You’ve done it—created an amazing business and you’re out there in the world, letting everyone know about the goods and services that you can provide. Yet, you can’t help but notice that your website isn’t pulling quite the traffic that you expected. You may feel like you’ve done everything right, describing your business in minute detail so there will be no questions left to be answered. You may have even created videos and tried to get the word out on social media, but still aren’t getting any traction, or visits to your website.
What’s going wrong?
The problem could be three simple words: Search Engine Optimization.
The Reality About SEO
Here’s the thing. Even with your very best foot forward, there are over 1.7 billion websites in the world. Putting a billion into perspective is truly mind-boggling: a billion seconds is roughly equal to thirty years, or an entire career in your chosen field. When you consider that there are “only” a little over 6.5 billion people on the planet and if one in every 3 people is building a website, you can see why it’s tough to be found in the digital realm! There are over a trillion pages of content available online, and content is not necessarily archived when it should be—leading to even more confusion for search engines. While there are plenty of different concepts and various ways of finding what you’re looking for, the term “needle in a haystack” doesn’t even begin to describe it. SEO is arguably a key reason why some online businesses are thriving regardless of their size while their larger competitors are left to linger without significant growth.
What SEO Really Means
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, means exactly that: the activities that you undertake to help ensure that search engines understand your website content and how you are adding value to the world. Search engines such as Google and Bing thrive on providing the best answers to questions asked by their users. If your content is able to answer questions in a compelling way, your site suddenly begins to rise higher up the list of suggested websites. Few people make it to page two or three of their search engine results, because they are able to find a quick answer to their question on page 1. More clicks to your website equal more visitors and more conversions—and big boosts in revenue for your business.
Top Tips for Mastering SEO
Fortunately, there are some main drivers that will make your website compelling to search engines . . . and to your prospects and customers.
- Content is King. You hear this all the time, but what does it really mean? Longer blog posts and whitepapers that dig deep into a topic instead of skimming the surface will help you break through the noise with your audience. A one-time rush of articles or writing a new website every few years won’t cut it, either. You need to be producing exceptional, thought-provoking content that adds value to your readers.
- Spring Clean Your Website. Do you still have Flash hiding out on a page? Perhaps you haven’t taken the time to add descriptions to images or metatags and descriptions to your website pages or your images are loading very sllllllooooowwwwlllyyyy. These are all cardinal sins for SEO, and users will navigate away from your site — with 70% of customers admitting that page load time will affect their willingness to make a purchase.
- Clean Up Technical Details. Site load time and image optimization are important, but so are the underlying technical details of your site. Having a properly-formatted XML sitemap and creating a robots.txt file (particularly finicky, as you will see!), can help you hide content that might be hurting your SEO while highlighting what’s vital for visitors to find.
- Be Choosy with Keywords. More is better! Bring on the keywords! Well, not really. Finding exactly the right keywords will help ensure that when Google or Bing or Yahoo search deposit users at your site, they’re staying long enough to engage with your content. If users tend to bounce right off your site on a keyword, you’ll quickly find that your traffic from that topic will drop dramatically. There are a range of free tools from thought leaders such as WordStream, HubSpot and SEO guru Neil Patel that can help refine your keyword list.
At its core, good SEO is about providing valuable tools, products, and information that readers will find useful. Put yourself in the shoes of your customers. What terms would you use to search? What type of questions do you need to be answered? Whatever your brand can do to help prospects become educated and better understand their options will ultimately help you in the ever-changing world of customer-centric SEO.
When you’re ready to dig deep into your website — finding the details that might be holding you back and unleashing the information you might be (unwittingly!) hoarding — contact the professionals at Apeak Solutions at 603-658-0989 to schedule a free initial consultation. We work with organizations of all sizes to provide exceptional marketing technology support, bring new analytics tools onboard and can also serve as a fully-outsourced digital marketing department.