How to optimize your sites Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and grow customers without paying for Ads.
This guide is a shorter post around setting up SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and driving more traffic to your site without buying ADs. In a nutshell, to have better SEO you need to jump some technical hurdles in order to drive more traffic to your site from search engines along with understanding your customer’s needs and making things easier for them.
I have blogged about this topics before but these posts are too long in reflection.
- Setting up Google Analytics on your website
- How to boost your site’s SEO
- Improving the speed of WordPress
- Digital marketing and user engagement 101
- Add Google AdWords to your WordPress blog
Facebook, Google, Bing and advertising agencies will recommend you set goals around growth and site traffic and pay for those goals to succeed (usually by advertisements).
Don’t get me wrong Advertising works but it is a competitive market, Online sites can easily setup the display of Ad’s on their site (my guide here Add Google AdWords to your WordPress blog, https://fearby.com/article/add-google-adwords-wordpress-blog/ ). You can buy physical billboard ad’s on the side of roads (e.g http://www.buythisspace.com.au/). I tried to enquire about the costs of a physical billboard but the agencies robot verification rejected my enquiry submission so I gave up. Advertising is buying peoples times and people now how to avoid ad’s and not interact with them (7 Marketing Lessons from Eye-Tracking Studies https://blog.kissmetrics.com/eye-tracking-studies/)
Do more of what works
Spoiler: This guide will recommend you do more of what works over buying millions of ad’s and hoping for new and engaged customers and customer growth.
- If you don’t already have Google Analytics setup on your site then do it, you cannot identify your customers or identify what is broken or in turn fix it (Setting up Google Analytics on your website, https://fearby.com/article/setting-up-google-analytics-on-your-website/ )
- Monitor Data – Do review your logs and customer related data (review orders, customers and try and identify what works. Software like https://www.zoho.com/one/applications/web.html will help you connect the dots.
- Adobe Audience Cloud: http://www.adobe.com/au/experience-cloud.html is a more expensive software suite for driving decisions based on data.
- Benchmarks – Set goals and work toward them (e.g I want 10x more customers).
This older article on How to boost your site’s SEO attempts to mention what you need to do it to get better SEO.
Do run a modern great site
I am a big fan of word of mouth over free/organic traffic over paid customers via advertising (Mostly because I am tight and realize advertising can be a bottomless pit). The single biggest thing you can do to have more organic traffic from search engines is run a modern and fast website, have valuable content and make it as easy for the customer as possible. This is why I moved my site and setup an SSL certificate (link to article).
Search engines like your site to be fast, updated frequently, have sitemaps to make their jobs easier and have an SSL certificate to keep the web safe etc.
Google, Bing and other search engines will not send traffic your way if you do not satisfy them that your site is liked or has valuable content. Google makes money from Google Analytics by helping people understand their site’s visitors then recommend you pay for ad’s to use on sites that have AdWords on their site ( WordPress to a new self-managed server away from CPanel ).
- How to boost your site’s SEO https://fearby.com/article/how-to-boost-your-sites-seo/
- Your website needs to be fast, use sites like https://www.webpagetest.org to measure how fast your site is (Aim for all A’s). Read this page for information on the impact of slow websites https://www.searchenginejournal.com/mobile-page-speed-benchmarks/194511/
- Mobile friendly – Ensure your site is mobile friendly (or risk being dropped from search engine results)
- SSL – Do have a secure SSL certificate on your website (view mine here https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/analyze.html?d=www.fearby.com&s=22.214.171.124&latest).
- Incoming links – Having incoming links to your site tell search engines that your site is popular.
Traffic Source types
- Organic – An organic visitor to your site is one who found your site by searching something that was relevant to their search term and not by clicking on an advertisement.
- Paid – A paid user is someone who has clicked an ad to come to your site.
- Social – A social visitor is one who is known to come from a social media site, using social media sites like Twitter, Facebook or Instagram is a must to driving organic traffic (go where the people are).
How engaged are your customers? Have you asked your customers recently what they value or appreciate about your business or product? Have you asked for feedback recently?
User Engagement Levels
- None – Do you have landing pages that quickly inform customers of your products or services?
- Low – What do they need to know about your product or service?
- Medium – Aware (engaged)
- High – Can this person be an advocate for your business?
- Gone – Did you get exit Feedback?
Ways to engage already engaged customers.
- Setup a free MailChimp Newsletter to allow willing people to be alerted of new communication https://login.mailchimp.com/signup/?source=website&pid=GAW
- Web Browser popup Alerts can be a great way to engage with users when new content is added to your site (Read the guide here https://documentation.onesignal.com/docs/web-push-setup )
- Mobile apps or mobile friendly website are a no brainer given 2 billion people use mobile phones ( http://www.smartinsights.com/mobile-marketing/mobile-marketing-analytics/mobile-marketing-statistics/ ).
What can you do to help understand your customer’s needs and make their purchase processes easier?
Why are your customers leaving?
Understand more about your customers reasons for leaving and act upon preventing others from leaving.
- Trying something new (Does your website need to be simpler?)
- Are your products too expensive?.
- Your site (or ordering) is not convenient (Do you need to setup online ordering/subscriptions and delivery?)
Who are your customers
- Personas – Do setup customer personas in order to focus on your customer segments (get a free customer persona template here https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/33491/everything-marketers-need-to-research-create-detailed-buyer-personas-template.aspx )
- Does your website match these personas?
Are your customers.
- Do you have feedback loops (A simple feedback form can solve this)?
What do you know about your customers?
- Product Satisfaction
- Product Loyalty
- Product Awareness
Paid Traffic (Ad’s)
- Google Ad’s – Signup Here http://www.google.com.au/adwords/get-started/
- Bing – Advertise on Bing here https://advertise.bingads.microsoft.com/
- Facebook – Advertise on Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/business/products/ads
Free Traffic (SEO + Organic Ad’s)
- Blog Posts (Sharing value/passion)
- Social Media Posts (use hashtags)
- Instagram (Post value/passion)
Most importantly Do what works (Measure and replicate).
Focus on Business Value
Generate a SWOT Analysis ( Free tool here https://xtensio.com/ )
- What are your Strengths?
- What are your Weaknesses?
- What are your Opportunities?
- What are your Threats?
Goals allow you to investigate, learn, act and measure I order to improve.
- Investigate – Data.
- Learn/Insight – Make Assumptions.
- Act – Act and measure.
Read more about customer engagement here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Customer_engagement
Do ensure your website is compliant with accessibility and technical standards
- Test our sites Accessibility – https://achecker.ca/checker/index.php
- Test your sites HTML5 Compliance – https://validator.w3.org
- Test your Google PageSpeed Test – https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
- Do A B testing to determine the statistical significance of changes to your site.
The more you know the better you can connect, Do set goals and as a minimum setup Google Analytics, SSL certificate and submit your site to search engines, then focus on a fast site that makes things simple for your customers.
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