I hope you find my writing and business tips and observations useful. My business and blog are dedicated to helping businesses communicate clearly and reach their potential. Read, subscribe to my newsletter, enjoy!Tash

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Searching people are important

For me, once you take out emails and website admin tasks (including writing blog content), then my key activity online would be using a search engine to find something. Apparently I’m not alone – this is the most common activity after emailing.

Which of course means that people searching are an important part of your online presence – if your site doesn’t get in search results and doesn’t help people landing on the site from a search engine then you are risking a potentially large market.

What’s more, if someone is searching the odds are they are willing to buy – I know I wouldn’t bother searching for a local dentist unless I want a new dentist or search for ‘computer mouse retailer’ for fun. So it seems logical to me that someone reaching your site from a relevant search engine search is likely to want your product/service. Especially in comparison to someone who is just curious about their friend’s latest social media like or follow.

Given the potential importance of people visiting your site from a relevant search, why would anyone waste their time getting people to visit from an irrelevant search? For instance, I am happy if you found my site (and blog) through a search for ‘business writer’, ‘blog content’ or ‘writing eBooks’ but see no point enticing you with ‘childcare provider’ or ‘dress maker’. It costs me time and possibly money to get found via a search engine so I don’t want to waste it on people who are not interested in my services – and I don’t want to waste their time and put them off side either.

So how can we help get the right search engine results? Here are my suggestions, and I’d love to hear everyone else’s ideas, too, as I won’t say no to more targetted traffic, either!

  • use appropriate keywords in your writing (ie repeat those words you think people may use to find you)
  • minimise the repetition of words that are not relevant to your message – for example, you may be a  designer writing about your latest website project but avoid writing ‘medical business’ too often as you discuss the work
  • build up some links to your site – quality content is the key here but it does take a bit more than that
  • if looking for backlinks (ie links form other sites to yours), ask them to use appropriate text for the link and aim for related sites. Use the same strategy if someone offers to link to you, or even ask anyone who has added a link without contacting you
  • add page-relevant keywords to your blog tags or page metadata as this helps direct a search engine to the right topics. Note I wrote page-relevant so don’t just use the same words on every page – for example, my tags for this post will be ‘search’, ‘keywords’ and ‘relevant’ which would not work on many of my other pages

Of course, it is crucial to write contact of interest to real people and tweak it for search engines rather thna write for search engines and hope people find the hidden meaning.

How else can you get good search engine traffic to your site/blog?

Refining your Google searches

If you’re like me, you use Google and similar search engines frequently and know a few tricks to make your searches as useful as possible.

Here are a few tips you may or may not use – and if you have some others, please add them to the comments so I can learn them, too!

  • restrict a search to one site by using site:wordconstructions.com.au
  • search for something specific on only one site by using the word and the site only command report writing site:wordconstructions.com.au
  • find the definition of a word with define:gerund
  • exclude a term from your search using a minus sign, so writer -fiction will bring results for writers without mention of fiction writing
  • include all similar uses of a word or term by adding the tilde sign; for example, ~ article
  • maintain certain spelling of a word or term with a plus sign so + Sidney will not bring up all the Sydney sites in a Sidney search
  • use * to replace any word, such as in professional * writer
  • find related sites usingrelated:wordconstructions.com.au
  • find a specific file type in a search – if you want to find only word docs about spelling, for example, you enter spelling filetype:doc
  • find all sits linking to a site or page usinglink:www.wordconstructions.com.au
  • do a general search without risk of finding inappropriate (ie adult) content using safesearch:breast   cancer
  • find out about a specific page usinginfo:www.wordconstructions.com.au/ebook.php
  •  use quotation marks to refine the search to your exact term; that is, “business writer” will give results about business writers only rather than results for all references to writer and/or business

Hope they help!

What are people searching for?

Look at your web stats and some of the keyword tools available and find out what terms people are really using to find your website.

Are they the words you expected? More importantly, are they the words you are using in the content of your site?

For example, you have an article on your site about Crimson Rosellas but discover most customers search for information on red parrots (because they don’t know the name of the bird). It isn’t hard to add red and parrots to your list of keywords in the site meta data and adjust the article itself to include ‘red parrots’ at least once. 

Having relevant keywords is good; having relevant keywords that your potential customers actually use is much better.

Have you played with keywords and seen positive results in website traffic? Share your story 🙂

Personalised search plus content

In 2010, Google is introducing personalised search where your site preferences will impact on the search results you get. For example, if you often read my blog, it will rank higher when you use a relevant search term than it may have done if you didn’t regularly visit here.

What is interesting is that Google has found  a way to encourage good content rather than search engine optimisation (SEO ) ‘strategies’ so the search results we are given are less likely to be junk. Rob at Just Web explains it as “If the content you provide to the visitor is rubbish, it is less likely they will return. So the end results is you may get one visit from that user, but they are less likely to consider you a future source of information.

This is another move by Google to ensure it gives priority to good content.”

So although there are some simple SEO techniques that are worth using on your website, I stand by quality content as the main way to be successful with search engines and site visitors.

Promoting a blog

Most people who start a blog would like to have some people read it 🙂 And many would like more people to read their blog – whether it is to promote their business, share their passion or express their opinions and experiences, they want someone to read what they have written.

So how can you promote your blog, getting more readers?

I have found a few blog posts recently that cover parts of this topic so I thought I would share them before I gave any tips of my own…

How to Drive Traffic to Your Blog Through Word of Mouth Marketing

Powering Up Your Blog With These 26 Power Lists/Rankings (the list is handy, but the site isn’t impressive with many faulty images, etc)

101 Internet Traffic Generation Strategies – Part 1 Not all the tips will be relevant to your blog, but you may get some ideas.