Last year, I was working with a client whose site was routinely ranking in the 4-8 spots on Google for their #1 keyword, a solid showing for any brand. Their organic traffic was pretty steady month to month, so they were trying to find ways to increase new visitors to the site.
My suggestion? Let's look into some slightly different, yet related, avenues where we can build up their organic presence to reach more potential customers.
There comes a time in every site's life (and this will vary greatly between sites) when organic growth starts to flatline. After all, if your main search term has an average search volume of 2,100 you can't really pull in 5,000 visitors a month for that phrase.
At some point there just aren't more visitors to be had! But no business likes to flatline, and every website should always be on the lookout for ways to grow their online brand and reach a wider audience. The key? Finding relevant areas to push your brand into.
I don’t think I’ve worked on a site where traffic was completely exhausted due to keyword search volume. There’s always some area you can expand to. The challenge is finding keyword targets that represent opportunities to get in front of people earlier in the sales cycle, ideally before they’re exposed to competing brands. For example, people that are looking for a new home may end up needing storage, but they don’t know it yet. So, your site could be the one that helps with tips on staging their current home. Another example would be expectant mothers that don’t need diapers just yet, but will soon enough, so why not be the diaper-selling brand that gets in front of them during their pregnancy?
What Marios is suggesting is that, in order to grow, sites need to find new opportunities that connect them with their target audience at a different point in the sales cycle.
Let's consider his first example of the potential home owners on the hunt for their first house. If you sell storage supplies/equipment you can't really help those home buyers learn about getting mortgages, hiring a real estate agent, or how to check if the plumbing needs to be replaced within five years. But what you can do is help them with concerns they don't even know they have until it's too late!
For instance, what if they need to move out of their old house/apartment before they can move into their new house? How can they best organize their lives so they can basically live out of suitcases for a few months? Your website now enters the buying cycle long before they have to organize their new home, giving you more time to build a relationship and connect with that buyer.
Or with regards to the soon-to-be-mother, perhaps the diaper company could create content that focuses on the first few days home with a new baby. How many new parents have ever changed a diaper before? And even if they have, how many have changed a diaper on a newborn? What other diaper-related problems will they soon face? The diaper company could create a sort-of crash course in bringing your baby home that connects them with to-be-moms.
These two companies don't need to abandon their core products/services in order to grow, nor do they really even need to add products/services to their website in order to expand their online presence. They key is to find new ways to position their products to their customer base a little sooner in the buying cycle. What new problems can they help customers solve before their customer even realizes they have a problem on their hands?
If your website's growth has flatlined, take a look and see what new territories you might be able to branch out into. How can new customers use your products and your site sooner rather than later? Even five-to-10 extra visitors a day can really add up over time!
Nick Stamoulis is the President of Boston SEO agency Brick Marketing. With over 13 years of industry experience, Nick shares his SEO knowledge by writing in the Brick Marketing Blog and publishing the Brick Marketing SEO Newsletter, read by over 120,000 opt-in subscribers. His last post for SEMrush was “Did You Give Your SEO Enough Time to Take Effect?"