Trying to get traffic to your website without a solid plan is a bit like driving around with a vague destination in mind, but no directions on how to get there. You may eventually make your way to where you want to be, but it will take a lot longer and require more effort than if you had your route mapped out.
The same holds true with website traffic in general, and search engine optimization in particular. With a solid strategy, you will have a goal in mind, and a plan for what to do to get there. Even if you’re new to SEO and you don’t quite understand what it will take to get a certain keyword ranking, or even what a realistic keyword goal is for you, it's good to have a plan. You can always tweak and adjust both your plan and your strategy as you go along.
When you have a workable strategy with defined goals, and a way to track the results you are getting over time, it becomes easy to determine if your strategy is working. Without either of those, you're guessing at best, and that's not a good business practice. Search engine optimization takes time and effort. And if you're hiring someone to help you, it can involve quite a bit of money.
So where do you start? Learn the basics of how SEO works. Set up a good Website Analytics program so you can start to measure what traffic you’re getting now and where new traffic is coming from. Google Analytics is a great program that will grow with you. Install it, look through the reports, start to learn to use it and expand your knowledge as you go along.
Your next step will be to formulate a strategy. This should be a five-step process that includes:
- Determine your ideal target audience.
- Figure out what they are looking for and what keywords and key phrases they use.
- Generate high-value content around those terms. Content can include things like EBooks, Blog posts, Checklists, Industry reports, articles, or videos.
- Implement on page and on site optimization. Hire a professional if you are unsure how to do this yourself!
- Track results and adjust as needed.
Once you have completed the five steps above, you can expand on what’s working, identify more audiences, more terms, and create more content, and slow down on what isn’t working. One important thing to keep in mind is that search engine optimization takes time and that you’re building your site’s reputation with the big search engines over time. Don’t give up on your strategy too soon and whatever you do, don’t throw in the towel.
To your success!
Laura Olson-Oxley is an entrepreneur, coach, speaker, marketing and business consultant, and sales professional. She has over 25 years experience working with small businesses in a variety of industries, focusing on strategic business growth through effective marketing and advertising. Also a strategist, numbers nut, project manager, and life-long learner, Laura looks at the big picture to analyze and recommend the most effective tools to take businesses to the Next Level.