“If you build it, they will come” is terrible advice when it comes to developing a business website. Sure, it’s become easier than ever to create a professional-looking web presence. But you must also consider how to make sure that potential customers find you. That means making sure that your site not only appears in search results from Google, Bing, and the like, but that ranks highly compared to the competition.
Here’s how to build a site destined to become a “traffic magnet.”
Think like a customer
First thing’s first: If you have a business, you must have a robust and up-to-date website. Why? Because research indicates that a staggering 81 percent of shoppers conduct online research before buying.1 If you don’t have a website that anticipates and addresses your customers’ needs and questions, they will move on to competitors who do. Optimum Online offers powerful tools such as e-commerce capabilities to help drive more business.
The way that most people will find your website is by searching for what you have to offer on Google, Bing, or other search engines. Like you, these sites want happy customers, and that means making sure the results they receive are useful and relevant.
“Google and other search engines refine their algorithms continually to ensure that when people search for information, they get the best results,” explains Kristine Schachinger of Sites Without Walls, a digital marketing company based in Las Vegas. “Rather than trying to game every new change to the system, you should focus on providing content that your potential customers really crave.”
Now that you have a website, people can find you with a simple search. Or can they?
Improve your ranking
Chances are that many businesses offer similar products and services to yours, so you may find your listing way, way down on the results page—or even several pages deep. To improve your position in these results, it helps to understand how search engines such as Google found your site in the first place. These sites “crawl” the web, gathering content. When it comes across your site, it tries to determine what it’s about using clues in your content and structure. When a user types a search term, it uses complex algorithms to figure out which sites best answer that query, and ranks them accordingly.
How do you set yourself apart from the hundreds of similar businesses? Use search engine optimization (SEO), which simply means improving your search results ranking for specific terms a customer might type into a search engine to find you. Let’s say you’re a plumber. You would want to include terms such terms as “plumber,” plumbing repairs,” or even “leaky pipes".
Start by creating a list of words and phrases customers might use to find you. (If you’re a local business, be sure to include the location.) Even better: consider search terms that describe the problems your product or service solves. Cast your net widely, and include any variation you can think of. “A great way to discover new terms is to type a familiar one right into Google and take note of the auto-complete suggestions,” Schachinger recommends. Because these are based on popular similar searches, they can be highly valuable.
When you’re done, you should have a vocabulary of relevant words and phrases to craft your on-page messaging. As you write the content that appears on your site, use these words in a natural way so that you will rank higher for those specific terms on a search engine. Even better, create a specific page on your site for the most important terms. Our plumber, for instance, might have one page about bathroom renovations, and another about emergency repairs, if those are specialties.
Ranking highly on Google, Bing, and other search engines doesn’t happen overnight, especially for a new business. But if you continue to offer your customers the information they’re searching for, you’ll be rewarded with improved rankings and, as a result, more business.
To learn more about Optimum and how we can help, call or chat today.
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