“I have a website. Now what?”
“How do I get people to see my website?”
“How can I find new customers with my website?”
These are common questions from small businesses and nonprofits who have websites. After spending time and money developing your new website, you want it to work; you want a return on your investment. While there are no one-size-fits-all tricks, there are some solutions that you can try to get the most out of your site. Take a look below at a brief summary of some of the most successful techniques to improve your site’s visibility in search engine results.
Keywords and phrases
A few years ago, most people who managed websites didn’t realize just how powerful the right keywords and phrases were. The websites who targeted specific keywords and phrases that people would search for on search engines managed to capture a good share of the audience. Here are some tips on using keywords and phrases well. Today, many more people are aware of using good keywords and phrases. While people in years past could rely on this to deliver results, that’s no longer the case. What this means is using good keywords and phrases in your text, links, and titles is a good start, but you need to go further.
Another popular and effective way to improve your website’s visibility in search engines is to increase the number of quality websites linking to your own website. Again, a few years ago, some people realized the value of these inbound links and did everything they could to increase the number of these links. They posted their website everywhere, created fake blogs to link back to their sites, made senseless comments in other people’s blog posts (just to link to their websites), and more. Today, search engines don’t reward these tactics. What they look for now are high quality websites linking to your website that attract a similar audience to yours. If you know of other quality websites with good traffic and solid reputations, ask them to link to your site.
Fresh, unique content
A successful way to attract new visitors to your website, to score better in search engines, and to encourage others to link to your site is for your site to offer something unique, something that few or no other sites have. It’s also important to keep the content on your site updated and fresh. Websites that are stale and generic attract little attention, so keep your site updated and special.
Your organization’s involvement with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, and others is becoming increasingly important in attracting new business…and search engines may be rewarding socially active sites with higher rankings. The key is to engage others in your message regularly and get them talking about your business or nonprofit. When you post a question on Twitter or an interesting fact on Facebook, you ideally hope that others will respond and share that information with their own friends. At the very least, having your organization’s presence in social media helps add another opportunity to show up in search engine results!
If your organization serves a local clientele, you have an extra advantage of improving your search engine presence through local search options. Your business can be listed with Google and Bing to be included on their maps, and you can also list in local directories like Merchant Circle and Manta. You may also consider setting up listings with review websites such as Yelp. Your customers will be talking about you anyway, so why not claim your listing and help add credible information to your business? These local search listings also show up as additional entries for your organization in search engine results. Look for more tips on getting started in local search.
Finally, Google and Bing have been working hard to incorporate more into their search results than just website listings. If you search for many topics, you may be presented with websites, photos, videos, maps, news, blogs, and more. These are all excellent opportunities to acquire more presence in search results as well. Consider making quality videos and images to share, and upload them to your site or others like YouTube. Check out these tips for using images and video in your website.
True success in getting found online is a good mix of steps you take both on and off your website. When you build a good foundation of keywords and links coming into your site, it’s time to put the web to good use and engage and interact with others. Take some time to build your social media presence and other forms of media, and help encourage the conversation about your organization.