Have you ever seen those vendors on the side of the streets selling home-grown fruits or vegetables? Have you ever stopped at one? There is a good chance that you’ve probably driven right past it without stopping. But why? These people have certainly put more love and care into the cultivation and distribution than anyone who sells to grocery stores. They have undoubtedly used less harmful chemicals in the process. They are generally friendly and more than happy to answer any questions you have about the products. Their products are often substantially less expensive, and in my experience, much tastier. Aren’t these all things that we look and hope for? So… why don’t we stop?
Here’s my theory: There are a few reasons. One: It is less convenient than going to the grocery store where you know they will have whatever you want. Two: It is difficult to find them when you are really looking for them, and if you don’t need whatever they are selling at the moment, then you probably won’t stop to get it. Three: You really have no guarantee that what they are selling is quality or worth spending your money on.
The same concepts apply to your website and its traffic. People get online to search for something that they need. They use search engines because they are convenient, and generally you can trust the top results to be good quality and very helpful. Although you may provide better services or be more knowledgeable than whoever falls into the top search engine results position, potential clients are much more likely to go to their website for the same reasons you buy most of your fresh produce at the grocery store and not at the roadside stand – it is easy; they know that they will get at least some of the answers that they need; and they are guaranteed a certain level of quality. And on the off chance that someone does come upon your site, if they are not specifically looking for what you offer at that very moment, that person will probably pass you by without a glance back in your direction.
This is where SEO comes into play. Through the utilization of certain SEO tactics, you can ensure that the search engines index your website on a lower page. The higher you rank on the search engines, the more visible you are and the more convenient it is for the searcher, the more traffic you will get.
Simple as that! Well…kind of…but it is really important.
What is Search Engine Optimization?
Search Engine Optimization, almost always referred to as “SEO” in the online world, has to do with the visibility of your website. In a nutshell, search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo send virtual spiders through every site on the web, and based on specific qualifications incorporated into an extremely complex algorithm, essentially rank them for certain keywords. When you do a search on a set of keywords, an index of websites appears. The higher your website is on this list, the more traffic you are going to get because you are more visible to potential visitors. SEO plays a tremendous role in the amount of traffic that you get to your website, and is something that you MUST take into consideration if you want to be more successful. And let’s be honest…who doesn’t want that?!
How you can increase your website’s SEO:
There are a number of steps that you can take to increase the SEO of your website…
One surefire way to ensure that you have at least some content that appears on the first search engine results page is to make a Google profile. Your Google profile will not only say a lot about you, but will contain links to your websites, and will thereby increase traffic by at least a bit to those sites. As I mentioned in my last blog post, it guarantees that your profile is a first page result IF and ONLY IF someone does a search on your name. So this is a great option if people already know who you are, and will help you some either way, but is not the most effective way to increase website traffic.
On Page Optimization is another way to increase your website’s SEO. On page SEO is basically all of the things that you can do with/on your own website to help a search engine understand what your website is about and to index you higher.
One of the most important on page strategies is good use of KEYWORDS. The keywords that you use should be relevant to what you write about, and should be words that your target audience is likely to utilize in searches. It is important that you not only use good keywords frequently within your website or blog, but insert them in the titles and tags as well. If you only use them once or twice throughout your site or blog they are just words, not keywords. Your keyword should be incorporated into your URL as well.
Another tactic to increase your on page optimization is making sure that each of your pages LINK to other pages on your site. The more links you have to each page, the more likely the search engine spiders will find all of them. That being said, do not link each page to every single page on your website.
Updating your site regularly ensures that the spiders are going through it on a regular basis. Other than your homepage, you pages should link to one or two other pages. If you are using WordPress for your website, you can install the GoogleXML Sitemap plug-in. It maps your site in a way that makes it much easier for Google to navigate.
Lastly, if you have an advanced understanding of coding and website design, which I most definitely do not, you can alter your HTML coding to increase traffic to an extent.
Off Page Optimization tactics will help increase your SEO as well. Off page SEO is basically all of the things that you do outside of your own website/blog to bring more traffic to your site. If you do not use software that automatically submits your sitemap to search engines, SUBMIT it yourself.
Creating BACKLINKS to your website can make a huge difference.To do this, you can either pay exorbitant amounts to have other sites link back to your site OR you can make your own backlinks. To do so, all you have to do is leave a relevant and quality comment on a blog and include your website URL in the contact information. More often than not there is a place to include your URL when you are filling out the comment form, but if not, you can include it under your name or title within the comment content itself.In general, the more links to your website, the higher your Search Engine Ranking will be.
Joining and updating SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES is another great tactic. You can make links that point back to your site while gaining credibility and traffic.
Another one is ARTICLE SUBMISSION. Submitting articles (about things that are related to your passions and what you do to be of service to your clients) to article directories can help increase your traffic and SEO.
Off page SEO is a bit more complicated, but basically, you want to get your name and work out there and create as many links that point back to you and your website as possible.
SEO is not as complicated as many people think. Even incorporating basic SEO tactics in your marketing strategy can make a big difference.
So go out and some of these things, and turn the traffic light to your website green!!
If you have any other SEO tactics that you feel have worked well for you, or any question, I would love to hear from you. Just leave a comment by clicking the bubble on the top right hand side of the post if you are looking at it in archive format or by filling in the comment information below the post if you are viewing the individual post.
And go out and make it a great week!