Launching a new website feels a lot like that moment in the 1989 movie Field of Dreams when farmer Ray Kinsella mowed down a swath of corn to build a pristine baseball diamond - all because a voice told him if he built it, they would come. Ray didn't know who exactly he was building this field for, and in the days to come, his Field of Dreams sat empty. But then, one miraculous night, his daughter came into the house and said, "Daddy, there's a man out there on your lawn."
After that, more visitors followed.
Like Ray, many companies build their pristine websites, anticipating all sorts of traffic, and of course, there's always that marketing voice telling you, "If you build it, they'll come." But that's where the Hollywood fairytale ends. It takes more than just a website to attract visitors, and if your field of dreams is failing to draw a crowd, there many factors that come into play. For starters, look to see if your website was built with keyword optimization in mind.
KEYWORD OPTIMIZATION TIP 1
Don't just guess the keywords that you think customers are searching. Use tools like SEMrush, KWFinder, Moz's Keyword Explorer or Google Keyword Planner to identify actual keywords being searched. These platforms also show each keyword's monthly search volume, helping you better prioritize what you might want to rank on.
KEYWORD OPTIMIZATION TIP 2
Ranking for broad keywords is competitive and not always realistic. Sure, boat manufacturers would love to be on Page 1 of Google for "boats," but that's not practical, and it doesn't help them drive qualified traffic. So, if you're a boat manufacturer, what kind of boats do you manufacturer, and can you describe your product even more narrowly than that? Here's what we mean ...
KEYWORD OPTIMIZATION TIP 3
You don't need to optimize for brand keywords. Sure, "bennington pontoon boats" attracts 2,400 searches a month, but you're going to naturally rank on your own name. It's the long tail keywords (and the broad ones) that companies struggle to rank on without keyword strategy in place.
KEYWORD OPTIMIZATION TIP 4
Every page on your website should be optimized around its own set of unique keywords, and make sure the content on that page relates to those phrases. Do you have a double-decker pontoon boat? Research those keywords. (In fact, our keyword list above shows one variation.) Are you in the "luxury" market and want to be known as the "best" or "premier." Do you have a wakeboarding model or a 22-footer? (Again, some of those variations are above.) Dedicate certain pages to certain keywords, and try to pick a primary keyword along with two secondary keywords that all relate to each other AND the content of that page.
KEYWORD OPTIMIZATION TIP 5
The best time to deploy a solid keyword strategy is before the website build. You should have a document that shows all of your page content, along with keyword volumes and the meta descriptions you plan to use. (In fact, keyword research may sway you to build pages you didn't even realize you needed.) If your website is already built, that's OK. Go page by page and improve your keyword content. (And don't forget, your blogs should be keyword optimized, too!)
KEYWORD OPTIMIZATION TIP 6
Learn where to best utilize your keywords, and then use your research tools to monitor if you are indeed ranking on the phrases you set out to own.