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Seo Priorities - How To Squeeze The Most Out Of Your Seo Time
Posted 25 October 2011 - 03:38 PM
So after almost a year of tinkering around, the real work begins in generating traffic to the site. All the design and content in the world are useless without traffic, and thus the real world need for SEO. I'm just dangerous enough that I can do almost anything that I need to do, but I'm not experienced enough to know how to prioritize my SEO endeavors.
QUESTION: If I have 4-6 hours per week to promote a website, what are the most productive strategies to get the most SEO bang for my SEO buck (sweat)!
I know this is a highly subjective question and I know strategies can change over time as the Web develops, but any advice for a real SEO newbie is greatly appreciated.
Posted 25 October 2011 - 04:17 PM
There's a couple of parts in what you've said that really cause me some inner concern and wonderment.
First there seem to be the fact that you created a website without actually knowing what it is for. 'Possibly more' than a test site? It leaves me wondering if it really looks as professional as you hope, when yours apparently has no clear reason/purpose for existance other than to test some SEO ideas.
Secondly there's that whole thing of being overly concerned with what other sites are doing - researching the design, content and keywords of the top 20 websites in what field? The top 20 SEO test sites? How did you know they were top 20 before knowing what keywords they'd be ranked in the top 20 for? Do you see what I mean? There's a lot of logical fallacies involved here.
Are you saying that in learning SEO you decided to build, as a test of principles, your own fake professional SEO site, using what you were able to copy, and now want to push it live as a rival professional service site?
Posted 25 October 2011 - 05:48 PM
1) I created a website for a very specialized kind of insurance - "long term care insurance".
The website has absolutely nothing to do with SEO and there was nothing copied from anyone's website. I did both keyword research and competitive analysis with the top 20 websites in this industry to learn what the market leaders were focusing on.
2) For what purpose?
Since I work with several insurance professionals in this field, I decided to create this site both as a learning project and for lead generation. As I've built it, I've learned that the competition monetizes their websites in four different ways: 1) Sell subscriptions (content), 2) Sell leads (marketing), 3) Sell products (collateral), and 4) Sell sponsorships (advertising).
I do not believe this site can survive on lead generation alone. Even some of the top lead generation sites for this topic sometimes go weeks without generating leads. As a result, if this site were to generate income, I believe it will have to incorporate sponsorships (advertising) from either insurers or IMOs (insurance marketing organizations). Both are possible, but not without generating more traffic.
Without any promotion, the site has generated about 10 leads over the past few months, but I'm assuming these were just folks who chanced upon the site while searching through Google.
So now that I've built this site, the question is how best to generate traffic to it. I submitted to all the basic search engines 5 or 6 months ago. I've published a few articles that link back. Done a couple press releases. Linked back and forth from a few sites. I started a professional alliance directory that I advertised in LinkedIn and Facebook groups. This generated about 60 requests for a free listing that I'm now automating. All good places to start, but just drops in the proverbial bucket.
So again, I'm trying to learn the best use of my time to generate REAL traffic to the site.
Earlier I was trying to be short and sweet, and what I gained in succinctness I apparently lost in translation. Hope this helps.
Posted 26 October 2011 - 10:17 AM
Okay, so, insurance related - that means it is not going to be easy. Partly because insurance is one of the hotter of the financial services related products, right up with loans, but with even higher profit margins on mamy products. And partly because people are very distrustful of many financial services at the moment, as demonstrated by the Occupy Wall Street movement, and general blame for economic woes.
I say that just for context to other readers, as I know having researched this market these will not be news to you. I mention them also because coming back to them later will help you sell smarter and with a stronger USP later.
The 4 revenue models you mention are the same 4 in pretty much every industry. It is rare for one single company to use all 4, but not unheard of, and is more common among larger busineses and corporations. I'd always advise you to develop more than one revenue stream where practical and appropriate. Just be careful that you don't compromise the value of one revenue stream in order to add another. Always look to make complimentary revenue streams that boost and feed each other.
Anyway, back to your immediate question. How to generate traffic.
You face the classic situation of all niche marketers. Going for the niche is easier to break into SEO-wise and competition-wise, but the nich is always just a smaller pool of the overall market. The traffic you get is totally dependant on how you market your product, or site. In other words, the market you target, however wide or narrow, is the finite cap on how much custom and traffic there is to have.
For leads, (which are the easiest of the 4 revenue streams for your particular market), you can favour quality over quantity. The better quality the leads you can pass to companies who provide insurance, the more they'll be willing to pay for those leads, as it decreases their own CPA. I don't know what your current deals are like, of course, but in that market, just 10 leads a week should probably make for a good basic wage and standard of living. Most insurance companies I know, whatever the type of insurance, are happy to spend at least $300 to $500 to aquire a customer, so even if you were only able to convince them that your part of the deal was only worth $200 of that budget, that could easily still be $2,000 per week, and $8k - $10k per month. However, that's assuming you can get the quality of leads, and that the company paying for those leads is good at selling to a well pre-qualified lead.
However, you face a ton of different and varied challenges. All of which you'll need to address in one way or another.
For a start, nobody buys this sort of insurance without first doing research and shopping around. Usually starting weeks before the eventual purchase. http://www.searcheng...s-purchases.php shows some research from 2005 that highlights this, and even that study was barely scratching the surface. You need to accept this, and have content that is way beyond the sales stuff, and is targeting the initial research phases too, getting your brand seen multiple times during the stages of shopping, and being there for the close too.
To this end, deciding not to follow the competition is vital. You need to spot what they are not doing, and where they are failing to understand the needs of their market. I really hesitate to share this golden tip publically in some ways, but start out by adding a really detailed 'Fact Sheet' - like a sort of brochure infomercial - that a visitor can print out to show their spouse, parent, children, or friends that they will be discussing these important plans with. Those other people are part of the shopping process too, and giving a downloadable or printable brochure where the visitor can help present and 'sell' your product to the other people involved in the decision makes a huge difference.
You may even want a few of those printout sales materials, one for the early stage research about what kinds of insurance and other solutions are out there that is all helpful and factual, and something for later in the process, when they are shopping around suppliers, so they can be holding something with your brand even while looking at competitors.
Remember, forget the traffic until you have the conversions high. The conversion rate is the key to it all. If your conversion rates are higher than competitors, then it is game over, because you will have a better margin on traffic. An average site is converting less than 2% of visitors, and it is far easier to get 3% conversion for most sites, than to increase visits by 50%, even though both things do exactly the same to actual sales. But get 3% conversion first and then get +50% traffic and you will have doubled overall sales, and thus profit.
If you go for raw traffic for advertising and sponsorship, your conversion rate will naturally fall, as the greater volume of traffic will always be less targeted, and more varied in quality. So you can't get big traffic first and then try to really nail the conversions quite as well. Its far easier to maximise the conversion rate while you are confident of the quality and intention of your visitors. Once conversions are high, PPC becomes a very realistic option, because your own margins are solid and well defined. Then after that, ramp up the traffic by using wider appealing content, possibly on a different section of the site, and via guest posting or guest starring at some sites that target your market.
Posted 04 November 2011 - 05:55 PM
In short, start with this:
- Focus on content first
- Engage with people
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