In order to increase traffic to a website, a business can focus on external marketing and promotion or work to optimize its search engine results online. The purpose of Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is to make it so that people will easily find your site when they search for something related to your business on the Internet. This can be accomplished in many ways, most of which fall into either organic or paid optimization options.
Paid Optimization (SEM):
Paying for optimization includes using specific keywords, so that when someone searches a term, an advertisement for your company would appear on the side or top of the search list.
Paid services are typically start at $500+ monthly and there are also other advertising options you could use, but if the site is coming up under a decent mix of search terms and you have a website that’s been created to automatically and organically help with SEO over time, this shouldn’t be necessary.
There are many ways to optimize a search that happens naturally with a well-designed and engaging website.
What’s important from a technical standpoint?
- Initial website coding is important. Use a web service that will use the optimal coding on your website.
You’ll want to make sure they include the following:
- Title Tags and Descriptions
- It’s also good to have this continually updated, and if possible, automatically generated/updated at least every 30-90 days
- For set up and maintenance, you also want to be sure that your site is set up to be:
- Cross-browser compatible
- HTML5 / CSS3 Compliant
- Coding and images optimized for a quick load time
Other ways to organically increase your SEO:
- Sites that are Mobile Friendly index higher than sites that are not mobile friendly
- Having a continuously updated blog is excellent for SEO
- Including links to social media is also a major boost to SEO
- It’s beneficial having links from other websites that drive people to yours (essentially having endorsement by other sites)
- Including video on your website and social media sites increases engagement time and rate
(Letting search engines know that what people have found on your site is helpful, interesting and relevant)
- Constantly utilizing relevant industry content on your blog and social media sites
- User experience is key to engagement; make sure that:
- All links are working properly
- The user interface is easy to use
- There are options to interact with the site such as visitors downloading fee reports, being able to submit questions or simply videos to watch.
With these things in place, changes will happen over time as more and more people visit and use the site.
One thing to be mindful of is organic ranking takes TIME and business owners should not expect their website to rank on the first few pages of a search engine for at least the first 6-9 months it is the website goes live.
It’s also important to keep in mind that Google is always updating its search algorithm so the order websites display may change frequently from one day to the next. Google is also going to pull its search results based on a few key factors including (but not limited to): The user’s IP address (where they’re located), the key terms used and the relevance of your website (is it up-to-date). The more often a website is updated with new content, videos, articles and blogs, the more relevant a website is going to appear to the search engines.
Organic ranking is not something that can be bought and it’s not something that anyone can control in order to move a website up in the ranking. Time is key here and as long as your website is adhering to the best practices above, the SEO will build, organically, over time.
In short, your SEO benefits from having a thoughtfully built website that is taking into account the technical requirements for the most current algorithms (i.e. being mobile friendly). SEO is increased when your website is consistently updated with relevant and useful information. Your site should be appealing and easy to navigate for user experience, with multiple options for engagement (video and blogs for example). Linking out to and getting links back from other sites, especially social media, is incredibly helpful as well. Keep client and customer needs in mind and promote your website as a valuable resource for them to use often, and the SEO will naturally follow.