When I first started trying to rank my new website – I thought I needed as much traffic as possible. While you obviously do want to get plenty of traffic – you also want to make sure it’s the right sort of traffic. The trouble was, the keywords I was targeting were fairly broad. They had plenty of searches – but they were also highly competitive.
What that really meant was that it was a struggle to get, and keep, on the first page of Google. Even when I occasionally managed it and got a traffic boost – it didn’t last as my competitors were throwing fairly big budgets at their SEO (which I didn’t have). I also noticed that the traffic I was getting wasn’t always that easy to convert. Yes, there was lots of it, but when you’re getting so many visitors on such broad terms – a lot of them aren’t really looking for exactly what you’re offering.
That’s when I started experimenting and soon realized that there was another way. By avoiding these highly competitive terms, I managed to carve my own SEO niche by targeting more relevant terms that were easier to rank for AND provided traffic that was already switched-on to my message and easier to convert. In this article, I’m going to show you how I did it – so you can too.
Why the first page of Google is so important
If search engines are your main source of traffic, then you’re probably already aware of how getting on the first page of Google is so important. While there are other sources of traffic – Google is still number one. For many businesses, it’s their only source.
Firstly, if you’re so heavily reliant on Google for your traffic, you should probably try and diversify a bit. Try some of the other search engines – some of them are an untapped source of easy traffic. You can also use other sources like paid traffic, adverts, and social media.
But if you’re still determined to make the most of Google – you need to get on the first page or you might as well not bother. Research actually suggests that if you get to 11th position or first on the second page (the best of the rest) – you’ll only get around 1% of total clicks for that search term.
What if getting to that first page is so difficult and competitive for your search term, or in your niche?
How ranking for niche terms could be a better use of your time and money
Obviously, more obscure terms get fewer searches. But they’re also much easier to rank for. If you have a look at some long-tail additions to your keywords, you can actually fine-tune your audience and get a better source of traffic that’s easier to rank for.
Think of the time it could take you to rank one site for a competitive 100,000 a month. If you get to 10th place, according to the statistics we already looked at – you could get 2.7% clicks or 2,700 visits a month.
Now compare that to an “easier” long-tail keyword with only 10,000 monthly searches. What if it was up to ten times easier to rank for, too? While it probably wouldn’t be that much easier – let’s say you manage to get to first place for that term. That’ll give you 3,400 hits a month. More traffic from an easier term to rank for.
Also remember that having one rankedriskierore risky. Ranking for multiple niche terms means you’re not putting all your eggs in one basket should one of them get bumped down by the competition or the algorithms change slightly.
You could throw up a few niche pages targeting different terms and get them ranked in the same time it takes to rank one page for a highly-competitive broad search term. Not only that, but those niche terms could actually be providing you with a better quality of visitor….
How certain long-tail keywords could provide you with more motivated traffic
Certain long-tail keyword additions provide you with more “motivated” traffic that’s more likely to spend money with you. That means that you’ll be wasting less of your ranking efforts and bandwidth on people that were unlikely to buy anything.
Yes – more traffic is good, but the problem with broad search traffic is you can’t be everything to everyone. A lot of those people will be looking for something that you simply don’t offer. Trying a one-size-catch-all approach to internet marketing could mean you’re getting lots of traffic – but your sales and conversion rates remain low.
That’s why you need to look at long-tail keyword additions that actually provide visitors who want to spend money. So what are they?
One of the best long-tail keyword additions for this is “discount”. It ticks a lot of boxes, as it provides people who know they’ve got to spend some money soon. People normally don’t search for “discount” unless they’re quite close to buying something, they just want to see if they can save a bit of money before they do so. If you can be there with the discount they’re looking for, you stand a good chance of getting a sale.
Other keyword additions can also provide motivated traffic. Counter-intuitively, people search for things like “scam” and “legit” to check if something they’ve just learned about is legitimate before they spend money on it. Again, be there to convince them and you could make a sale.
You can also add things like the current year. There’s so much outdated information on the internet people like to add that to try and get the most up-to-date and relevant stuff they can.
You’ve also got to consider that when someone searches for something ultra-niche, they might be thinking that they’re not going to find what they’re looking for. When they find your site and realize it’s an authority on exactly what they wanted (when they thought they weren’t going to find it), they’ll already have an inbuilt level of loyalty towards you that might be easier to convert.
You can check out more about fine-tuning the right sort of traffic here.
What are some long-tail keywords to avoid?
While some long-tail keyword additions provide the right sort of traffic – others produce visitors who’re looking for a free ride. In particular, if someone searches for “free” to get to your site, they’re probably not very likely to spend money with you. You’re wasting your time and money trying to rank for these sorts of terms when you could be targeting keywords that work much harder for you. Try and avoid these free-ride terms if you want to make the most of your ranking efforts and convert more traffic.
Hopefully, these tips have shown you how the right sort of traffic is as important as volume. These long-tail keyword tips could work for you like they did for me.
Peter Ellington has been writing about converting traffic and other internet marketing issues for a number of years now. He likes sharing a bit of his expertise to other people in the industry, including those just getting started. He also has a lot of experience in the education industry and writes for SmileTutor.