We've already broken down the fact that online marketing is the route to take if you are looking to grow your business in this day and age. But, have you considered how search engine optimization can fast track your growth?
Many companies think that to market their business online, they need to pay to get results. This isn't always true, especially with the concept of search engine optimization.
Image courtesy of Paloma GÃ³mez
- Search engine optimization (SEO) is used in your website to ensure the people who are looking for your products or services can find you.
- On and off-page search engine optimization plays a major role in how your website ranks in search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo to name but a few.
- 70% of the links search users click on when searching online are organic - not paid.
- Companies with more search engine optimized pages generate more sales leads.
According to an article on Search Engine Land, a survey by Social Media Examiner shows there is an increasing trend toward companies moving away from paid search engine optimization techniques such as PPC (Pay Per Click) campaigns and towards unpaid, organic search engine optimization techniques instead.
Whilst paid search engine optimization techniques definitely play a role in growing your business, the benefits of organic search engine optimization seem to outweigh the immediate results gained from PPC campaigns.
Organic search engine optimization is seen as more of a long-term investment that can be continually expanded upon to work for your online marketing strategy.
There are a wide range of tips to ensure successful search engine optimization for newcomers to ensure that their strategy is on track to grow their business.
Key takeaway: Organic search engine optimisation techniques, if implemented correctly, are an effective long-term strategy that companies can utilise in their online marketing campaigns to grow their business.
Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO is a complete buzzword at the moment with businesses and websites focusing on improving their search engine ranking.
New to search engine ranking? It may sound complicated, but it's actually really simple. Your search engine ranking depicts whether your company website or blog shows up when an internet user searches for keywords relevant to your company.
There are millions of websites out there all competing to get on top of search engines', such as Google's, ranking. There are certain tactics that you can use to ensure that your website doesn't get lost amongst all the competition.
Before you can even begin improving your search engine ranking, you need to make sure that you know which keywords people are searching for. Remember these keywords need to be relevant to what you company offers.
Compile a list of keywords and then research how many people in South Africa are searching for them. The Google's free Adwords tool is a fantastic tool to see these types of statistics.
- SEO-friendly website pages
One of the most important aspects of search engine ranking is to ensure that your website pages are optimised for search engines.
This means that the content on your website pages should subtly include keywords that your customers may be searching for, that aren't necessarily your company name.
Whether you are blogging or writing articles for other websites, you should start compiling great reading content for your audience.
It's crucial to remember your keyword research before you begin writing - your content needs to be relevant to your keyword to increase your search engine ranking.
Social media is one of the most simple and effective ways to improve your search engine ranking. Create a business page for your company and start posting about the keywords you have researched which are relevant to your company and what you offer.
Follow these simple tools and you will start to see a steady increase in web traffic, and not just any traffic - qualified leads traffic, i.e. People who are specifically searching for what you offer.
Key takeaway: Improving your search engine ranking doesn't need to be a difficult task, you just need to make use of existing tools and post fresh content regularly.
If you want to increase website traffic, you need to get the basics right. Follow these three principles and you'll ensure your customers are finding you before your competitors.
1. Great Content
For people to visit your website – and keep them coming back – you have to give them a good reason. Great content is the cornerstone to increasing traffic to your site, and everything else rests on this.
If the content’s not great, all other attempts to increase traffic will be wasted. Remember that there are a million sites out there, so make the first, and every, impression count.
2. Search Engine Optimisation
Top-of-mind websites are few and far between. Amazon and eBay are two of the lucky ones, but most other websites have to be found with the help of search engines. That’s why it’s critical to get your website on the first page of a search engine results page to increase website traffic.
This is done through a process called Search Engine Optimisation, which works to get a website to rank high on search engines such as Google and Bing. A higher ranking on a search engine such as Google or Bing will result in an increase in website traffic.
3. Social media promotion
Social media is an excellent way to promote your website and increase traffic to it.
Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are the "Big Three" social media platforms in South Africa, and YouTube is also a good one, though many people don't regard YouTube a social media platform.
If you do business in the U.S, Google+ is another medium to explore in order to increase website traffic.
Every post on a social media platform is an opportunity to increase website traffic. And each post is also an opportunity to get "re-tweeted", "liked" or "shared", which contribute to increasing exposure and creating opportunities for increasing website traffic.
So, in summary, to make the most of your website – and ensure your consumers do too – always follow this checklist:
1. Have great content
2. Optimise your website for increased ranking on search engines
3. Promote your website via social media
I know that the last few posts have all been "how to's" but I'm getting asked a lot of questions. I've saved a list of the most popular ones and I'll share my responses on the blog. First things first - How to increase traffic to your site?
There are two ways to increase traffic - through paid advertising or organic search. This post is will deal with organic search.
In a nutshell - If you want to increase traffic to your site, you need to get found. Namely, in search engines and on social media sites.
With the millions of websites competing for position in search rankings and the multi multi millions of users on social media sites, it's getting tricky to stand out.
I would not recommend using tactics in isolation. Instead, I would recommend a process of SEO, content creation and social media sharing used together. The process looks like this:
- Create awesome content that people want, for example blog content, videos, apps, white papers, ebooks and so on
- Optimise that content around keywords that your target audience is searching for
- Share that content in social media
Sounds simple? It is. The above process creates a magnet that sucks in your customers.
Don't be fooled though into thinking it's a short cut or a quick fix. It's a process that takes commitment and time but the results are foolproof and long lasting.
I will continue to recommend this approach at every chance I get.
There may be better ways, not that I'm aware of though.
What's working for you?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is used in your website to ensure the people who are looking for your products or services can find you. On and Off-page SEO plays a major role in how your website ranks in search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo to name a few. Follow these top 5 tips for SEO to ensure you get started quickly and correctly with your SEO strategy.
1. Do Your Keyword Research
First you'll need to identify the top keywords that relate directly to what you offer. There's no point in optimising your site for the most searched terms if that's not what you offer. Try being as specific as possible when compiling your list (30 - 50 keywords is a great start). The more related your keywords are to your product/service the more likely you are to get qualified visitors. You can do effective keyword research using Googles free Adwords tool.
2. Using Your Keywords to Optimise Your Pages
Now that you have your keywords you need to identify the ones that are most relevant to your different pages. Single out the keywords or keyword phrases that sum up the content on that page in your title or heading and use the same ones in your body copy. This allows search engines to identify them when displaying search results.
3. Don't Use The Same Keywords and Descriptions On All Your Pages
By optimising your pages with identical keywords and phrases you will be decreasing your opportunities to rank well in search engines. The more unique titles, descriptions and keywords you use throughout your site the more opportunity you will have to rank for different searches and increase your exposure.
4. Optimising Other Elements on Your Page
When using images, videos and flash files on your page it is important to apply the same principles as above. Ensure that you include a description of each element. This should describe the image as well as include any keywords you have selected to optimise that page for. Search engine robots/crawlers will rank your page and structure your site better if you provide accurate text descriptions.
5. Building Linking Domains and Back Links
Back Linking or Linking Domains are websites, blogs or social media sites that link back to you. The only way you are going to build back links is by becoming credible and influential on the web. The goal is to create content and articles which hold authority and are informative in order to attract other bloggers, website owners and peers to link back to you. Another way to do this is to comment on other articles, blogs or forums that have relevance to your own and leaving a back link there.
Thank you for taking the time to learn the basics of SEO. The tips above should give you a solid base for embarking on your SEO journey.