Lesson 8

Lesson 8

Welcome back!  In this lesson, we’re going to talk about two topics that are somewhat related:  Search Engine Optimization (“SEO”) and Website Tracking.

 

With regard to search engine optimization, we recognize the fact that the great majority of you will not have the time or the inclination to personally perform the tasks we’re about to describe to you.  Additionally, the “best practices” for search engine optimization are constantly evolving.  The SEO activities that might help your business today could actually hurt your business tomorrow.  Prescribing a specific set of procedures, therefore, could easily become outdated at any point in time.  With that in mind, our primary objective is to provide you with an overview of what search engine optimization is and how it works.  We’ll then discuss whether or not it would make sense for your particular business to pursue a search engine optimization strategy.  If you come to the conclusion that it would make sense for you to take advantage of the website traffic that can be obtained through search engine optimization, we will provide you with some sensible solutions for achieving that goal.

 

After we discuss search engine optimization, we will cover an absolutely vital part of your business:  tracking the activity of the people who visit your website.  This key data can easily mean the difference between having a positive cash flow or a negative cash flow.  In other words, if you don’t know the value of each of your website visitors, it will be virtually impossible to determine how much time and/or money you can afford to spend, to attract new customers to  your website.  On the other hand, when you can see exactly what people are doing when they go to your website (e.g. printing out a coupon, calling your company, filling out your contact or “Request a Quote” form, etc.), you’ll have the vital data necessary to grow your business in a way that will prevent you from over spending, to acquire new customers or clients.  Before we get into this important topic of tracking, though, let’s cover search engine optimization first:

 

Search Engine Optimization:  An Overview

Search engine optimization is the area of internet marketing that focuses on achieving a top position in the search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing.  Of course, Google is the top search engine that the majority of people use when searching for things online.  In that regard, SEO Experts typically focus on getting top rankings in Google.

 

The appeal behind search engine optimization is that it can be, in theory, a way to receive lots of free website visitors (i.e. “traffic”) to your website, without having to pay for advertising.  Of course, “in theory” is the operative term, in the preceding sentence.  In reality, most people who have spent any amount of time attempting to get this free traffic, by trying to get a top ranking in the search engines, have learned one thing:  It certainly is not free at all.  Specifically, even if you only employed free strategies, to try and get a top ranking in the search engines, it could, quite literally, take you hundreds if not thousands of hours to achieve this top ranking.  Clearly, everyone’s time is worth something, so spending hundreds or thousands of hours, to get a top ranking, is far from being free.  It should also be noted that there are highly trained professionals, who spend their full-time working hours, getting top rankings for their clients.  If you are running a business of your own, it’s rather unlikely that you could compete with these SEO professionals, who are often quite good at what they do.

 

Another unfortunate reality to search engine optimization is the fact that Google is constantly changing the criteria that they use to determine which sites rank at the top of their search engine.  It is widely believed that Google changes their criteria, known as Google’s “algorithm”, on a daily basis.  While many websites might retain a top ranking, despite these ongoing algorithm changes, many more websites lose their top ranking overnight, along with all of the “free” traffic that went along with it.  Unless you are regularly keeping yourself up to date, on the constant changes that the search engines are making, attempting to obtain or retain a top position could prove to be futile.

 

Unfortunately, many businesses are under the impression that they can simply set up a website or pay someone to set up a website for them, and everyone will suddenly find them online.  The common expression used in the internet marketing world is that this thinking is the equivalent of having a “billboard in the middle of the desert” and expecting everyone to see it.  Of course the internet is actually far larger than any desert, so even that analogy understates how incorrect it is to believe that people will find a website, simply because it’s online.

 

How Search Engine Optimization Works

While there are many factors that can contribute to obtaining a top ranking in the search engines, some of the main criteria include:

1.) Having high quality, relevant content on your website.

 

2.) Obtaining high quality “backlinks” on other websites.  This simply means that other sites have links on their website, linking back to your website.  Backlinks can be obtained by simply asking other website owners to link to your site, paying for backlinks, or finding other websites that will allow you to post links back to your site, without the need to obtain permission.  It should be noted, however, that sites which make it very easy for you to post your own link back to your site are typically not considered very important by the search engines.  As a result, posting links back to your website, on sites where anyone else could do the same thing, are generally not going to improve your search engine ranking too significantly.

 

3.) Having a website that engages people enough so that they spend a decent amount of time on your website.  Specifically, it’s best if visitors to your site view other web pages within your website, instead of clicking away from your website after just viewing one page.  The number of website visitors who click on your site and then leave, without clicking onto other pages within your site, is referred to as your site’s “bounce rate”.  The search engines typically favor websites where people usually click on several web pages within a website, before leaving.  In other words, sites with a low bounce rate are often viewed as high quality, engaging websites, in the eyes of the search engines.

 

 

 

Determining if Your Business Can Benefit From Search Engine Optimization

In reading this lesson up to this point, you may think that we’re completely opposed to the idea of search engine optimization.  Granted, there are some rather tough challenges associated with obtaining a top spot in the search engines.  The fact of the matter, though, is that if a good number of people are regularly searching online for your products and services, in your market, and you have one of the top spots in Google, this can reap huge rewards for your business.  Specifically, you’re likely to get a large number of these pre-qualified people checking out your website and, quite possibly, becoming your customers.  If someone is actively seeking out your products and services online, and you’re in the top spot of the online search that they conduct, this could be compared to having the best business location in your city, without having to pay rent for the storefront space.

 

On the other hand, if only 2 or 3 people are actively using the search engines to find your products and services each month, it would likely be a poor use of your time and/or money to try and achieve a top spot in the search engines.  The only exception to this would be if those 2 or 3 people are highly targeted prospects and they were searching for products and services that could yield very high profit margins for you.  For example, if you were selling luxury homes in a specific market, and you were able to get 2 or 3 qualified buyers each month, through the search engines, it could be well worth your time and/or money to attain that top spot.  Unfortunately, all search engine data that’s available to the average person is usually just an estimate of traffic.  It’s most likely, therefore, that those 2 or 3 people, who could be searching for you, would not appear in any data that you could personally analyze.

 

As a general rule of thumb, here’s a good way to determine if search engine optimization would be a good use of your resources:

 

First, identify approximately how many people, in your target market, are searching online for your products and services each month.  Then, figure that you’ll probably get about 35%-40% of those people to visit your website, if you are in the number one spot in Google, for those specific searches.

 

Out of the people who visit your website, you’ll want to know how many of them will become your customer, or take the action that you want them to take, when they visit your website.  For example, you might just want people to print out a coupon when they visit your website.  Perhaps you want them to call you at the phone number on your website, to schedule an appointment.  You may even want them to go to your Facebook fan page and “Like” your page.

 

Regardless of what your “desired action” is, for the people who visit your website, you should have a way to track how many people are doing what you want them to do, when they view your website.  The good news is that obtaining these stats and tracking that type of information is rather simple.  In the next section, we’ll discuss some specific resources that you can use, to track this type of user activity on your website.  These resources will allow you to see how many people are searching for your company’s products and services each month, and you’ll be able to analyze what people are actually doing, once they click on your website.

 

 

Analyzing the Numbers and Implementing a Search Engine Optimization Strategy, if it Makes Sense for Your Business

 

Obviously, many “SEO Consultants” will try to tell you that you must have a top search engine ranking.  Some will try to convince you that if you don’t use their services, you may as well close up shop now.  These types of highly dramatic, blanket statements are clearly over-the-top.  As we discussed above, you have to first take a look at the hard numbers, to determine if it makes sense for your particular business to implement an SEO strategy.

 

There’s a very quick and free way to take a look at some hard numbers, to determine how many people, in your market, are actively seeking out your company’s products and services.

 

First, just go to the link below and enter your website address.  If you don’t have an active website at the moment, you can actually just put in any website address, such as google.com.  Just keep in mind that if you don’t put in your actual website, you won’t be able to see the current rank of your website, for the different search terms that are relevant to your business.  After you’ve entered your website or another website at the link below, you’ll be asked to enter a keyword that you’d like your website to rank for.  For example, if you’re a Chiropractor that is based in Houston, Texas, here are some examples of different keywords you could enter:

 

Houston Chiropractor

Houston Chiropractors

Chiropractor in Houston

Chiropractors in Houston

Chiropractic Houston

 

Obviously, there are tons and tons of searches that people could enter, if they’re looking for your company’s products and services.  If you serve a specific city, though, just be sure to include that city or region in the search terms you enter.  After you enter your search, you can scroll down the page to see additional search term suggestions.

 

Once you enter several different keywords, and view some of the related, keyword suggestions, you’ll be able to get a better idea as to which search terms get the greatest number of searches.  More importantly, you’ll be able to decide if it would make sense for your business to work on attracting these visitors to your website.

 

To check out just how many people are searching for the products and services that your company offers, in your market, click here:

 

Rankpay

Ineedhits

 

Tracking Your Website Visitors’ Activity – Quite Possibly the Most Important Data Your Business Could Ever Have

 

As we talked about earlier in this lesson, you’re also going to want to see what your website visitors are doing when they actually visit your website.  This data is vital even if you do not use SEO to get visitors to your website.  Whether you’re using SEO, other free website traffic methods, or paid traffic methods to get visitors to your site, it’s critical for you to see what your visitors are doing, once they get to your website.  Being able to see what your website visitors do, when they reach your website, will allow you to see if your website is accomplishing the objectives that you want it to accomplish.  For example, if your goal is to get people to go to a page that has a printable coupon on it, it’s very important for you to be able to see how many people are actually doing that, once they get to your website.  If your goal is to get people to visit your contact page, so that they will call or email you, you’ll need to see how many people, out of all of the people that visit your site, are taking the action that you want them to take.

 

Once you’re able to see how many people are taking the action(s) that you want them to take, once they’re at your site, you will be able to determine the value of each website visitor.  Let’s use an example, to show you how some simple data will allow you to figure out the value of each of your website visitors:

 

For this example, we’ll assume that you want your website visitors to click on a form on your website, where they can fill out their information.  We’ll also assume that you’ve set up your website to encourage people to click on this form, and so you want to see how many people take the action that your website is encouraging them to take.

 

Once your tracking software is set up, you can see that, out of every 100 people who visit your website, 50 of them follow the instructions and click on the web form.  Out of the 50 people who click on the web form, 25 of them actually fill the form out and submit it to your company.  Then, out of those 25 people who fill out the form, you’re able to sell 20% of them a product or service that yields a profit to your company of $100 each. 20% of the 25 people who filled out the form would be 5 people, multiplied by $100 profit per customer equals $500.  In conclusion, out of the 100 people that visited your website, your company was able to realize a profit of $500.  In this example, that would mean that each visitor to your website had an average value of $5 each:

100 People Visit Your Website

50 People Click on the Form

25 People Actually Fill Out the Form

5 People Purchase x $100 Profit per Person = $500 Total Profit

$500 Total Profit Divided by 100 Visitors to Your Site = $5 Average Profit per Visitor to Your Website

As you can see, by simply being able to view and track the activity of your website visitors, you can determine the average value of each person who visits your website.  When you’re able to see how much each website visitor is worth to you, you can make decisions that are far more informed, with respect to choosing how to attract new customers, and at what cost.

 

When it comes to tracking website visitors and their activity, this is the tool that we recommend the most:

Go Stats

 

[THIS NEXT SECTION WILL BE IF YOU ARE ALSO PROMOTING A CALL TRACKING SERVICE]:

Did you know that you can even track how many people, who visit your website, call your company?  By simply using a call forwarding service, you can see which calls come in to your business, from people who have visited your website.

 

To illustrate the power of call tracking, let’s use a very similar example to the one above.  This time, though, instead of analyzing the number of people who fill out a form on your website, we’ll analyze how many people actually call your company, to schedule an appointment, after viewing your website:

 

Once your call tracking service is set up, the data shows you that, out of every 100 people who visit your website, 25 of them actually call your company.  Then, out of those 25 people who call you, you’re able to sell 20% of them a product or service that yields a profit to your company of $100 each. 20% of the 25 people who called you would be 5 people, multiplied by $100 profit per customer equals $500.  In conclusion, out of the 100 people that visited your website, your company was able to realize a profit of $500.  In this example, that would mean that each visitor to your website had an average value of $5 each:

 

100 People Visit Your Website

25 People Call You After Visiting Your Website

5 People Purchase x $100 Profit per Person = $500 Total Profit

$500 Total Profit Divided by 100 Visitors to Your Site = $5 Average Profit per Visitor to Your Website

 

For many companies, getting new customers to call them is the ideal situation.  When you set up some very simple tracking software, you will be able to see exactly how many customers are calling you after they visit your website.  Again, this will allow you to determine exactly how much you can afford to spend, to get people to your website, once you understand what your average profit per website visitor is.

 

When it comes to call tracking services, this is our favorite service:

https://calltrackingmetrics.com

 

We’ve covered a lot of ground in this lesson.  Hopefully, after completing this lesson, you were able to determine if search engine optimization makes sense for your company.  Additionally, we hope that you now have a deeper understanding of just how important tracking is for your business.  As they say, “you can only manage what you can measure”.  When you’re able to measure exactly how many visitors are actually turning into paying customers, you’ll be able to manage the growth of your business on an entirely new level.

 

See you in the next lesson, where we cover a strategy that can allow you to drive floods of targeted customers to your website, on demand!