Your website may sometimes feel like a ship lost at sea.
You look around everywhere, but there’s no land in sight.
The reason you feel so lost is because you either get little or no traffic to your website.
I remember when I first started AutoGrow and we had less than 500 visits per month. We really had to hustle then to drum up sales, especially offline. It was a lot of work.
If you do get traffic, it’s probably not the right kind. It doesn’t convert or turn into quality leads.
If you’re not getting traffic, you’re wondering what you need to do to change that. You’re also wondering how to generate the right kind of traffic, the kind that will get customers to opt in and buy.
Your website is indeed like a ship, but instead of looking hopelessly for land, you should be seeking out a “port.” There, you can dock and do trade.
On the Internet, search engines represent that port because the goal of a search engine is to match you up with people searching for what you have to offer.
If you can dock at the right port, you can attract and convert those leads, in turn growing your business. If you can’t find land in the first place though, it’s never going to happen.
That’s why SEO is so critical, and it’s the reason why my team and I no longer have to go offline to hunt for business.
SEO is about linking up and doing business with people who are already in the market for what you’re selling. The problem is, most people will overlook one of the most important aspects of SEO, which is choosing the right keywords.
If you get the keywords right, it’s a lot easier to get and keep that high-quality traffic. Not only that, but you’ll get the right kind of traffic.
In this article, I’m going to explain what those kinds of keywords are and how you can generate them yourself. You can do this in as little as a few hours.
I’m also going to show you some case studies of successful traffic growth for companies that knew how to pick the right keywords.
Here we go!
Three Steps for Keyword Generation
Step # 1: Brainstorm and Identify Keyword Opportunities
It’s best to start with identifying keyword opportunities.
For the sake of this article, I’m defining a keyword as one or more search words or a phrase that someone types into Google.
By identifying keyword opportunities at the beginning of the keyword generation process, you avoid looking at what you already have and assuming it’s right (which it may not be). That wastes time and energy.
Instead, you can focus your attention on looking at what people are searching for and using that as a blueprint for how to improve or create additional landing pages and blog content.
For example, let’s say you’re selling blue squares and pink triangles (creating I know…).
Someone is searching online for “pink triangle reviews” or “blue square services.”
If you only have one page that matches up with one of those searches, you’ll notice there’s a gap where you can fill in more of those pages for related searches, like a review (“blue square reviews”) or a page that gives pricing info for the service (“blue square pricing”).
Instead of guessing which pages to make, you’re using real-time data to figure it out.
You should identify keywords using tools like:
- Google Trends
- Google’s search keyword tool (which requires an AdWords account to use)
- Google Keyword Planner
As you’re doing this, pay special attention to search intent.
What is search intent?
Search intent is a self-descriptive term that means judging or understanding what a person is looking for and why they are looking for it.
For example, “blue square service reviews” likely means someone wants to buy a blue square but want to make sure they trust the company and have clearer expectations first.
There are different kinds of search intent. These are informational, commercial, and transactional.
Informational intent means someone is seeking out information on a certain topic.
Commercial intent is also informational, but it is research-oriented towards a specific product or service. The person is looking for information to make a purchasing decision (like “done-for-you funnel service” at AutoGrow). The people searching with this intent are often not ready to buy yet.
With transactional intent, the person is ready to buy. Their searches may include specific words to indicate this like “pricing,” “sign-up,” or even “buy.”
Step #2: Make a List of the Critical Landing Pages in Your Funnel Journey
With this next step, it’s important to think from the customer’s perspective. Now that you’ve chosen some keyword opportunities, you want to look at where you are in terms of your sales funnel.
Do you have a blog?
Do you have informational subpages? (If your website was a wheel, think of these subpages as the spokes).
List out all those pages. Then categorize those pages at a different level of your funnel.
At the top of your funnel, you should have your informational pages. The commercial pages should be in the middle. Your transactional pages, like the pricing, sign-up, features, or check out, should go at the bottom of the funnel.
Then you’re going to link up your keywords and your landing pages.
You want to think about it again in terms of those three categories (top, middle, and bottom).
You can also relate this to that famous phrase from Glengarry Glen Ross where Alec Baldwin says “always be closing.”
The idea of the customer journey being top, middle, and bottom can be related to AIDA, or “awareness, interest, decision, and action.”
This is the potential journey a customer will go on. They’ll start at the top of the funnel, go through your blog posts, and then move along into your pages where you target people who have commercial and transactional intent.
Customers may sometimes enter your funnel at the bottom, starting with your pricing page. That’s not typical, but it does happen.
You want to diagram it out. You can also put it into a spreadsheet, arranging pages by top, middle, and bottom.
Make sure your keywords are aligned with the placement of the landing page in your funnel journey.
We’re linking up the keywords with the pages. If there’s no page to be linked up based on a keyword opportunity you found, that’s an opportunity to create a landing page or a blog post to attract those people.
Now, keep in mind that you don’t want to go after every single keyword because there are multiple variations of the same keyword. You can include some overlapping keywords.
That said, as a general rule, you want to have one landing page for each keyword you use. Don’t get overwhelmed. You don’t have to roll out landing pages all at once for every single keyword.
You can step simply: one new page per week and grow from there.
You really want to focus hard on those keywords with transactional intent first. Then work your way up the funnel.
With transactional keywords, if you rank well, you’re going to get the most bang for your buck. Those are keywords that are most closely linked to generating revenue.
Compare that to informational keywords. Someone may come to your blog, read it, and maybe sign up for your email list at best. It could be a while before they convert into paying customers though.
That’s why you want an automated nurture sequence.
So where do you place your keywords, anyway? Use your own best judgment when selecting the keyword fit.
This is where you’re saying that because this keyword is in that category (e.g. “best pink square tools” would be at the top of your funnel where people just want information)) and this page idea (e.g. a blog post) is in that category, you know that keyword should be the target keyword for the page you’ve created or will create.
Step #3: Rewrite Your Title tags, Meta Tags, and H tags
Once you’ve made all those pairings (top of the funnel keyword to top of the funnel page, etc.), you want to go ahead and rewrite your title and meta tags for each of the pages. This should include H1 and H2 (HTML header tags which look like this: <h1>Headline Text</h1>). P tags (paragraph text) should be done separately.
It’s best to start with the title tags since these will draw in the most traffic and have the biggest impact in terms of what Google analyzes to determine where you place each of your pages in its search index.
Next, do meta tags, and then finish by rewriting the H1 and H2 tags.
Avoid keyword stuffing, which is filling your content with keyword-heavy fluff (e.g. <title>Best blue square service New York, local blue square service NYC, custom blue square done-for-you</title>).
You get the idea.
The best rule of thumb is to target one keyword per page.
Lastly, remember to write for your audience first (humans) and algorithms (Google) second.
Want bonus points?
As you are rewriting your title and meta tags, make it interesting.
This is what people will see when they search for you on Google. Many more people will see your title tag than will actually click. So, do include the keyword, but write compelling copy that will make a greater percentage of people want to click.
After all, the higher the click-through rate, the better your search ranking will be and the more traffic you’ll get overall.
Case Studies Examples: Companies That Used Keyword Generation for More Website Traffic
Here are some examples of real companies using keyword generation strategies like the “funnel-focused” one I taught you above.
Startup TINT Sees 2,600% Rise in Search Traffic with SEO
With startups, it’s sink or swim. That’s why when Ryo Chiba cofounded TINT, he knew he had to make a good impression fast.
TINT wasn’t getting much traffic to its landing page for Hypemarks, its main product. Chiba decided to change his SEO approach, focusing much more on keyword generation.
He researched which keywords his competitors were using. Once he found some good keywords, Chiba inserted these in TINT’s page URLs. Then he rewrote landing pages to accommodate for the keywords.
In just three months, TINT’s site traffic skyrocketed to 2,600%. Direct traffic was up by nearly 4,000 visitors, referral traffic jumped by more than 3,500 visitors, and search traffic was up by more than 15,000 visitors.
Success at School Gets Huge 1,005% Uptick in Traffic by Using Keyword Generation
Employment information resource Success at School got decent monthly traffic, but the organization knew it could be better. Thus started a nine-month effort to get more traffic through SEO practices.
First, Success at School redid its content strategy and began planning for the long-term. Then, the organization retooled its writing based on SEO best practices. By doing this, the organization got more advertising and sponsorship opportunities. More teachers and students were reading the site’s blog as well.
Then, the organization did an SEO audit, which included initial competitor keyword research.
Using Google Keyword Planner and SEMRush Pro, Success at School found valuable keywords.
Then these keywords were put into use.
There was more content on the site more often. The blog writers included internal links and rewrote metadata with the keywords in mind.
This all lead to a traffic spike of 1,005%. In three months alone, there was a 38% jump in traffic.
UAV Coach Sees Six-Month Organic Traffic Increase
As a niche site, UAV Coach had its work cut out. The site is about remote control helicopters and drones. The company wanted to promote its eBook, “How to Fly a Quadcopter — The Ultimate Guide.”
UAV Coach went through a six-step process to find the best keyword. This included keyword research (with the resulting keyword “how to fly a quadcopter”), content creation, on-page SEO, list building, content promotion, and link building.
The process worked well. UAV Coach had 2,335 new subscribers to its email list. Traffic was up by 24.1% in six months. The company also appeared as the top result when someone searches “how to fly a quadcopter.”
The keywords you use on your landing pages have a lot to do with the traffic you get. If you’re not getting as much traffic, or if the traffic isn’t high-quality, it’s time to look at your keywords (or lack thereof).
- When it comes to aligning the layers of your sales funnel, view it as a journey from top to bottom. The top layer is informational, the second layer is commercial, and the third layer is transactional.
- Your customers may take that whole journey or come in at the middle.
- Arrange your keywords according to the three layers and identify gaps that are opportunities to create content which will grow your traffic for that step in your funnel.
- Once you select the best keyword fit, rewrite/write your title tags first, your meta tags second, then your H1 and H2 tags.
Which keywords are you using for your landing pages? How does the applying the funnel journey concept to keyword generation help you think about your SEO strategy? Are you going to follow my five tips for better keyword generation? Let me know in the comments below.
Keep Hustlin’, Stay Focused