Driving Web Traffic

Simple SEO Tips To Help Your Rankings Skyrocket On Google!

So, let’s chat about some simple SEO tips to increase your rankings on Google. I get a lot of different reactions when it comes to explaining the premise behind search engine optimization – mostly a lot of blank stares, skepticism, and requests to repeat what I just said.

I’m sure you’ve heard all the buzz about the so-called Google algorithm. Codenamed after adorable animals like Panda, Penguin, and, most recently, Hummingbird, these algorithms have thrown the online community into a tizzy. While some experts believe the whole process of SEO has become even more complicated since these changes by Google have been made, I actually believe it’s gotten simpler and more intuitive. The rules for being online haven’t changed. Google is just being more obvious about what it wants.

Google’s Goals Have Always Remained The Same:

  1. To give users of its search engine the most relevant (ie. best) search results in the shortest amount of time possible and
  2. To weed out and rank only the best small business owners that are able to give Google and its users exactly what they’re asking for.

So, what exactly is Google asking for? Answer: Google is asking business owners to produce multimedia content that it can quickly and easily index for ranking purposes. This content also needs to be highly relevant and interesting to capture the attention of a viewer. Here are my top 3 picks what you can do online to finally get noticed – and ranked – by Google:

1.  Search Engine Optimize Your Website

You have to give Google a reason to want to index you. When they start crawling your site for tid bits on who you are and what your business does, be sure you leave them with as much detailed information as possible. You do this using your title tags, meta descriptions, keywords, graphics, website layout, to name a few.

2.  Start Creating Profiles in Major Online Directories

I always advise my clients to strive for maximum exposure with the least amount of work. Gone are the days when Google only looks at a website to gauge whether or not you deserve to rank on Page 1. When you create profiles on online directories, you benefit from having your name and contact information show up on multiple places online AND you also receive a legitimate link back from that directory to your website. By directing people back to your own online accounts, you are essentially forcing Google to pay more attention to you. Start this process with free online directories like Google+ and Google Places, Yelp, Foursquare, and more.

3.  Get Social and STAY Social

If there’s one thing that can be said for the most recent algorithm changes, it’s that

Google wants you to be more social. Plain and simple. Search engines are placing an increasing amount of importance on how social media conversations influence their views on brands and, ultimately, how their websites should rank. Business owners and brands can no longer rely on a well-optimized website to earn Google’s attention. A brand must be able to strike up a conversation, go where their people are going, and engaging them in a discussion that earns them brownie points in the form of a great reputation and better rankings online. Smart brands are using very specific – and simple – social media tactics to drive traffic to their websites and boost interest in their companies. I’ll share a few of those strategies with you in my next blog.

Now that you understand how Google works, be sure to apply these three basic steps to help you build a solid online foundation that nothing – not even Google’s famed and ever-changing – can ever shake. See you on my next blog where I’ll share with you how to leverage specific social media avenues to help you generate leads and traffic back to your site!

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Part 3: Using Google AdWords To Drive Traffic To Your Blog And Website

Part 3: Using Google AdWords To Drive Traffic To Your Blog And Website

Investing in Google AdWords and Facebook Ads to drive traffic and awareness

Organic traffic is always best. Why? Because it’s the ultimate by product of all the great work you’re doing online. If you are already ranking relatively high and you haven’t done any form of paid advertising to drive your rankings up, I’d say you’re doing the most important things right. But, don’t stop there – start looking at other related keywords that you’d also like to rank for. Building up relationships between multiple keywords and having all of that present on your website, blog, YouTube, and social media avenues is an excellent way to demonstrate to Google that you’re not just a “one trick pony.”

Paid advertising for special events (like workshops) and blog posts on Facebook have worked immensely well for some of my clients. Not only have these ads generated more Likes and traffic back to their Facebook pages and websites, they have also yielded a higher visitor-to-client ratio. This means that those people that click on a Facebook ad have a higher chance of purchasing from you. Granted, this is just what I’ve seen with five clients of mine… but, five is better than zero and Facebook ads can potentially (but, not always) be cheaper than Google AdWords campaigns.

Generating Leads Using Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

This method is BY FAR my favourite way of driving traffic to whatever online account you have. It’s an organic way of telling Google that you’re an expert in what you do and, therefore, deserve to get ranked as high as possible for a specific keyword. Your permalink, blog title, meta description, keywords, categories, and tags all represent something I like to call “SEO touch points.” If you’ve ever been to one of my Marketing Bootcamp Basics workshops, you’d know that these are the basic elements of any blog that Google uses to determine value and relevance. If you can nail every single one of those items consistently, then you’re well on your way to winning the rankings battle against your competition.

So, How Do You Use SEO To Increase Your Blog’s Rankings?

It’s actually easier than you may think. All five of these tactics (social media, email newsletter campaigns, guest blogging, paid advertising, and SEO) should be used in tandem with one another. But, if you have limited time and can choose only one, I would (obviously) recommend search engine optimization. It’s your best bet for not only driving qualified traffic, but also converting that traffic. The whole purpose of SEO is to tell Google you’re an expert on something, get them to rank you high for your search terms, and, ultimately, attract your IDEAL client.

Interested in learning how you can use SEO to transform your WordPress blog into a lead generating tool? Stay tuned for next blog on how to effectively navigate and utilize your SEO plugin.

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Part 2: How To Drive Traffic To Your Blog AND Increase Readership

Part 2: How To Drive Traffic To Your Blog AND Increase Readership

Let’s be honest here: Every business owner wants to generate leads with the least amount of blood, sweat, tears. Your goal is to build a business where clients come to you and you want these potential clients to already want and need your product and service. We call this wonderful phenomenon pre-qualified traffic. So let’s examine some tried and true methods of driving this kind of qualified traffic to your blog and website:

Using Social Media To Drive Traffic To Your Blog And Website

Social media is a great way to drive more traffic back to your blog and website for several reasons. It shows Google that you’re active when it comes to community building and the addition of a blog URL helps build up the number of simple, organic links back to your site. Almost every business owner has Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn – now would be a good time to use it. Post wisely, though. There are certain sweet spots when it comes to posting on social media especially when it comes to:

  • The number of times you need to post on each respective account
  • The time of day that you want to post
  • Be strategic with your accounts. Don’t post if you have nothing interesting or valuable to share with your followers and fans. The last thing you want to do is spam your potential and current customers.

Still not a believer that social media can be a powerful traffic generation tool? Then maybe this statistic will help: 26% of B2C marketers say that Facebook is the leading source of referred social media traffic back to their respective websites. Now that’s impressive.

Do Email Newsletters Work For Lead Generation?

A gentle word of caution to those that do email newsletters: Make sure you have a really STELLAR headline as the subject of your email. Your goal is to grab the attention of your readers – and potential clients – and to make them want more. You want them to be interested and, ultimately, invested in whatever it is you have to say. Remember that it’s so much easier to convert someone who already likes you. Sometimes all it takes is a delicate nudge to make a casual web visitor into a committed buyer.

Guest Blogging For Lead Generation

Yes, I am a huge fan of guest blogging. The reasoning is simple: By guest blogging, I am now able to put myself in front of a large audience that I a) possibly never would have been exposed to otherwise or b) while I might be able to get exposure to this same group through other means, reaching them all at once is a time saver. Guest blogging for sites that already have great traction means new eye balls on my content and quality links that mean a great deal to Google and other major search engines.

And, last but not least: Have you ever considered doing a Google AdWords or a Facebook Ads campaign to drive traffic back to your blog? Learn more in my next blog.

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Part 1: How To Blog For Lead Generation — The Straight Goods

Part 1: How To Blog For Lead Generation: The Straight Goods 

My good friend recently celebrated her betrothal to her now fiancé and the only people that showed up to toast the newly engaged couple with a frothy flute of champagne were their closest friends and immediate family. There were 10 of us in total. That’s it. Why, you ask? Because they didn’t want anyone else to show up. Let me explain…

This kind of a turnout is totally fine for a private family event. But, when it comes to your business, the rules completely change. Who in their right mind would want to write a blog if readers aren’t coming by for a visit? Blogs must be well-written, well-researched, and, in my honest opinion, fascinating enough to retain the interest of even the most lazy readers. These kinds of blogs take time to write – I know some business associates who spend hours, days, and weeks lamenting and perfecting their blogs. Does this sound like you?

65% of Blogs Lay Dormant

More than 65% of blogs lay dormant where the only readers are the author (yay!) and possibly some overseas spammers for cheap diet pills (nay!). In other words, these blogs see no traffic, “enjoy” a sparse readership and, sadly, don’t convert at all. So, what’s happening here? If you’re experiencing this problem, the first question to ask yourself is: Did you send out any invitations? Or, are you like my newly engaged friend who didn’t send out any invites at all save for one created on Facebook?

I think it’s safe to say that people can only really visit your blog and website if they’re invited. There are a number of ways to invite people into your blogosphere:

  • Shared links with other high profile blogs and websites
  • Social media plugs from yourself and other businesses
  • Contests and giveaways (use sparingly)
  • Email newsletters (keep ‘em short and sweet)
  • Good ol’ SEO tactics to entice Google to rank you higher

Entice Google Into Ranking You Higher Using SEO

I use the word “entice” here because not only do you need to make your readers like what you write, you must also make Google value your content. Your job is to always be able to strike a fine balance between the creative (ideas and pitch) and the technical (search engine optimization). Grabbing your reader’s attention and giving them what they want — while also appealing to Google’s savvy search bots — should be right at the top of your priority list when creating blogs.

I’ve said this to my students and clients before: Just because you build it, does NOT mean they will come. So… how are YOU going to get your blog posts read? Actually, the better question here is: How are you going to use your blog for lead generation? Stay tuned for my next instalment where I’ll be sharing with you some of my tried and true ways of driving more traffic — AND increasing readership — to your blog.

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The Benefits Of Having A Monetized Website – Part 3

Unlike your store or office, your website is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This makes it extremely convenient for all your potential and existing customers to find out information about your products and services anytime – no matter where they are in the world.

Unlike a brick and mortar store, you’re not bound by time or location. You now have a secondary sales person that works for you all day long – and won’t charge you for overtime.

The Economics Of Being Online

It really is quite simple, folks. When you start selling online, you start SAVING MONEY. When you’re online, you have the ability to not only sell your products and services, you also get to sell yourself and your brand. Our best advice to you is to be as involved as possible in the information and sales process on your website. Through a variety of free online tools, you can use your website to see:

  1. How your customers are interacting with your products and services depending on what pages they visit.
  2. What your clients are like in terms of gender, purchase behaviour, country of origin, and the kind of device they are using to view your site.
  3. How well your site is performing and insight into how you can improve the user experience.

 
You want to be able to optimize your site in terms of design and content to ensure you’re converting your visitors into paying customers. This is how you can use your website to adjust your online marketing strategy in real-time. This is how you can consistently stay interesting and relevant to your customers. And, this is how you turn your website into a secondary source of lead generation.

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Determining Website ROI Using Google Analytics

We’ve just measured acquisition, target market profiles, and engagement. So how do you determine whether all your hardwork actually paid off?

 

Step one is to examine your KPIs:

1. Did your sales increase?

2. Did your costs decrease?

3. Did your fan base and number of Likes increase?

4. Have you been getting lots of positive feedback on blog posts?

5. Are you managing your community building efforts adequately?

6. Has your Events and Visitor Flow lengthened?

7. Are you getting more newsletter signups?

 

This is your opportunity to determine your website’s ROI using Google Analytics.

 

Know Your Goals, Know Your Customer

 

I’m going to keep stressing this fact. Keep your numbers simple, digestible, and, most importantly, actionable. Remember, that in order to know whether or not you’re achieving your company’s goals and objectives, you have to measure your results and determine what’s working — and what’s clearly not working — in your campaign.

 

You cannot sell something to someone who doesn’t like your product or your sales pitch. Know who your target market is and how they like to be communicated with. It is here that you’ll be able to identify where you have opportunities to grow even more. Adapting your online marketing and sales strategy is a highly effective way to ensure you’re reaching your target market in a way that’s interesting and relevant — all the time.

 

So, What’s Next?: Facebook Insights and Hootsuite Analytics

 

Now that we’ve examine my #1 favorite analytics tools, my next — and very exciting webinar series — will actually focus on my OTHER two favorite tools which are Facebook Insights and Hootsuite Analytics. Both are free and can give you extremely powerful insights into consumer behavior quickly and effectively.

 

Make it a fantastic day and I’ll see you all soon =)

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