Would you like to know how to get “targeted traffic” to your web site? Usually a loaded question like that would be followed by some ridiculously long sales copy for some ebook or software – wouldn’t it? Don’t worry, that’s not what this post is about. I sell things through affiliate links when I find stuff that works – but I’m like what I call the “anti-Guru” when it comes to all that hyped garbage.

The most common question I get from people is how to get traffic to their web site. They really mean “targeted traffic”, but usually say “How do I get Traffic”?

Then usually the first thing I ask is “What is Your Web Site Ranked for?”, and then I get a blank stare back.

I can’t teach you everything in one blog post, and I will write more about this in the future. I can give you some very basic advice to set you in the right direction…

What is Targeted Traffic Anyway?

Targeted Traffic is:

– getting your web site ranked for specific keywords

Let’s talk about this in basic brick and mortar business terms – ok? Let’s say you have a hardware store and you rent carpet cleaners. If there were no Internet at all – and you wanted to promote the fact that you rent carpet cleaners out, your #1 way to do this would be the yellow page and the phone book. Because this was where you did a quick “search” for the business you needed, and then you would call and find out how much is costs.

There are lots of other types of media, such as using the local newspaper, television, radio, or an independant classified paper. You might be able to also use coupons in the mail, or telemarketing. For a small business owner, sometimes the yellow pages was not only enough – it was all you could afford (because it was expensive).

This is the online age – and “google” is the new yellow pages.

If I need to find you – I would go to google and type something like:

“carpet cleaner rental [mycity]”
“rug doctor [mycity]”
“carpet shampooer [myzipcode]”

If you want to get targeted traffic:

A. You MUST know what words people will use to search for you

B. You MUST use those words in the right places of your web site

How do I find Good Target Keywords?

Well, do some very basic keyword research. The Google keyword Tool is FREE. Type in what you think people would actually use for keywords, and google WILL TELL YOU what actually get’s typed in. Make a basic list of good keywords to use.

Targeted Traffic

The image above shows a basic keyword search I did for the example we’ve been talking about. If you want to know “what to do with those targeted keywords”, or – where to place targeted keywords on your web site, you might want to read my free presentation “Best Practices for WordPress and SEO” that I gave at WordPress Ann Arbor last week.

What is Your Web Site Ranked For

Ahhh, back to the original question I ask when people ask me “How to I Get Traffic”? I always ask “What is Your Web Site Ranked For?” because that determines if you’re going to get targeted traffic or not – and how much you get.

Taking our example further, let’s say your business is “Bob’s Hardware” and your domain name is “www.bobshardware.com”. When people type in Bob’s Hardware by itself, or with your city, zip code, or state – odds are pretty good you’ll be the #1 result. But what about all the things that “Bob’s Hardware” might offer?

What if Bob’s Hardware wants to be found for:

Bob’s Ace Hardware
Bejamin Moore Paint
lawn mower repair
blade sharpening
pellet stoves
outdoor grills

or dozens of other keywords – all combined with your city name, state, zip code, etc.?

If you want web site traffic – and specifically “targeted traffic” – your web site MUST contain the keywords you want to get ranked for somewhere. Having a professional SEO (like myself) help you is good, but believe it or not – you can do a LOT of this work yourself. You just need to know what your keywords are, and then methodically use them in your web site (mixed with a bit of online marketing), and you’ll start getting “targeted traffic”. The more specific keyword phrases you get ranked for (by building individual pages for services), the more traffic you’ll get.

Having no Content is a Mistake

Is your web site an online business card or brochure? Not having content with your target keywords is the biggest mistake you could make. If you have 50 products, you need 50 product pages (maybe more). You need good quality descriptions in titles and headings (and imges) using your “target keywords”. If your homepage is the only source of your organic keyword driven traffic – you’re missing opportunities each an every day for customers.

Going back to our example for this post (the hardware store), your homepage is going to get easily ranked for your business name and/or location in most cases. Specifically and deliberately create inner products or services pages for your business – or don’t expect to get ANY traffic for them at all.

Meaning, in the “carpet cleaner” example – if the hardware stores want to promote their rentals, they have to specifically target a page for that for the search engines.

Again – one last real world example. If the hardware store was still using the yellow pages, it would probably get listed in multiple categories. One for the main business keyword – like the “hardware store” category. They might also get listed in the yellow pages under “Carpet Cleaning”, and “Painting Supplies”.

If you have a web site, the same technique (to get targeted customers) is to create individual pages for your products and services to categorize yourself. Google is the new phone book, and your web site will be used to categorize your business in online search.

How many categories you are “indexed” for – well, that’s up to you and how well you’re setup for “targeted traffic”.