How to Increase In-Bound Traffic
by: Brandon Bobart
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I know there are a lot of legal or medical professionals out there scratching their heads right now, wondering how they can increase in-bound traffic. Or maybe they are wondering more specifically, how can I make the jump from from page 2 or 3 of Google’s SERP. As a small business owner, it is important you focus your energy on proven strategies that can increase your in-bound traffic, instead of taking some wild shots in the dark. I want to caution you, the SEO/SEM process is multi-faceted, and is definitely more of a marathon, than a sprint.
In my career I have spent some time working with local professionals improving their SEO to increase in-bound traffic. In-bound traffic is important to drive new business. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that our online systems are set-up for maximum success when it comes to driving new business.
Is Google Still The Boss?
It is important to understand that we focus on Google’s search engine in this blog because that is where the majority of web searches are completed. It’s also worth pointing out that since Google reached a net market share high of 78.23% in January 2019, it has seen a decline, with Bing and Baidu seeing small increases throughout this time. I also have read a statistic that Bing users will statistically be, on average, older than Google users as they are less likely to install a new browser when purchasing a desktop/mobile device.
Analyze Current Google Ranking
One of the first things, you want to understand is your own current ranking in Google’s search. This is determined by over 200+ ranking factors. There is no ONE way to improve your ranking. However, like all problems it is important to understand the issues before trying to solve the problems!
There are a couple of tools out there that any small business owner could use to audit their site for free. The first tool is Moz and the other is SEMRush. SEM Rush’s Domain Analysis tool is featured below. This tool will allow you to dozens of critical SEO/SEM tasks. Some of my favorite include:
- Social Media Poster-allows you to post a piece of content across all of your connect channels with a few clicks. Definitely a big time saver!
- Position Tracking- through this tool, you can understand how your ranking for predetermined keywords is changing over time.
- Simple reporting- ability to easily navigate and generate meaningful and clear reports to show you where your work is paying off and where you need to reexamine your tactics.
After you input your URL address into the bar, you’ll get tons of data on where you’re currently ranking, what keywords customers are using to find you, and where your visitors are finding you from. You can also explore all sorts of other keywords you may be missing when thinking about how customers find you! I think it is really important to spend some time with your sales and marketing team. Dive deep into the pain points that customers are trying to solve when they speak to them. From there, really dig into the potential long-tail keywords that could be ranked for.
Another great feature you can maximize while using your free trial of Moz or SEM Rush, is to perform a SEO audit of your website. This tells you a bunch of technical jargon about your website, that if you’re like most business owners, probably sounds familiar, but not information you could do much with. It reminds me of talking about car issues with my Dad! He always would tell me what was wrong, and while I thanked him for the helpful information, I had no clue what to do with it! If this sounds like you, reach out to our team, so we can dig into the jargon for you!
Backlink it up!
Backlinks are the # 3 ranking that Google uses to rate your website. It uses them to determine your website’s authority, which is extremely important. Tools like SEMRush above have a few great features that make them streamline for backlink acquisition. One of the first things I like to do when I am trying to learn about a new client, is to investigate their competition. Finding out who is backlinking your biggest competitors is great for a couple of reasons.
- Learn how your missed clients are finding your competitors. For example say I sell climbing gear. I realize that my competitors are earning backlinks and new clients through XYZ websites. This new information can inform my next outreach campaign
- See what types of content is interesting to your customers.
Armed with this new information, you can successfully transition into the next concept! Make engaging content!
Create Great Content
One of the things I see missing from most medical, dental, or legal websites I review involves a lack of compelling content!
Great content is first and foremost fulfilling a need in your hypothetical customer’s mind. You want to bring your customer into your website to learn and engage with your content. If they aren’t learning anything from your website they will most likely leave, or “bounce” to use some jargon!
When you think about creating content, I think about what questions my customers are asking me. I use sales calls and client meetings to really analyze the pain points in their various industries to understand how I can create content that solves those problems. By focusing on this strategy, instead of just creating content for every popular keyword, I can really focus on customers that are at the bottom of the sales funnel, versus those closer to the top.
For example, if we consider a local DUI attorney, the search, “What do I do if get a DUI?” may come up. Or if we use the current situation of COVID as inspiration, we could imagine a query like “symptoms of COVID” or “who tests for COVID” would be receiving a large volume of searches at the moment. Not only does this strategy drive solid content creation, but it is informing of various pay-per-click strategies.
Video is King!
We love video! So do your customers! I work with a SaaS company, TrustEase. We worked together to create an explainer video that conveyed the value addition of their product, so that we could distribute it in different, key channels.
The nice part about making high-quality video content is that it can be spliced up into smaller chunks for different purposes. It is also useful in all of your various marketing channels.
Check it out! Also, check out some of our other work!
Clear Landing Pages
First of all, what is a landing page? We see them every day! Here is a example from a medical office. As you can see, they have a very clear way to contact them, as well as other specific information about their practice, photos/bios of their team, address, etc. Each client needs to land on a page that is highly geared towards converting them. We work with clients to create optimized landing pages, and then link them to very targeted ad campaigns. This also lends itself to high-attribution rate, which simply means we can demonstrate where the traffic was coming from! Raelyn Tan has a great example of a optimized landing page.
Now that we understand what a landing page is, let’s discuss how they could impact the number of new clients calling your office. Let’s imagine we are running a paid ad on Google Ad words and Facebook. We spend SO much time figuring out what is going to make the customer click the ad. We run A/B tests to determine which ad had a higher click-through rate (CTR).
What we see wrong?
I often explore the ads run by many local legal and medical professionals. I often find that the ads are linking the customer to a home page. Now, don’t get me wrong, home pages are great. They usually do a great job of telling a visitor what your company does. Often they’ll even explain why they’re so great. However, the home page is not optimized for converting all clients.
Here’s a good infographic from a blog I found
Let’s go back to the DUI example. Imagine I am searching for DUI attorneys and start clicking through the web. I will find all sorts of information. However, what we want, is a chance to give the most specific information possible and as closely related to the search. If I find an attorney’s website that I like, and I click on the ad and do not see any specific information that relates to my search, I very likely will keep on searching. This leads to a low conversion rate.
Listen, if you find the notion of creating 7-10 different landing pages is overwhelming we understand. SEO agencies, like Pisgah Peaks, will certainly be able to guide in the direction of creating optimized landing pages, without the all the headache of actually developing the copy and communicating with the web developer, etc.
One of the finer points that many savvy business owners make when developing their web pages is to forget on-page optimizations such as Alt descriptions, slugs, meta description, etc. If you’re scratching your head, that is ok! Most business owners did not develop their own website. Speak to your web developer, or you can drop us a line.
However, if you are determined to do it on your own, there is a TON of content out there on google. The folks over at Backlinko came up with this great article on on-page SEO optimization.
Running a small business is tough. There are never enough hours in the day. The digital landscape is tough to survey if you don’t know how to keep score! If you ever have any general questions about SEO/SEM or driving more in-bound traffic, please let us know!
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