Many business owners are finding themselves in a frustrating situation: After spending thousands of Ringgits on a new website, the website is not getting any traffic. And there’s no money left in the budget to promote it.
Luckily, there is a solution.
Over the last few years, Google has increasingly focused on the quality of content on webpages. Its algorithm promotes content that has a “beneficial purpose”. If your website is not getting traffic, chances are it does not have enough content that Google recognizes as beneficial.
This is a problem that can be mitigated with on-page content optimization. Let’s start by looking at some of the most common mistakes we see many websites make … and how to fix them.
1. Trying to rank for overly-competitive keywords
One reason why your website is not getting traffic is that Google users are not able to find it.
The keywords included in your website are probably the same ones a lot of more established websites already target. Those websites are pushing your website out of the top Google results pages. For example, even though your business might be a “phone shop”, you can’t expect to get traffic from people looking for phones. There are dozens of more established phone sellers already occupying the top Google results positions.
Solution: You need to include keywords in your content that you have a better chance of ranking for. It’s what we call the “long tail” — obscure but relevant phrases and keywords that people search for but bigger competitors do not bother ranking for. The long tail is where hidden opportunities for traffic are. An example of this might be including your business area prominently in your content to grab searchers looking for “Mont Kiara phone shop”.
Pro Tip: The more long tail keywords you include, the more traffic you will get.
2. Using uncommon phrases that buyers do not search for
Buyers use Google to help them identify a problem they are facing or to find solutions. However, website owners usually do not develop content with this in mind.
We often see websites that are filled with proprietary terms, technical lingo, ambiguous phrases, or industry jargon. The content ends up not matching what buyers search for and therefore does not appear in their Google search results.
Solution: Think like a buyer. Include versions of search phrases that buyers are more likely to enter into Google. Also, include their pain points at various stages in their buying cycles in the content. I once had a client who sold an analytics solution to banks and had a website touting their impressive technical expertise. However, when I interviewed their sales team, I discovered that their prospects were looking for “customer compliance” — a phrase that was nowhere on their website.
Pro Tip: Use Google Suggest to surface the most common search phrases people use. Check out the “People Also Ask” box for more inspiration.
3. Having unengaging titles and page descriptions
Very often website owners don’t spend enough time considering what goes into the title and page descriptions of their webpages. They end up with plain and uninteresting titles that usually feature just the name of the business.
This presents a missed opportunity to engage Google users to entice them to click through and increase traffic. Page titles and descriptions not only feature on search engine results but also automatically form the headline on any post shared on social media.
Solution: Decide on the most important thing you want buyers to know about each page. Make sure the title and description accurately describe the content of the page. Write something persuasive with a strong promise or benefit for buyers. You may also cue the buyer’s interest by loading the title or description with keywords or phrases as long as you can keep it short and tight. Try not to repeat words or phrases to make the most of the limited number of characters on display.
Pro Tip: Don’t shy from using a click bait style of page title.
4. Having poor quality and insubstantial content
We often find websites that do not establish their “Expertise, Authority or Trust” (EAT). EAT is a set of criteria that Google uses to determine the level of content quality and strongly influences the ranking on its search pages. EAT is also a good way for you to tell if visitors will find your content interesting enough to click through and read. Websites that don’t establish EAT usually have content that’s too short, use too much jargon, or don’t demonstrate their subject matter expertise. This results in lower search results ranking and lower traffic.
Solution: Make sure that the content quickly demonstrates relevance to key visitors upfront, provides them with clear answers to the most pertinent questions, is well-structured and organized (preferably in lists), and does not duplicate other content found on the internet. All of these traits will show to Google and visitors that you have strong knowledge and expertise in your field and your content is worthwhile reading.
Pro-Tip: Get fresh ideas for your own content by analyzing the content of higher-ranking websites for your keywords to get a better understanding of why they are ranking higher.
How to Get Well-Written Expert-Level Content Quickly
The solutions and tips outlined in this article will take a great deal of time and effort to put into practice. But, an expert content writer with deep knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO) will know what to focus on, can quickly provide a strategy to mitigate content problems and develop expert-level content.
#humblebrag aside, providing content analysis, content strategy, and developing content are exactly what I do for businesses in Malaysia and around the world. My work helps drive more traffic to their websites and provide marketing content to their sales teams. Contact me today to find out what your website lacks and what can be done to successfully drive web traffic for you.