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The Importance of Keyword Research

You have a great website designed to connect you with new customers and clients. It contains the most important information about your company and your brand, about the services you offer and how to get in touch. All the pieces are in place. 

So… why aren’t leads rolling in? The answer could be your keyword and SEO strategy. 

Over our decades in digital marketing, we’ve seen this scenario play out time and time again. We work with clients who got a brand new beautiful website but can’t understand why they aren’t getting traffic or leads. Website traffic doesn’t necessarily mean leads. Leads will only come from quality traffic. Quality traffic comes to your website from any source that represents your exact target demographic. We’ve seen many websites that have a high quantity of traffic, but that traffic didn’t translate into meaningful connections or opportunities. Why? Because their website’s keyword structure didn’t match what their target audience was looking for. 

The Power of Keywords in Conversions

To better understand the relationship between website traffic and leads or conversions, it’s helpful to understand the difference between general website traffic and high quality website traffic. General website traffic is anyone or anything that visits your website. This includes actual visitors as well as non-human traffic like bots and search engines. The non-human traffic usually crawls your website to determine what your website is about. These often show up in your Google Analytics as visits. High quality traffic, on the other hand, represents the customer and clientele you’re trying to reach. High quality traffic often engages on multiple pages on your website, visits a few times before acting, or stays on page longer to read your content. 

Google Analytics is a critical tool used to gain a better understanding of your website’s performance. Google provides this free tool to allow you to track important data about your website, including who is visiting, where they came from, how long they stay on each page, which pages are popular, how many pages they view per visit, and equally as important – how quickly they leave your website and where they leave from.

Unpacking the Main Data Points of Website Traffic

By understanding the data in Google Analytics, you can begin to piece together a story outlining your website’s performance. For example, if you have a high amount of traffic, but no leads, it’s worth looking at your Bounce Rate. Your website’s Bounce Rate is the percentage of visitors that land on your website and then leave your website from that same page. A visitor who ‘bounces’ from the same page they entered your website either didn’t find the info they were looking for, didn’t get a good feeling or vibe, didn’t like pricing or ended up in the wrong place. How long they stay on this page is sometimes a good indication of whether or not they are in the right place. It all depends on the circumstance. 

For example, a website visitor might land on your homepage, find the exact info they were looking for, be confident in your company or brand, and decide to pick up the phone and call you directly. In this instance, what appears to be a low quality visitor is actually the highest quality visitor you can get. Numbers and data don’t always paint the picture. Sometimes it’s up to you to look at the big picture before you make decisions regarding your website.

Understanding Organic Traffic

One of the most important segments of website traffic is your organic traffic. This segment of traffic is representative of visitors who went to a search engine like Google, typed in a search query and landed on your website. In most cases, this is one of the highest quality, best converting sources of referral traffic you can get. Provided that what they searched is related to what you offer.

We have seen in many instances a website that has seemingly high organic traffic and no leads or conversions. In taking a deeper dive into Google Analytics, we were able to see that the Bounce Rate on average was sky high. By looking at what keywords and search queries were driving this traffic, we were able to quickly determine that the website ranked well for some totally unrelated keywords that were unintentional but had high search volume. So lots of people were searching for a very particular phrase that the website inadvertently ranked well for, and got lots of clicks. As soon as the visitor arrived at the site, it was apparent the website was not what they were looking for, and they left immediately. This contributed to a high volume of search traffic, a very low time on page, a low pages per visit and an astronomical Bounce Rate. Once we segmented out those particular keywords in the data, we could see a much clearer picture of what was really happening with the website’s other traffic.

The Harsh Truth About How *Other* SEO Agencies do Keyword Research…

Another common complaint we hear from clients is ‘….my website ranks on page 1 for this list of keywords my old agency gave me, but I don’t have any leads or sales.’ The first thing we always do is research the list of keywords the old agency was using. Almost always, the other agency has hand picked keywords that look great on paper, and might seem to be related to what the client is offering, but represent a very low search volume and thereby a low number of competition, which makes it easier to rank well for.

Many agencies have perfected this tactic. They perform keyword research to find a handful of keywords for you as a business owner to get excited about. What they’ve done is find a group of keywords that sound right, but that no one is searching for. These keywords can be a company’s name (which, unless you’re a Fortune 500 company, most people might not be searching for that because they don’t yet know you exist) or highly-technical explainers of your products/services. 

Other business owners and agencies see that no one is searching for those keywords, so they don’t actively pursue them, which equates to a low level of competition. Since no one is trying to rank for those keywords, it’s easier for someone to rank well in search engines for them. Essentially, an agency can show a business owner a list of keywords that seem solid, then eventually rank your website at the top of search engines and say ‘We did our job!’ Then you wait for the traffic and new business that never comes.

How Keyword Research Should Happen

At On Target, we pride ourselves in getting our clients results. At the end of the day, none of the above information should matter to a business owner. And for our clients, many don’t want to learn all the in’s and out’s of digital marketing. They simply want to run and grow their business. They’ve placed their trust in us, and want results. So we make it our core focus to give them that. If we don’t deliver tangible results, you won’t be a client of ours for very long. And our business is built on our reputation which can only come from delivering results.

Our search team goes to great lengths to perform extensive keyword research at the onset of any client project. This allows us to see the target keywords, how much monthly search volume each keyword represents and how much competition there is for each keyword. The perfect combination is a keyword that has high search volume, is relevant to your business and represents someone searching for what you offer and one that has a low amount of competition. These ‘low-hanging fruit’ keywords are usually where we start. Whether it’s PPC (pay-per-click) or SEO (search engine optimization), understanding your target keywords makes all the difference in the world.

Quality Keywords for our Quality Clients — the On Target Promise

If you’re a business owner looking to grow your business, we’d love to show you how our team is ready to help you do that. You might be coming to us with bad experiences and baggage, and we fully understand that it comes with the territory. 

We gladly work with black eye business owners who have been put through the ringer because we know that we do things differently. We take the time to explain how we operate transparently and offer no-risk engagements without long term contracts. If we’re doing our job and delivering results that you’re happy with, we continue to work for you, growing the relationship and our business at the same time. Happy clients means honest referrals, and there’s no better compliment than a referral. 

And it just so happens that referrals convert even better than high quality traffic!

Give us a call any time at 407-830-4550 or contact us here. We’d love to talk to you about growing your business the right way.