Creating a website and publishing it to the internet is a great start, but if nobody can find your site it will end up languishing forgotten in a corner of cyberspace.
The key to increasing the visibility of any website is to find ways to get it to show up well in the search engine results.
When people search for specific businesses, products or topics of interest, they type keywords into a search engine. Well-optimized websites will show up within the first page or two of those search engine results.
If your own website shows up on page 96, it’s highly unlikely it will receive much traffic in terms of visitors. For any business owner wanting to establish a strong online presence, this is pointless. The whole idea of having an online presence is to increase brand recognition and attract new customers, which means you want the right people to find you easily.
This is why ranking well in search engines is such an important factor for any website owner. Search engine optimization, or SEO, really can play an important part in all this.
Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to improve your search engine rankings.
1. Identify Your Target Market
Before you begin tweaking or adjusting anything on your website, it’s important to know exactly who the people are within your target audience. These are the people who will eventually become paying customers for your products or services, so it’s important to know precisely what they’re looking for.
2. Keyword Research
Far too many business owners assume that their business name should be the primary keyword for their website. What they overlook is that many customers may not yet know the name of their business. Instead, they’re searching for a specific product or service, so this is the phrase or term they’ll type into the search engines in order to find you.
3. Relevant Unique Content
When visitors arrive on any website after searching for a specific phrase or term on a search engine, they’ll want to know there is relevant content available. There really is no point attracting visitors to your site if they have no reason to stick around and find out more about what you do. Your content needs to be highly relevant to the keyword you’re focusing on, but also needs to offer readers some informative value at the same time.
4. Link Building
When Google works out where individual websites should rank in the search results, they factor in all sorts of things into their algorithm. Your choice of keywords is one of those factors, but your site’s popularity is another that can affect your rankings. This is determined by how many other websites out there have provided links that point directly to your website. In SEO terms, this is called back-linking. The quality and quantity of backlinks you have can directly impact your search engine rankings.
5. Social Media
Establishing a strong social media presence for your business can be an excellent way to attract new customers to visit your website. There are also some SEO benefits with some social networking sites. For example: creating a Facebook Page for your business will show up in search engine results, as those Pages are able to be indexed by Google. Personal accounts on Facebook can’t. This means even if your own website doesn’t quite make the front page of search results, your Facebook Page just might. Besides, you have the opportunity to engage your audience through your social media presence.
6. Guest Blogging
Most small business owners may not have the time to work through this step, but it really can make a difference to your overall SEO efforts. Submitting an article that is relevant to your business and your keywords to a busy, popular blog can increase the number of people you are exposed to. On top of this, you’re able to include a link back to your own website at the foot of the article, so you can some traffic from that blog’s readers but you also gain another backlink.
Encourage visitors to your site to leave comments on content pages and always be sure to respond. This makes your site appear busier and more popular, but it also works for your SEO efforts. Those comments and feedback can also be a great way to see what customers think of your products or services.
8. Create Videos
Creating a short video about your business and embedding it on your site can be a great way to highlight what you offer to visitors. Besides, you can submit your video to a number of video sharing sites, such as YouTube. As Google owns YouTube, the videos shared there always tend to rank well. If visitors can’t immediately find your site, they may be able to find you using your video instead.
Encourage previous customers and visitors to your site to leave positive reviews about your products or services. This shows other people the benefits of dealing with your business, but it also provides you with more content to place on your site that is highly focused on your specific products or services.
10. Hire a Professional SEO Company
The very best thing you can do for any business website is to engage a professional SEO company with a track record of producing great results. SEO companies already possess the tools and knowledge required to ensure your site always ranks well in the search engines. They also know exactly how to optimize your site for maximum effect, which makes their service to you a cost effective way of achieving what you want.