This is the first in an ongoing series of tips for drawing your most qualified prospects to your site. See, your goal shouldn't just be to increase general traffic to your site, but to target your ideal client - who has highly specific needs and knows what they want. This is the system I use for my clients here at CRG; they are the result of 17 years of web design, research, and consulting with hundreds of preservation and custom building specialists. I was taught this system, and now I'm able to share them with you.
You already know the Search Engines are the way to draw new qualified web traffic to your website at low cost, but how do you put them to work for you? The key is to understand that the Search Engines win when they bring your prospect useful, relevant information. This puts you and them on the same team. All that Search Engines require of you is that you provide your visitors with good content — and that you follow the Search Engine rules for organization of content on your website.
TEXT IS KING. Many of our artisan web clients have told us that they don’t want to clutter their website with too many words. They say their prospects “don’t want to read a book” and that a picture of their work is worth a thousand words. The problem with this approach is that, unlike your visitor, the Search Engines cannot see images. They must rely entirely upon your words to determine whether your website is relevant to your prospect. Basically, if the Search Engines can’t tell what your website is about, they will bury it too deep in the search results to be found by your prospect. By all means, you can show your visitors good images of your work, but unless you tell them in plain English what it is you can do for them, the Search Engine can’t bring them to your website.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT KEYWORDS. So who decides what is “relevant”? Your prospect does when he or she enters keywords into the Search Engine! The Search Engine is seeking the most authoritative web resources for the keyword phrase your prospect uses. The more relevant your text is to your prospect's concerns, the more likely that the Search Engine will refer them to you. You've already learned to listen to the concerns of your prospect. Your website needs to do this as well as you do. So use the words your prospect naturally uses when first inquiring about your work, even if they aren’t technically correct. Be sure to incorporate alternates, plurals and even misspellings. Use what you already know about your prospect to make sure that his or her web search leads to your website.
GOOD CONTENT BUILDS TRAFFIC AND CONVERSIONS. Sharp, well written copy builds traffic from the search engines and converts your qualified visitor into a ready prospect who actually calls you. By all means, use keywords, but don’t overstuff the text with the identical keyword phrase in an attempt to influence the Search Engine. Too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Good writing addresses the concerns of your prospect directly, clearly, and naturally. Bad, repetitive writing can earn a Search Engine penalty. Focused, relevant content is the gold standard of the web. So communicate clearly and simply to your prospect and the Search Engines will refer your message to the right people.
QUANTITY COUNTS. If you are trying to add “more SEO juice” to your website (i.e., the ability to have Google give it high rankings for a wider range of Keywords), then you need more pages of relevant content – with specific page(s) devoted to each particular topic and set of Keywords (and all their variants) that you are trying to support.