Driving Traffic – Think Like Your Audience (The Art of the Title)

Driving Traffic – Think Like Your Audience (The Art of the Title)

Every small business owner has heard many times how important it is to drive traffic to his or her website in order to acquire more customers and make more sales. Even though this sounds like a simple concept, successfully executing it is what makes the difference between business growth and stagnation. If you want to drive more web traffic and get found by people who are looking for the products or services you offer, there are two basic steps you will need to take. The first is to find good keywords that are relevant to your business, and the second is to work those keywords into page or article titles that will make your customers click on your site over your competition.

Finding Great Keywords

The first step in driving traffic is to figure out exactly what your customers are looking for, which is where keywords come in. You can use a variety of different tools to find out about the search volumes and competitiveness of certain keywords, but the most popular is Google’s Keyword Planner tool. Start by looking for keywords relevant to your niche. If, for example, your business sells sporting goods, you might look for keywords related to kayaks, fishing equipment or camping gear. Ideally, look for keywords that have between 1,000 and 10,000 monthly searches and have low or medium competition rates.

Once you have found a good keyword, you should also try to find a variation of the keyword that is specific to people looking to buy a product or service. Returning to the sporting goods example, people may search for “camp stoves” for a variety of reasons, but someone who searches for “best camp stoves” or “camp stove reviews” is a person who is actively looking to purchase a camp stove. If you have any trouble with this, try to put yourself in your buyer’s place. If you were searching for that product online with the intention of making a purchase, what search terms would you type in? Note that buyer-specific keywords may not have the same search volumes as broader keywords, but as long as the competition isn’t too high, they will still be alright to use.

Craft Titles That People Will Want to Click On

Figuring out how your audience searches is only half the battle. Once they have typed in whatever search terms you have selected, they will still be faced with a page full of several relevant results. At this stage, your business can stand out or fall into the pack. If yours isn’t the first result a potential buyer clicks on, it’s unlikely you’ll have another shot at that customer.

One of the most proven ways to grab people on search result pages is to create list articles. Results with titles such as “7 best camp stoves” will typically be more likely than other pages to be clicked on because they promise a large amount of information broken down into a format most readers find enjoyable and understandable. Problem and solution posts are also useful, as they promise to solve a specific problem the reader may have.

You can also set your website apart from the competition by making your titles more exciting. How many times have you searched for something online only to be presented with pages and articles that all looked dryly similar to each other? If you want your site to be the first thing someone clicks on when they search for a specific search term, try crafting titles that will stand out from the endless forgettable offerings of other sites.

Going with the camp stove example again, you might find any number of articles titled something like “X Best Camp Stoves.” However, if you title your post something more like “X Best Camp Stoves for Your Outdoor Adventure,” you’re adding more to the title for the reader to personally identify with.

Use Yourself as a Test Subject

All of this advice sounds great in theory, but how does it work in practice? If you want to get a good idea of this, start being more observant of your own online searches. Make note of how you search for goods, services or information online. When you do, also take a second after you’ve decided on the first result you’re going to click on to ask yourself exactly why you were drawn to that website first. Observe your own behaviors carefully, and you’ll start to understand how and why traffic goes to certain websites over others.

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