1. Use Google Webmaster Tools
Google Webmaster Tools is a very powerful tool to determine where you are with your website and what you have to do to get to where you want to be. When you first set up a new site, or before you do work on your existing site, use GWT to to set a baseline. Once you have a baseline, you can make minor changes, or have someone make minor changes and determine if the changes are influencing traffic. You can measure click through rate, average rankings, link building targets, and get ideas for new pages, articles and blogs. For example, you might want to look at your meta descriptions and make sure they are not just stuffed with keywords but are unique, relevant and compelling. Meta tags and meta descriptions have been downplayed because they are no longer part of the search algorithm, they have a big influence on click through rates. Whether you manage your own SEO, or you use an outside firm, make sure you are connected to Webmaster Tools and learn how to use it to improve your results.
2. Call-To-Action on every page:
Generating traffic is only part of the solution because traffic without conversion is just traffic. The primary objective for a retail agency should be generating qualified leads that can be converted into actual premium dollars. Regardless of whether you are trying to drive actual quotes, leads, or both the page on which the searcher lands requires a call-to-action. Not only should there be a call-to-action it HAS to be the very first thing the person sees once they land on ANY page on your site.
3. Long Tail:
Long-tail key search terms are the Internet salvation for small business. The keyword “insurance” gets 301,000 clicks per month, which means, if you could optimize your site to come number one for the word insurance, you would create around 84,000 clicks. At a 1.5%, conversion rate that equals 1,260 leads per month.
Which is why the big names with big budgets own the top spots. In order to compete, you need to use your strength. Local search. People still want to deal locally with someone they go see, or at least call. Even if they buy from you online and never walk into your office, there is a peace-of-mind of dealing with someone locally.
Long-tail key search terms allow you to compete locally. For example if I lengthen the keyword “insurance: to “insurance quotes” the number of monthly global searches drops from 301,000 to 135,000 per month. Arguably someone entering “insurance quotes” is more likely to be shopping than someone who entered “insurance” who could be doing some research on the word. When I narrow the search even more by adding California to the search term the number of average monthly searches drops to 260. And finally when I replace California with Orange County the average number of searches doesn’t appear because there isn’t enough volume for Google to track it. The point is to look at many long-tail key search terms. Test them and see if your competitors come up in the results. By optimizing your site for many long-tail key search terms, with decent traffic and lower competition, you generate a decent amount of qualified traffic that you have a higher chance of converting.
4. Blended Search and Vertical Search
Blended Search is search across different modalities of media such as text, video, news and blogs. The idea is to leverage one search term across as many kinds of media as possible.
Vertical Search is directed to a specific industry using a term like “livery insurance”. This term doesn’t mean anything to people outside of the transportation industry. Create a custom mini-search engine or directory related to the industry (Google and Yahoo provide this service) and imbed it into your website. Doing one, or both of these things positions you as an authority and provides you with additional qualified traffic.
In addition to keeping you top-of-mind with your prospects and customer, e-newsletters establish, or maintain your reputation as an authority on the subject matter for which you are trying optimize your website. Nothing new there. That’s what newsletters have done for years. In the electronic world e-newsletters also build links, are more affordable, and can be tracked and analyzed so you can see what content resonates with your readers so you can communicate with them more effectively.
These are 5 quick ideas that will have a positive effect on your search results. If you are doing something else, or would like to elaborate on these ideas, we would love to hear from you.