There are a number of free SEO software options out there to help you understand your website's relationship with the search engines. And whether you're a local small business or someone providing services online like I am, this kind of software can have a big impact on your bottom line.
Today I'm going to give you a quick look at how I use Traffic Travis to help in my online marketing efforts. Keep in mind, this barely scratches the surface of what the software does, but it's a specific example of how you can use it in a very real way to gain more traffic to your site.
For this example, I've taken my speech writing website. The site is listed in the top 10 for a bunch of keywords related to speech writing, but when I entered several related keywords into the software to get a sense of my positions, I discovered a couple of things:
First, "speech writing" is very close to the top 10, which means page 1 of Google results. And that's a term with around 27,000 monthly searches (per Google's AdWords tool). But I'm nowhere in the top 20 results for "speech writing help." Even though there are only around 390 searches for that per month (in the U.S. -- and actually, I get jobs from around the world), think about the difference:
"speech writing" can be searched by people trying to learn about speech writing, and that may account for a lot of the traffic.
"speech writing help," however, is a term searched specifically by someone likely to hire a speech writer. (Of course sometimes still by students, who I don't help.) So that's a more valuable term in one sense for me. And if I do some things to help my site on the term "speech writing help," the similarity of term probably can't hurt my rankings for "speech writing" as well. Could push it onto page 1.
In any case, once I saw that I was not ranking in the top 20 for "speech writing help," I checked Google's keyword tool to know what kind of demand was there. I don't want to get a great rank for a term no one's searching for. But as I said, it had meaningful traffic:
Keep in mind that "meaningful" traffic has its context -- if I got only 1% of that traffic as new clients each month, that's worth hundreds if not thousands of dollars, depending on the speech they needed. And I only have so much capacity in writing speeches. If, on the other hand, I were running a big agency of writers (which I prefer not to do), this might not be as meaningful. And if I were selling widgets and making $1 profit on each, I would need to get a great deal more traffic to make a keyword worthwhile.
In any case, now you can see how Traffic Travis was able to help me look at a search area I could improve on my website, and now I'll likely put together a page on the site related to "speech writing help" -- answering the question of when people really need to hire someone vs. just writing from their own heart. It's actually already part of my FAQs, but now maybe it becomes a page. And when I check results later, I may follow up with another blog entry on this topic.