Websites operate at the mercy of search engines, each vying to come up at the top of search engine results when an internet user enters a keyword or phrase into a search box. Those top listed sites are the ones that will most likely be visited by the user, which could then develop into a purchase, registration, or a sales lead. That’s why search engine optimization (SEO) is so important to your website. To not practice SEO would be like keeping your website off the radar of search engines and consumers. You don’t want that. Whether you are running an eCommerce website, nonprofit site, or a large enterprise level website, try these SEO tips for increasing website traffic, and you can look forward to seeing an improvement in your sales, signups, and profits.
Start with a self-audit
The first step in any SEO process is auditing what you currently have. Review your website and read each and every page. Follow every link and track any blatant errors: broken pages or images, poor grammar, out-of-date information and/or links. Resolve those problems first.
Next, search yourself, your business, and your industry. Where are you ranking in those searches? If you sell vintage cars, and your business name is not appearing in the search engine results for the key phrases “vintage cars” or “classic cars,” then you know for sure you need to strengthen the SEO of your website.
Is your website still HTTP? You need to change that ASAP. It’s a fact. Beginning in July, Google Chrome will clearly mark all HTTP websites as ‘not secure.’ And let’s face it when internet users see a warning like that, that makes them feel uneasy. ‘Not secure’ means ‘not safe’ to the average consumer. If you don’t want to scare website visitors away, get your Secure Sockets Layer certificate and encrypt your site immediately.
Blog, blog, blog. Then blog some more.
Regular, consistent blogging is an invitation for automated search engine bots to crawl your site and index your amazing content, which can boost your search engine results. Here’s an easy tip: brainstorm the most asked customer/website visitor questions, and then write blog posts that address those questions.
For example, let’s go back to that vintage cars website. Customers and potential customers probably ask questions such as, “How do I tell the difference between an authentic classic car and a counterfeit,” “How do I maintain the mint condition of my vintage car,” and, “How do I keep my family safe when we’re driving in my classic car?” By creating blog posts that address each of those questions, you’re practicing good SEO and increasing your odds of coming up at the top of search engine results.
Opt for optimization
Search engines love fast websites and will reward them with better search engine rankings. Compress your images and ensure that the design of your site is responsive on all devices. Additionally, keep your site accessible by all. Accessibility matters. It’s not only a smart move, it’s just the right thing to do. By optimizing your site for speed, responsiveness, and accessibility, you will see an improvement in your search engine rankings.
Set up social media profiles, remain active on them daily, and use them to share your blog posts, page content, services, and contact information. Not every social media share or post should be self-promotional. Share related content and news from others in your industry, but take advantage of the opportunity to pepper in some self-promotional content, too. Social media is a great and easy way to drive traffic from another channel back to your website.
Collaborate with partners
Invite leaders in your industry to guest write on your blog. Volunteer to be a guest on industry-related podcasts or webinars. There is a community built around your industry. Get involved with it. Identify key thought leaders and formulate partnerships and then collaborate on content.
Get on the list
Free online directories are opportunities for backlinks. Do some research and find the most reputable online business directories in your industry. Register and create a listing. Again, it’s just another avenue for sending traffic to your site.
Bonus tip: offline promotion
While digital marketing strategies are an important aspect of getting the word out about your business and website, there is still a lot to be said about the impact of offline marketing. Go to networking events. Teach a class or seminar at a local meetup or conference. Pitch reporters, editors, and broadcast producers. Introduce yourself and your business, and offer to comment on stories that showcase your expertise and knowledge. Position yourself as a reputable leader in your industry and benefit from the free exposure. Dedicated offline promotion could easily influence others to think of you and your business website first when they need a source of information.
The habitual and strategic use of SEO tactics can produce an increase in the quantity and quality of website traffic. While paid advertising is still a viable form of marketing, using the recommendations above can help to support all of your marketing efforts, including increasing organic traffic. Give these SEO tips a try today, and if you find yourself in need of a serious website audit or help with speeding up your site, contact us.