If you’re a small business owner, you’ve most likely been overwhelmed by offers to help you with your SEO. These services are expensive and since they are limited to only a certain number of keywords, they can be hit or miss. For example, if you’re a dentist and you’ve chosen to rank for “best dentist in St. Louis,” you should be prepared to spend a lot of money to rank for this term, since everyone is fighting for it. And… there’s no guarantee that if you rank for that term, that it will result in more business. If your website is a mess, hard to navigate or slow, then the traffic driven to your site won’t stick around long enough to contact you.
There is another way to improve website results. It is universally missed by your competitors, and it won’t require expensive SEO services.
What your competitors have missed
Your competitors (not you, of course!) have been trying to rank for the wrong keywords. I’ve used a dental example here, but this applies just as much to the roofing company or retail outlet as to the dentist.
A quick look at this chart should make the point clear. This is a listing from Google Adwords. I have chosen several keywords to demonstrate what each will cost to advertise.
Notice that “St. Louis dentist” costs nearly 12 dollars every time someone clicks on the ad. This cost is driven up by the high demand by dental advertisers. They want that keyword. And guaranteed, their SEO efforts are put into ranking for that word as well.
But notice that a dentist could get almost as many clicks at a very small fraction of the cost by advertising for “I chipped a tooth,” “How to get rid of a toothache,” “my tooth hurts” and “my teeth are yellow.” In fact, a dentist could advertise for chipped teeth for only 13 cents a click!
Just for fun, I Googled some of these terms. There is no concerted SEO effort to rank for yellow teeth. How do I know that? A video game forum appears on the first page of results when you Google “my teeth are yellow.”
The problem with websites
Most of your competitor’s websites have been written with the assumption that people already know what they’re looking for. They try to rank for the terms that people use when they are familiar with the services offered.
Back to the dental example, ranking for “veneers” is very difficult. It is a high profit item and dentists are understandably very interested in selling the service, so a lot of time and money is spent attempting to rank for “veneers.”
However, this ignores all of the people who need veneers but don’t know to search for that term. They have a problem they must solve. The sign of a good website is that the website will discuss the problems solved by the product or service extensively, then provide a bridge to the service.
Write your website for the inevitable alien invasion
Science fiction writers have warned us for years that the aliens will eventually invade.
Write your website for those aliens.
They won’t know what your earth technology is called. They’ll be looking to solve a problem that is brand-new to them.
Even though you’ve been a professional in your field forever, and you know that chiropractic addresses lower back pain, the aliens won’t know to search for a chiropractor. They’ll search instead for “Why does my back hurt?”
You know that being a GAF-certified roofer is awesome. But aliens won’t search for “GAF certified roofing company,” they’ll search for “how to fix a leaking roof.”
The advantage to writing your site for aliens is that Google will reward you for writing helpful articles about what people are searching for, and the very people who need your services will be able to find you easily.
Let your competitors duke it out for “Best __________ in St. Louis.” Spend your time and effort writing about the problems that your services solve.
How to write a website for space aliens
It is only difficult to write a website like this because you’re too familiar with all of the amazing things your products and services can do.
Make a list of all the things you’ve discovered your services can solve.
- What can you help people with?
- What are customers delighted that you’ve done for them?
- What do you do that surprises people?
- Why do people buy your product?
- What problems do your customers have that you solve for them?
If it’s too hard to remember, feel free to ask your new clients. Why did they come to see you? What are they searching for? What do they hope you’ll do for them?
My company does a free website analysis. I’ll look over your site and discover a few things you can do to improve your site and send you a little project of things to fix. I may also have a proposal for you if I see some additional things to do to make your site even better, but whether you choose to hire my company to fix them is entirely up to you.