Making Best Use of Small-Traffic Keywords

A client recently asked me to have a quick glance at their Google Analytics. They didn’t really use Analytics much themselves, beyond keeping an eye on visitor numbers from month to month.

So I dived in and after a few minutes, started looking looking at the keywords driving traffic to the site. Not just the top ten. Not just the top 50. All 340-odd keywords. It was very enlightening.

For example, one unexpected keyword, “bunting”, was sending a small amount of traffic to the Home Page. I say unexpected because the word “bunting” appears just once in the entire page, and appears not at all in either the Title or Meta Description tags. Not even an image containing the word in an Alt tag. Will we ever understand Google’s mysterious ways?

Of course, for all that this page appears to be attracting some traffic through search results, the visitor’s experience on arriving is less than satisfactory: no images that depict the object of their search and only the briefest mention of bunting near the bottom of the page. Quite understandably, the bounce rate for this traffic stood at 100%.

What a shame. Whilst not a major source of enquiries for my client, I know that it’s something that very often leads to more valuable enquiries, so if we could improve the bounce rate for this traffic, it might well pay off. I mentioned the situation to my client.

Their first reaction was to add more text to the Home page to optimise it for the keyword “bunting” and keep visitors interested. If this might have been your reaction as well, let me just say right here and now:

STOP!

I dare say your Home page has been optimised already, and it won’t have been targeting keywords for a minor product or service you offer to your customers. You’ll have been looking to fry much bigger fish with your Home page (and if you haven’t, we need to talk…).

Optimising any page of your web site for more than one or two keywords (plus variations thereof) is not recommended. You’ll achieve much better results by deciding firmly on a page’s purpose, and optimising that page in line with that one purpose. How else is a search engine to know what the page is about and rank it accordingly? Target multiple keywords at your peril; you might ruin any decent ranking that page has built up for its primary keywords.

“But”, I hear you cry, “my website seems to be attracting traffic for this obscure keyword anyway.” Yes, my friend, but it’s also bouncing merrily away again because the page attracting that traffic is not really about that keyword.

So what to do?

Create a new page on your web site. Optimise that page for the keyword you want to rank well for. Use that keyword (and variations of it) in headings, text and the page Title. Craft an attention-grabbing description using your keyword. Use relevant images (with alt tags) to immediately let visitors know that they’ve arrived at a page that answers their search query.

Give it time and that page should attract even more traffic than the dribble of visitors originally coming to your Home Page. The biggest difference though, is this time, those visitors have some meat to get their teeth into. Make sure it’s easy for visitors to find out your prices and to contact you.

If your traffic doesn’t increase and the bounce rate doesn’t decrease, I’ll eat a swag of bunting.

Take a look at your own small-traffic keywords. Is the page receiving that traffic relevant to that keyword? If not, it’s a sure bet the bounce rate is high. Try refocusing that traffic to a page that’s more relevant. If that means creating a new page entirely, optimised for the keyword you’re targeting, give it a go.

I’ll let you know how things go with my client’s new page. Let me know your experiences too.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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