How to improve your search engine optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will help your website bubble to the top of the internet search engines when prospective customers are online. It’s a process to help optimize your website so that it’s attractive to search engines, so when people type in particular keywords for their search, your business will be higher up the page than your competitors.
It's important as few people click to the second page of a search result.
SEO tips for business owners:
- Use keywords in your text, which are terms people are likely to use when they’re searching for a business like yours. Make a list and incorporate them into the text on the page and the keywords meta tags. Try to come up with different, but applicable, keywords for each page. You can use the Google keyword tool to identify relevant keywords. Aim to use specific keywords unique to your industry.
- Include links to other websites that are relevant to your business. This will help influence the ranking that search engines apply to the pages of your website. Try to surround the links with some of your chosen keywords, as this can improve your ranking.
- Backlinking, where a link on another website links to your own. If you’ve written a blog, and someone else finds that blog interesting, see if they will link to it from their site.
- Be mobile friendly as search engines likes sites that are fully functional when you view them on a smartphone such as no need to ‘pinch and zoom’ and the buttons are easy to navigate. Search engines reward mobile-friendly sites with better rankings than sites that are hard to view.
- Have regular updates with fresh content (as opposed to a website that hasn’t been updated in months).
- Use Google Analytics as a tool to help measure how effective your SEO is. As well as showing you key metrics such as how many visitors your website gets and how long your visitors stay on your site, you can also track how people find your website, the keywords they use, and the path they follow when navigating through your site. Use this information to help decide which keywords you should use.
You can also pay to promote your site with Search Engine Marketing (SEM). This is not strictly SEO as there’s a cost involved, but it’s worth noting since it’s an effective way to drive traffic to your website.
Keep website content relevant and fresh
The main reason people will visit your site is to view its content, so with the customer in mind, you should create engaging and compelling content to encourage visitors to stay and share.
The title of your page is what people will see in search engine results, so grab their attention and offer something they want or need. It should convey exactly what they’ll get from you in less than 70 characters. Check out Google’s AdWords Keyword Planner to help you choose the best words for your content.
Add searchable content to your website such as:
- Industry research that helps solve a problem
- Insights which share information on trends
- Articles or case studies
- Blogs on topical issues and concerns related to your business or industry
- Whitepapers or industry guides
- Testimonials from satisfied customers
- Videos, images or photos
Build a social media presence
Being active in social media can also drive traffic to your site and help improve your SEO. Build your followers by posting relevant insights inside customer communities, profiling and sharing expert content and reposting content from thought leaders and industry influencers.
You can also consider running webinars or posting podcasts on topics you know customers want to hear about. If you’re an expert on a topic then people will want to listen.
Other ways to be proactive include joining and participating in online communities or forums, volunteering to speak at events or appearing on a panel as an expert guest. Identify if there are businesses you could collaborate with by sharing content, linking to their pages (and vice versa) and cross-promoting to share audiences.
Keep in mind that everything should be geared to optimizing your SEO as much as possible and how search engines can help. The more your content is geared towards what they are looking for, the better your ranking will be and the more traffic you’ll be driving to your website.