The “If you build it, they will come” mentality doesn’t work with websites, I’m afraid.
There is still work to be done once the site is live if you want to boost traffic and not disappear amongst the 1.8 billion other websites that are out there.
Here are our tips on how to improve your website’s search engine ranking. Any one of these topics can be researched further, but this will give you an overview of what techniques are out there and proven to work.
So, how do you improve your ranking?
Well, there is no magic button.
You start by doing keyword research and focus on what keywords or phrases work best for rank, so you have a focus that will guide your actions. It is good to have a solid understanding of how much a new client is worth to you, so later you can measure if your efforts are effective, or if you need to change strategy.
The most immediate action you can take to get your site on the search result pages is to advertise. This can be done using ad services like Google Adwords or Bing Ads. This doesn’t put you in the actual search results, but will put links to your website in the advertising around the results.
The more competition a keyword has, the more it costs per click-through. Generally shorter keywords have more competition than longer keyword phrases. Small businesses often find it’s more effective to target several popular keyword phrases than to spend all their effort trying to rank for a short and competitive keyword.
Part of the challenge is striking the right balance between competitiveness vs. number of searches vs. cost. The other (larger) part is getting people to do what you want once they get to your website.
While you have your wallet out, check out Facebook advertising. Many are finding it lucrative for their business. Online advertising is amazing because you have tools to really target your audience and you are given a great amount of statistics to understand the impact your ads have.
Driving traffic to your home page is a start. But this is often supplemented with the creation of specialty pages called Landing pages. The purpose of landing pages is to get customers to commit to an action – “Request a Quote”, “Buy our e-book”, “Sign up for our newsletter”, “apply for X”
These pages can be optimized for specific search terms and can then be A/B tested to determine things like the best headline or button text, color scheme, call to action, image placement, and other factors, to maximize their effectiveness.
Getting another website or post to link to your site is called link building. These would preferably be sites in your industry or from happy customers. This can be achieved by being mentioned on blogs, guest writing articles, etc..
- Do not pay for links to your site.
- Do not mass submit to random directories.
- Do not have links just to your home page.
- Do get people to share links to your site on social platforms like Pinterest and Facebook – you can start by sharing on your own Facebook/Pinterest/Twitter/Instagram accounts.
There is a focus on sites with quality, fresh content – though “quality” can be an ambiguous term. It’s generally judged by relevancy vs how much others like the pages on your website.
Content Marketing (aka, Being Interesting)
Many businesses are doing what is known as “content marketing”. This is basically a fancy term for using a blog integrated with their website and social platforms to publish targeted articles.It’s pretty much a secret weapon for SEO. People are more likely to share an interesting or inspiring article than a company’s product page.
The #1 challenge for a blog, aside from making the time to keep it updated = Keep focused and be interesting to your niche.
Interesting could mean funny, informative, news worthy, eye candy, entertaining…You define it and stick to it, remembering who your audience is. If people follow you because they want the latest information about laser eye surgery and you decide to post a funny picture of a cat kung fu kicking a dog in the face then you’ve strayed off topic.
It might be funny, but people follow other sources for funny. They follow you for laser eye surgery information . . . and you’re not delivering.
Local businesses also benefit greatly from creating Google & Bing business listings (free), and getting clients to submit reviews on them and on sites like Yelp (these reviews can also show up on your Facebook Business page with the right settings).
SEO isn’t the end, either. . .
There are other marketing steps you can take to drive traffic to your website including;
- starting an email marketing campaign
- creating specialized landing pages
- personal networking
- local advertising
If this is all a bit overwhelming, we offer marketing services to promote your website and help you get found. Additionally, we can help integrate your site with social platforms making it easier for people to share your content and interact. Let us know about your web project and we will be happy to help.
- Paid Advertising
- Google Adwords http://www.google.com/ads/plan/#/
- Bing Ads http://advertise.bingads.microsoft.com/en-us/reachyournextcustomer
- Facebook https://www.facebook.com/advertising
- Maintain Active Accounts at
- Google Places http://www.google.com/+/business/
- Bing Places https://www.bingplaces.com/
- Social Media Sites (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest)
- Encourage Customer/Client reviews on Google Places, Bing Places, Yelp, etc.
- Enhance your website
- Integrate social media by displaying your latest tweets, or adding buttons to like your products/images/articles on pinterest/facebook, etc.
- Create Targeted Landing Pages
- Start a Blog – and keep it up
- Share your articles using social media
- Build Links & Relationships