Here’s how to use it to wield effective results for driving traffic to your website.
Build your website and people will come, right? Well, not exactly. If you’re a non-technical business owner, then you might be quick to push SEO into the ‘too difficult’ category.
But if search engines are unable to locate your website or if your content cannot be put into their databases (commonly known as the index), you’re missing out on an opportunity to connect with customers who are actively looking for the products or services your company offers.
“Unlike other forms of advertising, search traffic indicates an intent, whether it’ a product or service or an answer to a question,” says Stew Art Media CEO and SEO expert Jim Stewart.
“For most businesses, the majority of traffic to their sites comes from search. If you’re not being found in search then your competitors will be.”
What should you include in your SEO plan?
In the short term, understand who your buyers are and the sorts of things they are searching for.
“Is it slippers or cuffs? Singlets or tank tops? Business coach or business advisor?” says Stewart. It’s vital that you grasp what the typical searcher, and more specifically, your target market, is searching for in order to effectively reach and keep those users.
“Long term you need to have a content strategy,” Stewart explains. “The business needs to become a publisher. What sort of things are you going to write about? Plan when and how often you are going to publish.”
This thinking will help focus your site to optimise your content and pages for search engines.
Create good content to reap SEO benefits
As well as posting regularly, ensure that the content on your website is both written for the customer and keeps popular keywords in mind. High-quality content that draws in your target market will bring you leads and provide Google with more content to index, as well as more ranking opportunities.
“Publish great content on a regular basis and share it via social platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook,” suggests Stewart. “Be descriptive and use your keywords in filenames of images or PDFs so Google knows what they are about.”
What tools should I adopt?
Stewart recommends the free analytics tool Google Trends for keyword research – it allows you to see what others search for in Google. The tool graphs how often a term is used over time and pinpoints geographically where most people are searching for a given term.
Other tools such as Google Webmaster are essential for understanding how Google sees your site, Stewart explains. It will help webmasters, website owners and web marketers monitor website performance in the Google search index and comprise information about search traffic, technical status updates and crawl data.
And don’t lose track of creating a user-friendly site, suggests Stewart. Pay attention to all aspects, even the way your site looks and acts. Don’t underestimate the power of a site that functions well and loads quickly, and is not full of broken links or other errors.