3 Traffic-Stopping Mistakes for New Web Sites


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The development of a new website is an exciting, yet resource-intensive project for any company. At the end, your new website should reflect the many hours invested and result in a more productive, effective site that supports the unique needs of your company. If being found in search is one of your objectives, be certain to avoid these three common mistakes:

1. Lack of an On-Site Keyword Strategy

An On-Site Keyword Strategy is the most important element of either building a new website or redesigning an existing one if you expect to be found in search.

It is vital that you have a strategy for building page depth, inbound links, and website content, and that you understand the keywords you use for search optimization. This is the key difference between having an easily found site and one that sits lonely in cyberspace without much traffic.

Because of this, the best path to success involves creating a highly refined site architecture that funnels content through specific keyword phrase categories and sub-categories.

2. Keyword Stuffing: Don’t Do It

It’s a common mistake for novice web marketers to approach their on-site keyword strategy like it’s a yellow page listing: trying to stuff as many phrases in the home page as would be relevant to a directory-type search. This approach is futile and will lead to poor search performance; confused search bots will likely default to the first keyword phrase listed.

Instead, the strategy should involve defining each keyword phrase and optimizing specific pages and subpages around each keyword phrase.

Uncovering all the relevant keyword phrases and then optimizing specific pages around them is the best practice technique for SEO.

Individually, each page should be treated as a separate SEO strategy and developed accordingly. The main site will receive all the benefits for subpage SEO optimization and inbound link strategies.

3. Only Optimizing for the “Industry-Standard” Keyword Phrase

Do not assume that customers will search for your services based on industry labels and language or by your competitors’ keyword strategies.

Customers, as much as we love them, have their own language when it comes to searching for information about our services.

Start by doing your research. For example, let’s say we’re building a new site for a real estate brokerage firm. On the surface, it may seem like an obvious choice to optimize for “real estate”. Unfortunately, that could be a costly assumption to make. Why?

First, “real estate” is a highly competitive phrase for which hundreds of thousands of sites compete for.

So, unless your site has plans for thousands of indexed pages optimized for “real estate” and hundreds of thousands of inbound links from high quality sites, you probably won’t be found within the first few Search Engine Ranking Pages (SERPS).

Second, from a search marketing prospective, “real estate” may not be the most accurate description of your services.

What type of real estate does your firm sell? Are you geographically focused? Do you cater to specific types of clients (first time home-buyers, rental property investors, luxury property owners)?

Refining your target keyword phrase to match your company’s offerings will not only be more likely to achieve desired rankings, but the strategy will also do more to qualify traffic – thus improving conversion opportunities.

If your real estate brokerage firm specializes in luxury real estate, the keyword phrase “real estate” may be too broad a match to make optimizing it worthwhile. Perhaps “luxury real estate” is a better fit.

Another important part of keyword strategy is looking for other phrases that prospects may use when searching for your relevant products and services (i.e. “mansions for sale”). These observations can lead to opportunities to optimize for phrases that may have been beyond the initial plan.

Having a clear keyword strategy in place prior to designing and developing a website will save time and money that would otherwise be wasted in post launch edits and changes.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Tom Meriam
Tom is a B2B and B2C sales and marketing veteran, having held senior level roles in the media and financial services industries as well as in the agency space.


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