This post was written by Alex Ramirez, one of our two summer marketing interns. With no prior experience in web marketing, Alex utilized Growth Spark's SEEK Conversion Methodology to generate organic traffic for his now popular techno dance website.
Growth Spark recently gave a presentation at the Boston Design Center on their SEEK Conversion Methodology. SEEK (Sourcing, Engagement, Enactment, Knowledge) is Growth Spark's conversion strategy designed to help business owners reach out to their target audience, engage them with authoritative content, encourage them to fulfill conversion goals and analyze their online behavior. Using this same method, I started and operated a website as part of my internship.
The website I maintained was a challenge between the interns at Growth Spark. We were given a list of keyword domain names, each of them fairly unique and obscure, such as "WorldMapMurals.com" and "RaftingNewEngland.com." The domain I chose was "HowToDanceTechno.com." Even though I didn't know anything about Techno before starting the website, I thought I could have some fun with this and make it something I could be proud of. The goal of this project was to build a site around the keyword, "how to dance techno," and use the SEEK method to generate organic, unpaid traffic.
I first had to focus on Sourcing. The concept of sourcing involves planning ways to increase traffic, and who to target to get more traffic. There are three types of traffic you can generate: search, paid, and community.
Search traffic is made up of visitors that found your website through search engines like Google. One of the best ways to generate this type of traffic is through keyword research. Google's Keyword Tool is very helpful in researching keywords, showing some of the best words to use, how often they are searched for, and the competition for searches for those words. The best keywords are usually those with many monthly searches but low competition, otherwise known as long tail keywords.
A long tail keyword is a very specific keyword phrase. By using long tail keywords, you can have an easier time reaching target audiences. For example, let's say you're an interior designer in Boston; you wouldn't want to rely on a "short tail" keyword like "designer." It would bring up a variety of results, from designers in California to designers in New York. Your website would never show up if you relied on such a general term. You’ll want to be more specific in your content. The long tail keyword "interior designer in boston" is a much better option. There's less competition for such a specific term, it's easier for Google to find you using this term, and it's the keyword potential customers in Boston would be typing when looking for an interior designer. Fortunately for me, "how to dance techno" was a fairly long tail keyword (more specific than just "dance" or "techno") and was also a commonly searched term with low competition.
Making a list of keywords I found using the Keyword Tool, I was able to decide what type of content and articles to write for my website. When I looked up the results for "how to dance techno," I noticed that a couple specific songs were recommended in the list. They had high searches and low competition, so I decided to write a review on one of them. It resulted in a few more visits to my site, which slowly began to creep to the top of the search results on Google.
Paid traffic is the traffic you generate from pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, advertisements, and other sponsored campaigns. There wasn’t a PPC campaign for How to Dance Techno, but I still managed to attract visitors through community traffic.
Community traffic is the traffic generated through social media, guest blogging, and article marketing. Using social media, especially Twitter, was very useful in generating traffic to my site. While I gained visits through the Facebook page, "Tweeting" proved to be more useful. With my Tweets showing up under trending topics like "The LXD," I was able to reach out to those who weren’t followers of my account and gain more visits.
The next step in SEEK is Engagement. Engagement involves writing search engine-friendly content, writing interesting content, and wisely using keywords that help generate views. You have two types of traffic to attract when writing content: human traffic and search engine traffic.
To increase human traffic, your writing needs to convey authority, understanding, and trustworthiness. It needs to be the type of writing that keeps people coming back, and encourages them to recommend people to your site. The second type of traffic is generated from search engines. To reach people through search engines, you need unique content (no copying and pasting from other sites!) rich with keywords and well-structured coding. Do not keyword stuff!
Keyword stuffing is what happens when you try to fit as many keywords into an article as possible, often ending up with incoherent or poorly written content. Google penalizes keyword stuffing, so avoid it with well-written content. It may take time out figure out a balance for reaching these two audiences, but it's often best to focus on one keyword at a time. Only include related keywords in the same article, don’t try to force very different and irrelevant keywords into the same article. If you want a tool to help analyze your content, Growth Spark recommends Scribe SEO.
As for the coding structure, if you have a WordPress site, many widgets and plug-ins can help organize codes (like those for Analytics) for you.
The next step is Enactment. Enactment involves actually getting conversions to accomplish your goals, whether it's to get your visitors to buy something or visit a certain page. My main conversion goal was to get people to visit my Contact page, although it wasn't something I put too much effort into (simply a few links to it every few articles or so), since it's not something I'm reliant on. Of course, if you run a business, you want people to reach your goal (whether it's a contact page or order form). To get them there, you will want to include more calls to action that encourage and lead people to conversions. Encouraging more navigation through your site also helps; the more people see of your site, the better. After I added a page of video tutorials, more people stayed on my site and explored it (whether to the tutorials from the homepage, or article to tutorials, etc.), which helps to keep visitors on your site longer and to increase interest. If getting visitors to fill out a specific form is your conversion goal, Growth Spark recommends generating one through Wufoo.
The final step in SEEK is Knowledge. In this step, you analyze the data you’ve gathered, like traffic sources, the number of visitors, bounce rates, and other statistics you can get from Google Analytics. Using Analytics, I was able to see where my traffic was coming from (for my site, 50% of traffic comes from search engines), who or what sent them there (soulclap.blog.us, thelxd.com), and what terms they used to find my site ("how to dance techno," "tecktonik," "Melbourne shuffle"). This information allowed me to better understand my visitors, and made it easier to predict what content would yield the best results. If you have a Google Adwords campaign, Analytics will also track its progress.
You can also use tools like Social Mention to see if people are blogging or Tweeting about you, your site, or any keywords you're interested in. This can even create opportunities for direct interaction between you and any potential customers or readers.
During Growth Spark's workshop on SEEK at the Boston Design Center, I couldn't help but smile at the fact that I knew from experience what they were talking about. Using SEEK, my website became the top result in Google for "how to dance techno." Since starting my site in late June, it now has 550 page views, 480 of those from unique visitors. While it's still a relatively small operation, HowToDancetechno.com shows that SEEK works - it just takes some time and effort.