I’m sure you get emails just like I do everyday telling you how to obtain all the online traffic you could ever imagine; and it requires little time or money. If you get these, run away and do not click on it for any reason because there are 2 main reasons you are not getting the type of traffic you want; Google can’t find you and/or Google has no idea what you are about. Let’s take each one of these and drill down a little further.
Google Can’t Find You
The first thing to realize is that unless you are in a very specialized niche market, you are not the only one in town, in the state or in the nation doing whatever it is you do. That means you should get an idea of who your competition is and what they are doing online. You must also realize that you may be in a category that is highly competitive and that means you will have to do even more to be found.
It is still amazing to me how many people believe that once their website is built they’re done! If this is what you’re thinking then you really are done; online. The idea of “build it and they will come” has been disproved so many times I’m not going to go into it again here. Just know that after a website is built, the real work begins. That’s because being indexed in Google and other search engines is not enough. You have to work to get the right links, citations, reviews, mentions, articles, videos, podcasts, etc., etc, etc. to get ahead and stay ahead of the crowd. This means you will either be doing it yourself, which take a lot of your time or paying someone else to do it for you, which means it costs money.
In the town I live in I typed into Google “my town bank” (with the quotation marks so I would get an exact match) and got back “about 10,700,000 results” This simply means that out of all the banks in my town there are about 10,700,000 pages competing for the top 10 positions on Google. So you have a chance of 1 in 1,070,000 of achieving that ranking in the organic search. If I put “my town my state bank” the results are “about 68,700 results” or 1 in 6,870. Now think about how you are listed on your website and the terms you are associated with.
As you can see, it will be easier to be found if you are competing against 68,700 pages instead of 10,700,000 pages. This brings me to the next item on our list.
Google has No Idea What You are About
The first thing you need to understand is that Google ranks pages, not websites. The rank you have on your home page is for that page only; not the entire website. Every page on your site needs to be about something particular so your pages are not competing with each other. While this seems impossible, it’s not. Let’s take the bank example and look at how a bank can divide and conquer in the online space.
One tactic is to divide your pages by location. While this is very doable, it can be tricky because of local and map search technologies. Make sure you consult someone who understands local search, and not everyone in search does, who can help you through the local search maze if you have multiple locations.
Another approach is to divide your pages by services; your home page would be toward your overall bank and you would have your other pages highlight your services. For example you might talk about the history of the bank and why your customers can trust the bank with their money on the home page. You may then put up category pages that are topical as in mortgages, savings, CD’s, etc.
The biggest mistake companies and people make are talking about the same things on multiple pages and using the same wording and keywords for descriptions of those things. Remembering that the search engines see each individual page as a place where information is stored and they will pull up the best information that can be found that is indexed. If you talk about the same things on each page you are in essence competing with yourself; thus Google, Bing and the other search engines see a bunch of pages talking about the same things so they dismiss your website as confusing.
So how do you compete? Be very targeted and concise and choose your market well.