When it comes to your small business website, there’s a big difference between generating traffic and generating the right traffic.
You can get tons of hits, but if those hits aren’t coming from your target market you’re going to struggle to attract new customers.
How can you get more targeted traffic?
Analyze Your Numbers
Before you can focus on getting more targeted, you have to understand your current traffic—the people who are already visiting your site.
Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools are two incredibly powerful tools that can help you gain insights into your most/least popular pages and blog posts, which social media platforms are driving the most traffic to your site and--most importantly--your relative ranking when it comes to specific search queries.
When I review search queries in Webmaster Tools (under “Search Traffic” in the menu on the left side of the page) with small businesses, they’re almost always surprised at the words and phrases they’re ranking for—and the words and phrases they’re not.
Once you have a chance to look at your data, then you can start to dig in and look for opportunities to focus on different keywords and phrases based on your specific target audience.
Both tools are free and are a definite must have for any small business website.
Think Like Your Customers
I know it sounds obvious, but it’s the key to ultimately generating more targeted traffic. Who are they? Where are they? What questions do they have? What types of information and content are they looking for?
A great example is this post by a personal injury attorney I saw earlier this week. The blog was about the best off-leash dog parks locally—helpful information for dog owners and something that generates brand awareness if the unfortunate happens and you were to get bit by an off-leash dog at one of those dog parks.
Start by identifying 5-7 themes—topics you think are most relevant to your target audience and then make sure you’re addressing those questions on your site.
Where appropriate, incorporate keywords and phrases into your pages and blog posts—the keywords and phrases you want to be known for. If you’re in a highly competitive space (and who isn’t?), think about longer phrases—3 to 5 words (ex. industrial cabinet hardware) versus trying to generate targeted traffic around a specific keyword (ex. hardware).
Whatever you do, just don’t overdo it. If you try to over-optimize your content and incorporate the same phrases over and over again, you’ll get dinged by search engines. Instead, keep in mind the words and phrases you want to be known for and look for opportunities to incorporate them into your content naturally.
Generating more targeted traffic requires having the right strategy in place. Start by assessing who is already coming to your site and why and then use those insights to drive your content and messaging going forward.
There are other strategies and tactics, including email marketing, that we’ll cover in future updates. So stay tuned.
P.S. If you enjoy my small business marketing tips, I hope you’ll share my blog with colleagues.
By: Shawn Graham
[Image: Flickr user Eran Sandler]