You’ve got an eye-catching website, active social media pages, an engaged mailing list, a useful blog and a great lead magnet to tempt in potential customers, but the truth is that you could have ALL of this and still only be found by a handful of people every month, which is an issue when you are looking for new business opportunities!
Thankfully, the answer to increasing your visibility online can be relatively simple, if you’ve got a little time you can invest in some keyword research, search engine optimisation (SEO) and paid-for advertising on Google (Google Ads), or know someone who can!
The likelihood is that at the moment, most visitors reach you as a result of your physical networking activities, or through recommendations from your existing customers. However, there are thousands of people out there who don’t yet know your business name or are following you on Social Media, but who are looking for the exact product/service mix that you deliver.
So how can you find them? First of all, you need to carry out some keyword research to establish exactly what people are searching for online. Here are my top tips for keyword research:
1.) Use a keyword planner tool to investigate how people might search for your business. Tools like Answer the Public – https://answerthepublic.com/ – and Ubersuggest – https://neilpatel.com/ubersuggest/ – are free and can help you understand how people are actively searching for the products and services you offer when they type questions or queries into a search engine search bar.
2.) Consider using less jargon – unless the majority of your customers work within the same industry as you and have a similar technical knowledge, jargon-filled keywords might not be the best choice! However, it’s worth double-checking search volumes (the number of people searching for specific keywords every month) for both jargon terms and more ‘mainstream’ language, to double check the terminology that people are using to find services and products similar to yours online. Once you’ve worked out which word (technical or otherwise) best describes a particular product/service you offer, make a note of it (and any other relevant phrases that you can find!).
3.) Don’t use the name of your Business as a keyword (unless you are a huge and well-known brand). Ideally, you want people who don’t know you and your business to find you online, opening up your audience beyond your existing clientele, so using a more descriptive keyword could help you achieve this. Of course, if you’re an international soft drinks manufacturer with a highly recognisable red can or another global and instantly recognisable brand, feel free to rely on your brand name!
4.) Don’t be too general – it may seem as though targeting a general search term with thousands of monthly searches is a great idea, but you need to be more specific if you want relevant and meaningful traffic to your website. For example, if you’re an IT specialist (a keyword that is searched for 14,800 times per month globally), it might seem like a great idea to use the keyword phrase ‘IT Specialist’, but you’re competing against hundreds, if not thousands, of other businesses doing exactly the same. Why not focus on a particular software or service that you are particularly experienced in as a potential keyword? For example, ‘Ruby on Rails developer’ is a lot more specific to what you do and there are far fewer developers out there offering that exact service, but there are still 2400 global monthly searches for that phrase.
Once you have carried out keyword research for your business, it’s then time to boost your website visibility by optimising one relevant page on your website for each highly relevant keyword. If you’ve got a WordPress website, tools like Yoast can help you achieve this, but the general advice is to incorporate your chosen keyword into the following places:
– The page title
– In the URL slug
– As an H1 Heading on the page
– Incorporated naturally into the content on the page
– As an alt-tag for one image on the page
– In the Meta-description (or snippet) for the web-page
Once you have optimised your website, it can take a little time for your pages to start ranking for your chosen keywords, so be patient! You could always invest in some Google Ads (using your highly relevant keywords) until the organic search results get moving properly, and thanks to the research you’ve carried out you can work to ensure that your Ad spend is as low as possible, whilst the relevance of your adverts remains as high as possible.
Keyword Research, on-page optimisation and paid for advertising via Google Ads can be a great way of boosting your website’s visibility online, so why not do a little keyword research today?
It’s a useful and interesting marketing exercise.