So you’ve got your shiny new website up and running. It looks great. The content is pure gold. But you don’t seem to be setting the internet on fire just yet? Your domain name is out there but not many potential customers seem to be finding you? So where is everyone?
Getting traffic to your site from search engines can be hard. We know that organic traffic (from searches) is the best for your business as it sends you the most targeted enquiries. So how to get traffic from search engines naturally? There are unlimited ways by which you can drive clicks to your site, we have already discussed some, such as using blogs, social media and creating quality content here, in our own previous blogs. It’s a given that businesses should invest in actually adding value to the search engines by providing useful, informative, helpful content and trusting that content to bring in the traffic, but right now we’re going to look at a couple of points around how this content is prioritised and presented through searches and more specifically, what role the biggest search provider, Google, plays in the process.
The most desirable visitors you can hope to lure to your site are from organic search results, i.e: people search for something and land on your website – these are the people who are most likely to convert into customers or clients. Now, there are many search engines, but we’re focussing on Google as it’s one of the most used and popular. Of all the things you can do to drive organic traffic to your site, the most vital is probably SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Basically, making your site more search engine friendly and giving the search provider the information that your potential visitors are looking for. So, how to play nice with the search engines when setting up your site?
- Use keywords in your headline and content URL to optimise for the search engines. Be mindful to include them naturally, in content that is relevant to your audience and ensure your copy uses the same language (stylistically) that people will use when searching for your products or services online. The Google Keyword Tool is invaluable to help find popular keywords. Focus on optimised content (essential data that search engines will use to determine what your content and your business is about) instead of link-building (getting external pages to link to a page on your website) for long-term SEO success.
- Make sure your site is Google friendly. Offer a sitemap (a file where you can list the web pages of your site to tell Google and other search engines about the organization of your site content) and register for Google Webmaster Tools – also good to check that Google is indexing your site properly!
- Make sure your site is as fast as possible. Not only will this help prevent potential customers leaving before your site has even loaded but site speed is now a factor in search rankings. Consider that moving to a faster webhost is always an option.
- Think about investing some marketing budget in Google AdWords. If you did want to explore PPC (pay-per-click) marketing then we should probably mention Google AdWords here. Search engine advertising is one of the most popular forms of PPC and Google AdWords is the single most popular PPC advertising system in the world. Basically, the AdWords platform enables businesses to create ads that appear on Google’s search engine and bid for ad placement in the search engine’s sponsored links when someone searches a keyword that is related to their business offering. Advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked so essentially, by throwing Google a little cash, it’s a way of promoting your business or service through their search engine, rather than hoping customers find you by ‘organically’ by working through the search results themselves.
Admittedly, creating an excellent website, marketing it and managing the content, blogs and social media accounts associated can be challenging enough, nevermind going about making it search engine friendly and Google-optimised as well. That’s why SoleTrader.com offer purpose-built websites to small businesses. This way the experts can take care of the difficult bit for you – providing you with a fully functioning website, packed full with content and optimised for search engines.
By David Marrone
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