No matter what industry you’re in, you need to pay attention to what your prospective customers are looking for. As many of you know, I specialise as a brand identity designer, but that’s not to say I should focus 100% of my efforts on marketing myself as such.
That might sound strange, but let me explain.
I attract a lot of new business through my website, so it makes sense to learn what people search for in order to find it. Think of how many different search terms there are for what I specialise in:
- Logo design
- Logo designer
- Custom logo
- Business logo
- Brand identity
- Corporate identity
- Identity design
- Best logos
The list goes on, but the point remains – to focus all your efforts on one search term is ruling out a vast amount of potential business.
Assuming search engines are already sending you traffic, you need to know what people are searching for when they find your website. Google is the search engine that currently rules the roost over Yahoo, MSN etc., and it provides useful tools for tracking web statistics. Checking your historical search data, using Google’s Webmaster Tools, is an excellent way to find out what search terms show your website in the results, and what position you are in the rankings.
This recent addition to Google’s Webmaster Tools is titled Top search queries (indicated by my expert arrow, above). In your own Webmaster Tools, clicking this link presents you with two lists of data. One shows the top 20 search queries your site appears in, and the other shows the top 20 clicked queries.
David Airey’s top search queries
As it says in the above image, these are the top search queries in which my website appears during the past seven days (this timeframe can be changed to show up to the past six months). The first two slots on the list, for logo design and logo designer, amount to 23% of all the Google searches in which my website appears, and you can see that other logo-related search terms also show my website – best logos, designing a logo.
A new print design client recently found my website after searching for best logos, and whilst I’m not creating any logos for him, I am designing a 200 page art book, and other promotional material. So just because someone looks for you through your main area of expertise, doesn’t mean you can’t do business together on something else.
Before thinking I’m well on track with the results of the search query table, it must be noted that it only tells half the story (and the least important half too). Even though I appear in the results for a relevant search term, this doesn’t mean I’m attracting new visitors. I need to know if people are actually clicking on my name in the results, and this is where the next table comes into play.
David Airey’s top clicked queries
In the above image, you can see that the largest percentage of click-throughs to my website arrive from people searching for graphic design portfolio. It’s possible that some of those people are potential clients, but much more likely that they’re other graphic designers, looking for inspiration (I know I’ve searched through graphic design portfolios on many occasions).
The combined click-throughs for both logo design and logo designer amount to just 13% of my total visits from Google searches – much lower than the 23% of searches in which I appear for those terms.
Let’s sum that up:
- I want to attract logo design clients
- My website appears in logo design online searches
- Only around 50% of searches in which my website appears attract people to click-through
What can I do to improve click-through rates?
It goes without saying that #1 on the list of search results will attract many more click-throughs than those further down, and I’m not at #1. So I must be patient, and continue to produce relevant content based around logo design.
However, I think I can entice more logo design clients by changing my website title and description. Take a look at what you currently see when my website appears in search results:
You can see that I’m branding myself as a graphic designer, and whilst logo design is covered by this title, perhaps showing David Airey :: Logo Designer would be of more benefit. A Google search for logo designer shows my website on the first page of results, but I’m the only site on the list not to have logo or logo design in the title.
Should I change from Graphic Designer to Logo Designer? I think I’ll test it for a while, and keep a close eye on click-through percentages, but your opinion would also be appreciated. Removing the term ‘graphic designer’ also folds away the umbrella that covers a lot of my expertise (brochure design, flyers and posters, banners and leaflets etc.), which goes back to my previous thoughts about setting up a specialised logo design website.
Targeting specific search terms and keywords
Where keywords are concerned, it’s no good targeting a phrase or word that no-one will ever search for, so you need to do your research. It’s possible to discover how many people are searching for specific terms, and I touch upon that in a previous blog post, graphic design Edinburgh and keyword search ranking.
For a more in-depth look at the resources available, check out 30 keyword tools to use for your website.
How are you marketing yourself online?
What’s your website title / description, and does it reflect the service or product you offer?
It’s vital to be able to measure results. Are you tracking visitor stats so you can increase traffic?