All that is basic on-page search engine optimization and it will certainly help get increased website traffic. But keywords are good for more than just optimizing each page. They’re also good for planning your website. You get to see what your ideal client is interested in and what information they are looking for. You can build a web page for each topic to get a huge increase in website traffic.
Keyword research for planning your website and optimizing your pages is just one part of getting lots of targeted traffic to your website, but it is an important part.