You may have heard that search advertising is getting more expensive without delivering better benefits. It’s true! Demand for search advertising has driven the prices up higher than the value can support. We’re not saying that paid search is a bad idea – just that it’s getting very expensive. And because of this, most small business owners are trying to figure out what else they can do to boost business.
What you may not be taking enough advantage of is organic search. Organic search is the method of entering a word or a term in a search engine and finding results based on your search term. If your company website has the match for those search inquiries, the consumer will be directed to your website. Free? Well, you don’t have to pay advertising dollars to get those results. But you DO have to do some work, and of course, that’s never free. Here are some tips for getting more organic search traffic to your website:
1. Keep it relevant! You’ve probably heard the term “key word stuffing.” That’s when a website takes a popular term or phrase and puts it in their meta data hoping to attract more visitors. There’s nothing wrong with using a popular term or phrase – as long as it lands the searcher somewhere they want to be! If someone is searching for “Marilyn Monroe” posters, and they land on your “diamonds are a girl’s best friend” page, they’re not going to be happy. Even worse, Google keeps track of how fast people bounce back out of your site. If you have too many bounces, Google will know that the search terms attached to your pages, products, and articles aren’t relevant enough. So make sure that if someone clicks on a search phrase and lands in your site, they are going to be happy with what they find when they get there.
2. Update your site regularly. This is something a lot of website owners don’t understand. Google (yes, there are other search engines, but Google makes up 86% of search, so they drive all organic search instructions) – Google knows how frequently a site is updated. If they have a choice of sending a searcher to a site that was updated yesterday, or a site that was last updated 8 months ago, they’ll present the link for the site that was updated yesterday every time. Google also keeps track of the frequency with which a site is updated. This is why you often hear advice to write blogs, add new products weekly, or add pages regularly. It’s because a fresh site is more likely to receive organic search traffic.
3. Make sure you’re mobile! Starting in 2018, Google indexes mobile sites over desktop sites (we’re not even sure if they’re indexing desktop sites very much any more – and they won’t say). Why? Because more people surf the web on smart phones than on desktop computers, and Google wants to make sure that people using smart phones have a fantastic experience when they follow a search link. If you want Google to offer your link to a searcher, make sure your site is fully responsive – changing configuration automatically in order to look best on whatever device your customers happen to be using.
4. Populate the meta data! Modern websites like WordPress, Joomla, Magento, and online web builders like Shopify and Squarespace all give you easy fields to populate meta-data. This is data that is invisible to the website visitor, but indexed by the search engines. The most powerful way to ensure your website is offered to searchers is to do a great job on product and article titles, descriptions (long and short if both are an option), and meta-data. Each field that you can populate is one more opportunity for a customer to find you.
5. Use lots of varied search terms. If you have 5,000 fields of meta data, but they all boil down to the same 50 – 75 terms, then you’re not really maximizing your search potential. Be as creative as you can be – without losing accuracy or relevance – when writing your titles and descriptions and populating your meta-data fields. In the world of jewelry search, the company that can find 50 different ways to accurately describe sapphire rings will win!
6. The Centurion Jewelry Show’s Jewelry Ecomm site just published this tip, and we think it’s excellent: “Consumers are continuing to leverage the power of Google search to find answers to their more detailed search queries. In the past two years, there’s been a 500% growth in “near me” mobile searches that contain phrases like “can I buy” or “to buy.” In addition to location based searches like “jewelry store near me” people are also looking for specific items through search such as “diamonds near me” or “where to buy engagement rings.” Jewelers should search for these terms on Google and see where their store falls in the search results. Search engine optimization can help you rank higher in search and become the number one jeweler on the block.”
Of course, once you get a visitor to your website, you are that much closer to converting them to a store visitor (if they’re nearby) or an online purchaser. The more likely route to online success is to attract local search traffic, because most consumers still want to buy their jewelry in a store. But if you’re the only store offering a particular jewel – or, if you’ve done a better job building trust on your website than your competitors near and far – then you can also collect on that approximately 12% of jewelry sales that happen online! So get to work making organic search work for you. It really is a gift that keeps on giving.