My favorite pastime is growing website traffic.
I love improving my websites, and those of my clients. Over the years, I have developed various tools to help. I find that, after the initial enthusiasm of a new project, maintaining growth and interest can be difficult for many website owners. My favorite tool is a very simple keyword prioritization tool which is totally without cost, apart from a few minutes of your time.
Website Traffic Growth: Preparation
You must have registered your website for Google Webmaster Tools. This is vital to website management and very easy to do. If you have not yet done so, please do it now, and come back here in one month. If you need help, look in my website deployment guidelines, or ask in Shrewdies Website Support Forum.
In order to maximize the value of this tool, you should check and fix crawl errors at least once per week.
Website Traffic Growth: Routine
In Google Webmaster Tools:
- Select Search Queries from the Dashboard
- Select With change from the Basic/With change option between the chart and the queries list
- If you are focusing on one country, select it using the Filters button
- Click Download this table, and direct the export to your own spreadsheet or Google Docs
- Add 5 columns to the right of the spreadsheet: ImpMax; PosMax; Prio; Done; Notes
- Fill ImpMax (Column J) with
- Fill PosMax (Column K) with
- Fill Prio (Column L) with
- Sort into descending Prio(rity) and creating new content for the top keyword
- Use the Done column to mark a date, or page title, when you publish content for each keyword. Also use an X or N/A or similar to mark keywords that are not relevant to your target markets.
When publishing new content, always have in mind your best guess at who is asking about the keyword, and what they want to know. Make sure that whatever you publish sits well with existing similar content. You can see which page(s) attracted search activity for the keyword by returning to Google Webmaster Tools and clicking the keyword.
You should decide if an existing page or your new page is the best target for this keyword.
If it is an existing page, make your new content support that page by linking to it. You might need to edit the existing page to reflect your latest content.
If your new content is the best target, then edit existing pages to link to your new content.
Website Traffic Growth: Improvements
This procedure for website growth is very easy, but also quite basic. I will introduce various improvements, but the main thing to remember is that this simple approach really works. Purists might argue that the calculation used is too blunt. It simply accelerates priority based on the square of Average Position in search results. In the past, I have considered refinements to this to take account of more realistic potential at different search results positions. In practical terms, this is only relevant if you are targeting a very small number of keywords. In the real world, you target hundreds of search phrases, so my quick approach intrinsically brings the “low hanging fruit” to the top. I would love to discuss this with you, so please tell me your thoughts on my simple website traffic growth calculation.
Speaking of practical tips, this is a fine illustration of my advice to make your intentions clear before you start your website. This tool will often include search terms that have no relevance to your website. If you start with unclear intentions, it is easy to fall into the trap of publishing content just because there is a search market for it. If you do that, your website loses focus, and visitors drift away. Again, if you are not sure about this, please ask in Shrewdies Website Support Forum. I’d hate it if you used this tool to get temporary website traffic growth at the expense of longterm success.
One weakness of this tool is the need to reformat column widths, lock first row and first column, and add filter. These tasks soon become semi-automatic, but a little tedious. Rather than look at ways to automate this, I believe that other requirements dictate that the simple spreadsheet will be replaced by a specific application within the website.
Such an application can make updating the plan each month much more fulfilling than starting with a new plan. I will consider and develop an integrated tool to achieve:
- Simple import routine for updating
- Consideration of tags and categories
- Change history
As you use this simple tool, please share improvements to the website traffic growth tool that you would like to see.