You have a website well done, is it great? Having a website is the first step but getting people to find you and notice you is the key!
There is no point in creating an amazing website if no one sees it. You can no longer just upload your site and hope it works. Did you know that there are over 250 million websites on the web? No matter what size business you have you should be incorporating some form of SEO on your website.
How does it work?
SEO is simple yet it can be complex at the same time. SEO is having search engines such as Google to put your website near the top of search results when someone types in a request that matches your criteria. If you sell laces for shoes, then you want your site to appear at the top of the list every time someone types the words laces into the search engine.
If you look carefully at a Google search page, you will see the first few results show the words AD. These websites have paid to be here – they are not there because they are most best or most relevant to a search. The results below this are what we are talking about, they matter because these are the free listings which have been chosen by Google as a match to the search criteria.
Websites that appear in the top places of any search engine’s results attract 98% of the traffic for that particular search, while the website in first place attracts around 60% of the traffic all by itself. People are lasy, there is a saying that you can hide a dead body on page two of Google, this is mostly true. The search results on the first page are what most people will focus on so SEO is important.
A search can generate millions of results – a search for laces produces
1,900,000,000 results that’s a lot to choose from! In most cases people don’t even bother to scroll down to see the bottom of the first page.
Getting the top spot doesn’t just happen. A lot of work is involved. Similarly being the top spot is based on keywords and is not really an exact science. You might be number one for LACES but nowhere to be seen for SHOE LACES.
The Google algorithm and how it decides to rank the websites is a closely guarded secret, their algorithms are always changing. No one can guarantee you the top spot and walk away from anyone that promises to do so.
There are some things that are known that do help and you can do to help with your overall rank-ability and how search engines will interpret your site. This can be how many other sites link to yours, how many people visit the site and how often the content on your website is updated. There are other factors such as how long the website has been running for which is also taken into account. There are many ways to help you to become relevant and ensure you are doing everything you can to achieve the best results – so what are they?
1. Meta tags
Meta tags are words which you can write into the HTML code of your website – in other words, the unseen instruction part of your website. They can’t be seen by people looking at your website, but they are recognised by Google and other search engines as they trawl the internet looking for relevant sites.
They should indicate what your website is about by using keywords which describe its contents. The good news is Google has provided lots of free online tools to help you get to grips with all this. Your first stop should be Google Analytics which will tell you about the performance of your website — how many people visit it, which pages they look at and for how long.
You need to include the words and phrases you wish to be known for into the content of your website. The more you focus on specific words the more that will be identified by Google. If your site has 300 uses of the word LACES and your competitor has just 10 this can help you to stand out. Using something more niche is another way to go.
Google has a free search keyword tool (adwords.google.com and then click on reporting and tools) this will help you decide how popular or not so popular different words are.
Writing great content articles helps too. Blogs are a great way to help with SEO and Google’s search results.
Getting other sites to mention your site and include a link to it will help you. Social Media is a great place to start. Social Media helps with SEO as well. Setting up a Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is great as you can link to your site as well as engaging customers and getting them to share your site and links too.
You could get a blogger to link to your site too, offering freebies to review is a good way to do this. As we have already mentioned you should get a blog happening and incorporate this in a newsletter, this is another way people can and will link to or share.
4. Website design
When designing a website there are various things that you would need to do not only in the content creation but also in the back end of each page from descriptions, amount of words, H1, tags and so much more. Designers of websites understand this and will guide you. If you are going to do the design your self do some homework so you get it right and have a good chance at SEO
Things to consider
Ranking on Google is hard. New businesses can take a long time to start showing up in search results as they have a lower rating. Your blogs, links, keywords and information will take time to become noticed and help with your overall rank. Early on you need to consider with paid advertising either SEM (search engine marketing) or PPC (pay per click) . These can be Facebook ads, Google Adwords or similar platform marketing.
This is a minefield as well so another blog on this topic will have to follow to bulk out what it is and how it works. Whatever way we look at it both have a place and can help.
What to take away from this
SEO is hard, Getting your business noticed is hard. The digital world is complex and massive. Having a website is a start and then you need to have a good plan from there. The problem is if your website isn’t designed and optimised right from the ‘get go’ anything you do there after could be a waste of time. Spend time researching, consider getting someone to design it for you and ensure you focus on your digital proposition.
Having the best website, social media presence and content marking plan is a great start to establishing a great online presence. Incorporating great content for your industry is paramount, use video or images think about newsletters – there is so much to consider.
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