For online businesses in most industries, advertising on services like Google AdWords is the great equalizer that gives smaller businesses a leg up and allows them to generate some traffic even though larger and more established businesses control the organic search results. As long as you can outbid the competition, targeted search engine and social media advertising makes it possible for you to drive traffic to your site and earn some revenue, even if you aren’t getting any traffic from Google’s organic search results yet.
There are some industries, though, in which you don’t have access to the great equalizer of paid keyword-based advertising because the advertising networks will not link to your site. Some of those industries include the CBD oil, vaping and casino industries. If you can’t pay the major ad networks to drive traffic to your site, then you need to find alternative ways of generating traffic – and that often means competing on Google’s organic search results pages with companies that are better established than yours. It won’t be easy, but every online business has to start somewhere.
These are the methods that online business owners use to succeed with content in unfair markets.
Create Content Optimized Around Low-Competition Keywords
When you develop any website, your ultimate goal is to get found on Google and other search engines – and you know that if your site appears on the first results page for certain search terms, you have a good chance to make a sale. Let’s suppose, for instance, that your business sells cooking supplies. If you could get on the first page for a keyword phrase like “buy cooking supplies online,” many potential buyers will probably visit your website.
The problem is that every other e-commerce business selling cooking supplies already knows that, so getting on the first page for that search term right away will be very difficult – and if you’re in certain industries, you can’t just pay to appear in the sponsored areas on those search results pages.
So, how do you get traffic from Google’s organic search results pages when more established companies already have those keyword phrases locked up? The answer is that you can create content optimized around lower-competition keywords – and there are two ways of doing that.
Optimize Commercial Content Around Long-Tail Keywords
The shorter and broader a keyword is, the more searches that keyword receives – and the more competition the keyword will have. Let’s suppose, for instance, that you’re the owner of a company selling dog food. The keyword “dog food” is your main keyword and the one for which you really want traffic. When your company is new, though, you’re not going to earn a top rank on Google for that keyword right away. To get your commercial content to rank on Google, you’ll need to optimize that content around long-tail keywords.
Examples of Long-Tail Keywords
The longer and more specific a keyword phrase is, the less competition the keyword phrase will have. Long-tail keywords also receive less searches than short-tail keywords. The good news, though, is that people who search for long-tail keywords often have strong purchase intent. Here’s a list of increasingly long-tail keywords based on the seed phrase “dog food.”
- Dog food
- Vegan dog food
- Best vegan dog food
- Best vegan dog food for digestive problems
Optimize Content Around Non-Commercial Keywords
When your website is new, the best way to get organic traffic from Google is to write content organized around keywords without direct commercial intent. Your competitors – just like you – are building most of their content around commercial keywords because those are the keywords most likely to lead to sales. Many of them are completely ignoring non-commercial keywords. If you structure your content around informational queries, you’ll capture the traffic that your competitors are leaving on the table.
Examples of Non-Commercial Keywords
Here are a few ideas for dog food-themed articles that aren’t based around keywords with commercial intent.
- When Is the Best Time to Feed a Dog?
- How Do I Know if My Dog Has Digestive Problems?
- Is Vegan Dog Food Healthy?
When brainstorming ideas for informational articles, try to think of article titles that answer questions and solve problems. Address pain points that potential customers might have.
When you use informational articles to generate traffic for your website, it’s a little harder to get that traffic to translate into sales. However, solid informational content can still benefit your online business even if the people who read the content don’t purchase products immediately.
- If your content is authoritative and trustworthy, other website owners may link to that content from their websites. The more inbound links your website has, the more likely your commercial content is to earn high rankings.
- If you offer a good subscription reward – monthly random drawings for free products are popular, for instance – you can entice readers to join your mailing list. Once you’ve captured the contact information of potential customers, you have a way to market to them after they’ve left your website.
- Some of the people who read your informational content will remember your company’s name. The brand recognition will pay off later when your commercial content begins to appear on Google’s search results pages. People who remember your company’s name will be more likely to click through to your site.
How to Write Content That’s Likely to Rank Well on Google
One of the first things you should know about content writing is that simply optimizing an article around a given keyword or keyword phrase isn’t enough to ensure the success of that article. It’s wise to put the article’s main keyword phrase in the title and the URL in addition to the file name and alt text of the main image. Beyond those basic optimizations, though, the most important thing is to ensure that your content will truly provide value to human readers. Before you hit the “Publish” button, ask yourself these questions:
- Does this article do a better job of addressing its main topic than the other articles already available online?
- Have you researched the topic fully and covered it from all possible angles?
- Have you written an article that’s easy to read? Have you used images and bullet points to maintain attention and break up long paragraphs?
- Is your article free of spelling and grammatical errors?