We aren’t even a month into 2016, but it’s a safe bet that many who set goals on January 1—go to the gym three times a week, nix that Ben & Jerry’s habit—have already gone back to their old ways. But there are people who manage to stick to their plans. In many ways, setting up goals for your business is like making New Year’s resolutions. The same tactics that work to make personal resolutions stick—like making a concrete plan, breaking a big goal into smaller benchmarks, and not letting one slip-up torpedo the whole thing—can apply to business goals, too. Here’s our advice for making four common website goals a reality.
Your Resolution: Improve Your Rankings
How to Keep It: Optimize Your Site
Search engines work to deliver web users the most relevant content possible, but for every change to search algorithms, there are always spammers working nearly as hard to find ways to game search results. It takes work to get your website to the top of the search rankings, but it also takes work to stay on top. To know what you need to reach this goal, a website audit is a great place to start. Between on-page optimization (the stuff site visitors see) and off-page optimization (the stuff only search bots see), there are plenty of areas where your site may need sprucing up. An audit can also let you know if there are other aspects of your website that could be improved. Search engines have been placing a stronger emphasis on UX, so factors like your page load time and ease of navigation are also worth a look.
Your Resolution: Get More Qualified Leads
How to Keep It: Make Targeted Landing Pages
Everyone knows that it costs less money to keep an existing customer than to get a new one, but how can you save money when you are looking for new customers? Putting those pennies toward getting more qualified inbound leads will help you get a better ROI. These people aren’t just in your target market; they’ve already expressed interest in you! How do you find these folks? A carefully targeted PPC campaign that directs web users to a well designed, compelling landing page is just the ticket. Both require a regular commitment as well as a little trial and error in order to make this plan work. Your keyword targeting needs to be monitored and adjusted as needed, and testing different versions of your landing page (or even regularly tweaking one page) can help you figure out what turns those clicks into leads.
Your Resolution: Increase Social Media Sharing
How to Keep It: Focus on One Platform
Start out slowly, focusing your efforts on just one social network so that you have a chance to learn the ropes. If you try to put yourself on every social channel at once, you’re likely to have one or two crazy weeks filled with posts, pins, and tweets, followed by an endless stream of dead air. Once you’ve chosen your platform, it’s okay to “just watch” at first—you don’t need to dive right in to the conversation. Remember how embarrassing it was when you were a teenager, and your mom or dad tried to use the kind of slang that (as a parent might say) “all the kids are into these days”? Social media users get that same cringe-worthy feeling when a brand or business acts in a way that doesn’t feel natural. Follow other users—peers, aspirational businesses, and blogs or websites that are specific to your location or industry—and jump in when it makes sense as part of your brand. (You don’t need to hop on the bandwagon every time there’s a new hashtag.) Regularly post relevant content from your own site, share value-boosting content from others, and chime in when the timing’s right, and you’ll get to feel like one of the popular kids.
Your Resolution: Drive More Traffic to Your Site
How to Keep It: Blog for Long-Tail Keywords
We’ve said time and again that high-quality, thick content is key to search rankings, and that regularly blogging is a smart way to go about adding that kind of value to your site. If you’re specifically hoping to bring in more buyers, take your blogging up a notch by going after “long-tail” keywords. Visualize a graph of all of the search terms that bring visitors to your website. It’s likely to look like a big hump (the keywords that are frequently searched) that then trails off. That trailing off is referred to as the “long tail.” These are often keywords that are related to your products or services but that aren’t covered by individual pages on your website. You’re already getting a few visitors looking for that keyword even though your website doesn’t have any content on that topic (which implies that you do show up on SERPs). It stands to reason that you can get those people and more if you do have content on that topic. Even better, these keywords often have less competition on SERPs, so you give yourself a good shot at having a strong ranking. Broadening the topics that you cover can also keep you in search engines’ good graces—it demonstrates that you have expertise and a commitment to natural content, two plusses when it comes to sites they want to recommend to web users.
Need help keeping your website on target to reach your goals in 2016? We can help! Call Higher Power SEO today at 760-881-4736, or contact us online.