If you’re a small business or your striking out on your own, you know it can be hard to make people aware of your services or products. How do you compete with competitors who are established, larger and have a bigger marketing budget than you?
Since you’re on this website, you’ve likely guessed it: online marketing.
How does someone, like yourself, who is not an SEO specialist, drive more traffic to your website? You also know that ranking on the first page for a Google Search is your ultimate goal. But what if your page is not ranking as well as you hoped? Can your page achieve better rankings without you sacrificing much of your valuable time or throwing away hundreds or thousands of dollars?
(Related Content: Should You Go In-house with Your Online Marketing or Outsource the Work? )
While it does take a lot of time and effort to achieve good website rankings, a little bit of work each day will make the work easier. If you have a brand new website or you’re disappointed with your current website’s performance, here are 10 things you can do right now to improve your rankings:
1. Have pictures and have them optimized.
It may seem like a no-brainer to include images, the power that images can bring to website content or blogs can’t be stressed enough. It has been confirmed by many studies that images attract attention and help readers process the information faster and remember information longer.
Merely inserting one or two images into a blog post or website page is not enough, however. Adding ALT tags to all your images will give you an opportunity to place keywords, help Google robots crawl and index them, and improve usability for people with visual impairments.
2. Beef up your blogging.
A blog attached to your website will not only provide prime real estate for your targeted keywords, but will, more importantly, establish you as trusted, knowledgeable expert in your field. It has been observed that longer blogs (those around 1000 words) perform better than shorter blog posts. It’s not to say you can’t or shouldn’t write shorter posts. Varying the length of your posts will make your blog more interesting to a diverse group of readers.
3. Make blog posts interesting and engaging.
When writing your blog posts, make sure the topic is relevant to your industry and that it is interesting. A huge benefit blogging will bring you is engagement. Writing for your readers instead of Google will not only get potential reader’s attention, it will also lead to increased engagement.
Online engagement is how your company’s brand will get online recognition and, subsequently, customers. If a large number of people find your blog interesting and useful and regularly engage with it by leaving comments, Google will notice and improve your site’s ranking.
4. Mind your company’s URL.
We take in so much information every day that a good amount of it goes in one ear and out the other, so to speak. With limited brain capacity to process all that information, the images and short phrases tend to be what is most remembered. The same idea applies to URLs.
While your URL can benefit from including at least one of your prime keywords, the principle of “simplicity and shorter is better” applies. People will more likely remember your website with a short, catchy, easy-to-remember URL.
5. Add HTTPS to your URL.
Another URL component you may want to revisit is the HTTP. If your website has an HTTP instead of an HTTPS, it signals to web users and search engines that your website is not secure. This may be enough to scare people away from visiting your website.
6. Tie Yourself to Authoritative Resources.
If you want to learn how to drive traffic to your website, authority is key. Besides blogging on various topics in your industry, linking to reputable, external webpages will give you brownie points with Google and therefore better rankings.
In your blog posts, you can cite information from other sources or have a resources page on your website linking to other useful webpages. Google and, more importantly, your readers will appreciate your willingness to provide additional information from other sources. This sharing of credit will solidify people’s trust in your company.
7. Start a link building campaign.
This linking should not be one-way, however. Establishing a link-building campaign to get those other reputable sources to link back to your page will be vital in bringing more traffic to your website. While a link-building strategy is on-going, you can get started today by researching highly ranked websites in your industry and begin reaching out to them. Don’t just ask for links to your site, though. This is about creating relationships so they will naturally want to link to you.
8. Set up an account on an analytics platform.
It’s hard to improve your website rankings if you don’t know where you need to make adjustments. Knowing where your webpages stand and which ones are performing well and which ones are performing poorly, will give you a great baseline to work from. Some common analytics tools include:
Google Analytics (google.com/analytics)
Open Web Analytics
9. Focus on your best performing pages first.
Ideally, you’ll want all the pages on your website to rank highly. It can be tempting to try to want to get all your pages to the first page in one fell sweep. Unfortunately, this way of attack is not possible if you are not an SEO professional, have limited time, a small staff and a tight budget.
If you’re a small business owner or marketing professional doing this, you’re wasting time, energy and resources on pages that may not even help you get better/more sales. To be more efficient and begin helping your website to rank higher, work on optimizing pages on your site that are currently in the 11th-20th positions. These pages have the highest potential to get on the first page.
10. Revise/Repurpose old content.
Do you have a past blog post that brought a lot of traction to your website? Why not reuse it? The age of the post will most likely determine how much revision is needed.
Getting to the top of search results can be a tricky and time-consuming task. At SEO.com, we are a team of professional search engine optimization specialists providing clients with a wide array of SEO services. If, after you begin your ranking efforts, need additional information or continued support, contact us. We’d be glad to help you succeed in your business’ online marketing efforts.
Ready to learn more? Be sure to download this free ebook and discover 7 great ways you can stand out in a competitive industry: