It does not take a website owner long to realise the importance of a new website actually being found by a target audience! Of course there are many ways for a website to be discovered, from YouTube to forums, from search engines to social bookmarking there are many ways in which web traffic is generated.
One of the most powerful methods for creating website traffic of course is Google, the all powerful search engine well known the world over. There are many ways you can help to increase your chances of being found online in an ever increasingly competitive shop front.
It is advised that every website owner at least attempts to learn the basics of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Becoming familiar with these processes will not only help small changes to me created ‘in house’. It also will hugely help should the website owner seek outside professional help from a professional SEO company.
The Basics of SEO
Search engines determine your ranking position using algorithms, in essence mathematical blueprints for comparison. There are estimated to be up to 200 different aspects to the Google algorithm which have an impact on organic search results. From the number of backlinks pointing to your site, to the time users spend reading your content.
The true entire picture of the puzzle is not publicly known, however massive testing has lead professional SEO’s to understand what is relevant today.
Build From the Ground Up
You need to optimise your site’s setup, design, and content to work well with search engines. The content of the internet is estimated to double every 48 hours! The ocean of data is getting deeper by the second, you need to create a site that highlights the publishers intentions in a laser focused way!
You can help the search engines by structuring your entire website around the keywords and phrases that your customers actually use to find you! Sounds complicated, but this process is more time consuming than rocket science. Ask your IT support people or your SEO consultant for more details.
The structure of your pages, urls and title tags can also have a real impact on the authority the search engines give to your site. If you need any help with these processes, outsourcing them to a digital marketing specialist is highly recommended. This part of your online project is crucial, get the basics wrong and you will more than likely fail to perform.
PPC vs Organic SEO
You will probably have noticed “featured results” when you type in a word on popular search engines. It may cost some money, but you can have your site featured like this using ‘Pay Per Click’ (PPC) marketing. If you are looking to pay to get your website on the first results page as quickly as possible, this may well be the solution to your needs.
The long term costs however within popular markets may well prove too great for many small business owners. A mixture of investing in less competitive keywords with PPC and a long term ‘organic SEO’ strategy is well advised.
Keyword usage is just one part of the overall search engine optimisation process. Links, for example, are a great SEO metric. Links between your site and other sites is a great way to increase search engine rankings.
Target Your Customers!
You need to do a competitive analysis of website competition to get a sense of who is doing what out there. If your website audience are spending time in your site, you’ve probably chosen your keywords wisely and your conversions are likely to be good. There will be the occasional person that will stumble upon your website by accident.
Instead of hoping enough accidental traffic might create enough business, optimising your website for market related keywords is the way forward. Casting your net in the right part of the ‘www ocean’ as we have suggested is the way to catch new business!
The days when social media was a ‘luxury’ are disappearing and fast. Google seems to be heading towards a more ‘machine’ based ranking method. Social metrics and trust will become a big player and every website should now be looking to instigate social media such as Facebook,Google+ and Twitter amongst the main players.
The power of customer interaction and social ‘voting’ should not be overlooked. This really will be what separates those that explode their business with digital marketing and those that fall behind in the coming years. It is not too late, but get started you must as creating a real following takes time and dedication.