Your business has a website, but are people finding it? On today’s crowded internet, if your ideal client or customer can’t find your website when searching, they’ll move on to one of your competitors. Here are three ways you can make sure your site gets found.
by Avery Swartz, founder and CEO of Camp Tech
If a website launches, but it doesn’t appear in Google search results, does it exist? Many entrepreneurs suffer from a Field of Dreams style delusion about their website. They assume, “if we build it, people will come.” On today’s crowded internet, that’s simply not true. If your ideal client or customer can’t find your website when searching, they’ll move on to one of your competitors.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to increase your presence on search engines like Google. This practice of enhancing your visibility is called Search Engine Optimization, or SEO.
There are three main areas to focus your SEO efforts:
1. Your Website’s Content (aka “on page SEO” strategies)
One of the best ways to make sure your website appears in search engine results is do keyword research. That’s the process of researching, and then using, the same words and phrases someone is searching for in the content of your web pages. But how do you know what people are searching for? You can use a resource like the free keyword planning tool or Ahrefs to see commonly combined words in searches, and also see what phrases are more competitive online. The more specific and niche your keywords are, the more likely they’ll attract the right audience to your website.
Once you have generated a list of keywords, sprinkle them throughout your website’s content. Also be sure to include keywords in page titles and headings, as Google weighs those words with more importance than body copy.
2. Links to your website (aka “off page SEO” strategies)
Having links from other websites to yours shows Google that you’re important, popular and relevant. That will drive you higher in search engine results. The algorithm that weighs the importance of links to your website is called PageRank, and it measures both the quantity and quality of links. If you can get a high quality link to your site (from a “big” website like Forbes) that’s best, but even if you can’t, you can still make PageRank work to your advantage.
Make a list of websites that you could ask to have link back to yours. Professional directory websites (including Chambers of Commerce, BIAs, industry associations, and clubs) are great. Consider guest blogging for another website or publication, and ask them to include a link back to your website in the post.
3. Listings and reviews (aka “local SEO” strategies)
Many Google searches are local, with people searching for products and services in their city or town. Optimize your business for these kind of searches with listing and review services like Google My Business, Yelp, Yellow Pages and the Better Business Bureau. Encourage your clients and customers to rate your business, and that will drive up your search ranking even higher.
Search Engine Optimization isn’t a “set it and forget it” activity. Focus on the three strategies listed above and give it some time. Tweak your content, look for more back-link opportunities, and keep your online business listings fresh. Google will notice your efforts and rank your website properly.