Want to Increase Your Website’s Visibility? SEO is The Answer
If your business is lingering down in the dark depths of the search results, you'll have little hope of online sales - but you can change that
For any small business with a web presence, the goal is to rank high on a search engine results lists. If your website lands anywhere past the third page of results, people are unlikely to find it in their search.
So how can you increase the visibility of your website? The key is to design your website and its content so that search engines can find the pages easily and index them. This is a practice known as search engine optimisation (SEO), which we will take a closer look at in this article, as well as the best practices to optimise your business’s SEO strategy.
How does search engine optimisation work?
SEO is more complex than filling your website’s pages with keywords to be picked up by search engines. Search engines have their own criteria for ranking web pages, which are periodically changed and updated to prevent websites from falsely obtaining a permanent high ranking. Their intricate algorithms take into account keywords within the content, website traffic and accessibility.
For example, Google’s Penguin algorithm update, first launched in April 2012, was developed to catch websites deemed to be spamming its search results. It targeted techniques used to artificially inflate rankings, such as keyword stuffing and link spam. This meant that pages with lower quality content were considered less authoritative and therefore ranked lower.
Determining which keywords and phrases your website should target is an important start for good SEO. If your page targets keywords that no one is searching for, then the search engines won’t send you any traffic.
There are several free keyword research tools that you can use to help you. Google’s AdWords Tool allows you to search for keyword ideas, look at historical statistics and see how a list of keywords might perform. You should build a target list of keywords for your business and re-visit it periodically. If your industry is prone to quick changes, try to check and update your keywords every three to six months.
Particularly competitive industries, such as fashion, may struggle to utilise keywords to gain more exposure and rank higher on search engines. This is when professionals can help. You can use a digital marketing company’s expertise in SEO to give you a competitive edge.
High quality content is still the best way for a website to rank higher on search engine results. Your keyword research will come in handy when deciding on what content you should be writing for your audience or customer. Focusing on useful content that helps to answer the questions that people are searching for will help your website to receive traffic.
Quality content should be informative, interesting and rich in keywords, establishing your authority on the subject. If your customer feels as though they have learned something, then they are more likely to return to your website.
In addition, strong content will encourage external sites to link to your site, making you more authoritative in Google’s eyes. The ways of increasing your website traffic and gaining more external links can be helped by your social media strategy.
Social media marketing
A business’s social media strategy goes hand in hand with SEO. Both aim to attract visitors to your website and having a strong strategy for both will increase your search result rankings.
A good tactic to gain visibility on social media is by using hashtags and encouraging social sharing. Likes, shares, favourites and retweets will all contribute to your website being viewed as an authority by search engines and draw in links, traffic and positive brand awareness. There are many ways to do this, including surveys that encourage people to like your post if they agree, or competitions where users are asked to like and share your posts.
Optimising for mobiles
As internet usage is moving more towards mobile devices and smartphones, you need to ensure that your site is mobile-friendly.
Google have recently introduced an updated mobile-friendly algorithm that ranks sites higher if they are easily accessible on mobile sites. It considers how your website’s information and usability is optimised for use on mobiles, taking into account site design, structure and page speed.
Here are some tips for optimising your business’s website for mobile devices:
- Don’t use Flash – this plugin may not be available on your user’s phone so they may miss the effects.
- Limit your use pop-ups – it can be difficult to close these on a mobile and frustrated users may leave your site, leading to a high bounce rate.
- Remember the importance of page speed – optimise any images and reduce redirects.
Finally, use Google Analytics to track how your SEO is performing. With this handy tool, you can see trends and how users interact with your website, and use the data to improve anything that may not be working well.
If you want to improve your business’s SEO strategy and increase your visibility on search engine rankings, then consider our five top tips. Optimising your SEO will help your website get ranked higher on search engine results, gain more followers and encourage customers and clients to return to your website.
Manli Su is from Ingenuity Digital