In a perfect world, everyone would know about your business and flock to your website, clamoring for your products.
And then there’s reality. (Chirping crickets here.)
Does it sometimes feel like no matter what you do, your website seems lost in cyberspace? It can be frustrating, not to mention time-consuming, to get the visibility you crave for your business.
With over 200 million active websites online, you have to create a path for your potential customers to find you. The best way I know of is with search marketing. And search engine optimization (SEO) is an important component of search marketing.
Knowing how to use search engine optimization (SEO) effectively to drive traffic to your website will not only help increase your site’s visibility, but it will help your paid search efforts be more effective too. That’s why it’s a priority for businesses like yours. After all, websites that rank the highest on search engines generate more traffic, leading to more conversions and higher profits.
Who wants ways to increase a website’s visibility on search engines like Google or Bing? Every. Business. Owner.
By the end of this post, you’ll have some great ideas for improving your SEO efforts with content, website design, social media, and paid search.
So, let’s get started.
Embed SEO in Your Website’s Content
Search engines are in the relationship business. They’re always on the lookout for high value content whose relevance most closely matches the user’s search intent. Your website content will generate organic traffic when you have the most relevant content for a particular search.
What words or phrases are potential customers using in searches that your website can connect with?
If someone wants to find a Chinese restaurant, they may type in “best Chinese restaurant” or “local Chinese take-out”. So, if you want to be included in the results, use those phrases in your content to make the connection between the inquiry and your business’s website. Your content should include a range of related keywords. Your SEO agency, if you have one, is an excellent source of the best keywords for you business.
Businesses should also consider using keywords in other aspects of the website. For example, URLs should contain relevant keywords so that users easily know the information on your website. Meanwhile, metadata like page titles, descriptions, snippets, and keywords appear on the search engine results pages themselves. These should also clearly describe what the user will find on your webpage.
Of course, visitors to a website will expect more than just a list of keywords. They come to a website looking for answers. Creating quality content encourages readers to stick around and continue reading. Search engines use metrics like bounce rate, time on site, and conversion rates to figure out whether visitors found what they wanted. The more time readers spend on your site, the better it will rank on Google.
You can increase user engagement and time on site by providing interesting content that keeps readers interested. Otherwise, they will likely click off of your website. This could increase a website’s bounce rate and negatively impact your website’s rank.
Your content structure should help search engines and visitors alike to easily scan your post or article. That includes headings, paragraphs, and links that make it easier to skim and navigate for the sought after information. Heading tags like h1, h2, etc. help separate sections and delineate content hierarchy making it easier to read a page.
Image Credit: Pinterest
Build SEO Right into Your Website’s Design
Did you know site structure has a big impact on how much time a visitor spends on your website? When visitors spend lots of time on your site, it signals search engine algorithms that your website has value and ticks it up in rankings.
SEO in website design begins with how you organize your information and set up your website structure. Visitors to your site either find the information they need quickly or they click away, so building SEO into your website as you design it is kind of a big deal.
A successful website matches visitors’ common browsing patterns. For example, since eye-tracking software gave us a heads up on users’ common behaviors, we know that putting the most important information in the right place helps guide your site visitors to make a purchase.
A website with a responsive design means it will be user-friendly on any screen from your customers’ smartphones to their desktop computers. Mobile SEO best practices mean optimizing for Google’s mobile-first indexing. With 1.2 billion mobile web users worldwide, you can see why Google has moved to mobile first (the best user experience), and why you should too.
It takes careful planning to create a mobile first, SEO-friendly website that search engines easily crawl, and that lures visitors to your site. You’ll need to consider link structure, URLs, indexation, site navigation, page layout, usability, page load speed, and so much more. Ideally, both search engines and visitors can find your particular website page with the information they’re looking for quickly.
That’s a lot of SEO to do on your own, but as a business owner, it’s good to know what you should expect from your website design. At WGi, search engine optimization is top-of-mind. We get your website’s SEO right, and start driving traffic your way.
A good SEO agency can perform an SEO analysis of your website. At WGi, we do it for free.
Not sure about your website’s SEO? Give us a call at 712-330-2919 for a free SEO analysis, or message us here.
Improve SEO with Social Media
Now you have a well-designed, SEO-friendly website with content that has been optimized for search engines, so what else can you do to get traffic to your website?
Bing pretty much told you exactly what you should be doing when they said social shares and likes are direct ranking factors for their search engine. The Google algorithm also places a high value on social clout when ranking websites, even if they won’t admit it. In the simplest terms, if you have good social clout attached to your domain, it can only help your ranking.
With this in mind, you’ll want to build a loyal audience on your social channels. That doesn’t mean rush out and get on every social network you can think of, but rather choose two or three that make sense for your business. Social accounts that look like ghost towns won’t help you either. The algorithms are looking for engaged users on active social accounts.
Social media and SEO are tightly woven together by the single goal of drawing people to your website with inbound, organic strategies that make your business identity attractive. Think of it as fishing. Your high value, SEO optimized content is the shiny lure you drop into your social ponds to fish for new people that come to your user-friendly website.
Growing your social following, posting valuable content that links back to your website, encouraging your followers’ social sharing (by asking for it), optimizing your social posts with search keyword phrases, and optimizing your posts for local searches when appropriate all help your website rank better.
Social media matters in attracting an organic, active following to your website. In this way, social media improves ranking by increasing traffic to your site. After all, the more traffic, the higher the ranking. Social profiles can also appear in search engines as an additional way to beat competing sites. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter help promote content and lead readers to your website while also boosting brand authority.
Bring together targeted methods for search marketing, web design, content, and social media, and your business will see measurable traffic results. Knowing how to use SEO to drive traffic can help your website be seen, while also supporting your paid efforts.
Paid SEO - the Fast Track to Website Traffic
There is a limit to what you as a business owner can accomplish on your own with SEO, and frankly, most business owners aren’t interested in investing in the time it takes to learn and implement best practices. Those who turn to the expertise of agencies – professionals with the expertise to do it right – have a far greater satisfaction with their SEO overall, according to a recent report by Backlinko.
If you’re in agreement with 83% of respondents in the 2019 SEO Services Report, you expect your SEO agency to drive immediate traffic to your website, increase your customer base, expand awareness of your brand, and improve your bottom line.
We do that for businesses like yours every day. We expand on your unpaid SEO marketing efforts to reach your select market in your state, nationwide, or worldwide. There’s no cookie cutter approach. Instead we create a plan tailor-made for your business that includes factors such as reach, industry, and competition.
The good news is WGi is lower priced than most SEO companies, yet includes unlimited keywords, monthly reporting, and Google Analytics. And of course, our research and quotes are free. Best of all, if we don’t think we can move your search results to the top three positions in Google, we will tell you that SEO is not the best marketing solution for your company.
Another great way to level up your website traffic beyond organic reach is to break your Facebook ads and Google ads out of their silos and get those two working together as a super-charged marketing force for your business. But that’s a post for another day.
Click the link to ask us how we can bring content, website design, social media, and paid search together to drive more traffic to your website.