You have a company website, but are wondering why you are not getting traffic. Most likely your website is not optimized for search engines. While this is by no means an extensive course, we will cover the basics and uncover the secrets of SEO, so you can make some adjustments to eventually improve your rankings.
Why are the secrets of SEO important?
According to Inter-growth, 68% of online experiences start with search engines. That means almost 70% of people go on line without knowing exactly what site they are looking for. By optimizing your site for search engines, people looking for services or products that you offer will be able to find you.
63% of all shopping begins on line. Even if people end up purchasing a product in the store they do their research on line.
Think about it. You want to buy a refrigerator. Do you want to drive around from store to store trying to find what you want? No. You are going to research smart refrigerator or door in door refrigerator, depending on what you want. After that, you are going to compare prices and products.
Since it is a big purchase, you might go to the store to see it in person. Then you end up purchasing your new refrigerator at the store. But really, it was search engines that guided you there in the first place.
Further, 61% of B2B marketers state SEO and organic traffic generate more leads than any other marketing interaction. That means this isn’t just for lay people. Businesses are searching for companies they need through search engines as well.
While there are many search engines out there, I am focusing on Google. According to Inter-growth, 91.94% of searches are done through Google.
Main goals of SEO
- Have your audience find your website when searching the web
- Increase regular visitors
- Rank higher on search engines
Ok, so what are these secrets of SEO?
The main secrets of search engine optimization are relevance, clarity, and community.
How do I utilize key words for relevance?
Know your audience. This might take a bit of research. Your audience might include several groups. Focus on the main groups. What are their interests, websites they frequent, habits? Think about what problems they have that your website will solve for them. The solutions will give you a good idea of key words to use.
Let people know they are in the right place with key words.
Ok. So now that you chose some key words, you want to know what to do with them. First of all, your main key word needs to be in the page title. This lets people know they are in the right place. Use key words in your lead to establish that this subject is indeed what this page is about. You should also use key words in sub headings.
Those might be obvious places to use key words. However some others are not as obvious. The meta description is the summary that is found under a listing in search engines. You usually read them to choose the best website from your search to fit your needs. Make sure this meta description includes key words and accurately describes how this page will benefit the reader.
Another forgotten spot is in images. Google crawls images separately from text. Make sure you include key words relevant to the picture in the alt text. The alt text is the description that comes up in place of the image if for some reason the image doesn’t load.
Make sure to narrow down your key phrase. Broad phrases have lots of searchers. But they also have lots of competition.
By using a more specific phrase, you are more likely to attract visitors to your site that actually want to be there to utilize your products or services. For instance, instead of clothing, use women’s business attire. Then you weed out people looking for workout gear, children’s clothing, or outfits for their dog.
To help you identify additional key words or rank difficulty for a certain phrase you can make use of websites specializing in key word search. Some are free such Wordtracker Keyword Research Tool. Or you can get more advanced search with a paid subscription from a site like Keysearch.
If you are a local business, it helps to include your location as part of a key phrase. Instead of auto mechanics, use auto mechanics in Coral Springs. There won’t be as many people searching for that specific topic, but those who are will be likely to find your website.
Secrets of SEO for clarity
This is about your user experience. Search engines also look for certain things that signal good user experience. They look for big chunks of text. Nobody wants to read that. It’s too long. Keep sentences short and to the point. Sentences need to flow smoothly. In addition, use transition words to move to the next idea.
You want to show yourself as an authority, so limit the amount of sentences with passive verbs.
Sections should be broken down into small chunks by using subheadings. Similarly, paragraphs should be only a few sentences. This makes it appear easier to read. In the same respect, chunks of text can be divided up with relevant photos that demonstrates what the text is trying to say. Bullet points also make text easier to read.
Depending on what platform you use to host your website, there are plugins to help identify problems. I use WordPress through Siteground, and have used the Yoast SEO plugin and the AIOSEO plugin. I’m sure there are others. You will just need to see which works best for you.
How to create community for SEO
Search engines want to see connections. When other sites link to yours it gives you credibility. It also establishes that yours isn’t a spammy site. You want to focus on getting your site mentioned on other sites. You can do this by networking with other businesses and having them mention your site on theirs.
The catch? The link needs to be relevant, not just randomly placed at the end of a page. The higher up the better. For example, you have a lawn service. You network with a pest control company. They might mention somewhere on their website about using a lawn service for optimum grass height to prevent bugs. They could provide a link to your site with the words lawn service.
Another way to improve how your site looks to search engines is through internal links. This is one reason why it is important to have a blog or product pages. It works the same way.
See what I just did?
I linked to my post on why it is important to have a blog on your website. The link fit in the sentence naturally. And it was relevant to the topic. You can do that with product pages too. If there is a product that is often bought with another product, you can create a natural link to that page.
Lastly, external links to other websites also help establish you as a credible site. When you mention facts or reference someone in a position of authority and link to the reference, search engines see your information as factual. Spam sites don’t usually take the time to check facts and link to sources.
These are just a few of the secrets of SEO to get you started. To find out more you can search the web for podcasts, free downloadable checklists, or webinars.
Help! I don’t have time for all of this!
On the other hand, if you are still finding this overwhelming, or you just don’t have the time, it may be time to call in a professional. I would be happy to discuss how we can work together to better optimize your website for search engines.
Just fill out the brief contact form so I can get back to you to schedule a free consultation.
Donna Emperador created Innovative Copywriting to help others build their businesses using creative content. She is enthusiastic about the written word and owns a travel blog at exploretheroadwithdonnamarie.com and the wine blog wackywinegirl.com.