In 2013 local businesses are still asking the same questions. How can we attract a wider audience? How can we become an authority in our field and add value to our business? How can we grow our customers/client base and increase our turnover?
Within the web design industry one of the answers to this question is search engine marketing, which includes the more commonly known search engine optimisation (SEO). This draws upon the very simply principle that a percentage of search engine users are looking for the product or service that you are looking to sell.
In other words, search engine marketing allows you to develop your web strategy in such a way that more people visit your website, read your content and buy your products/services.
SEM/SEO is an entire industry in itself, and larger companies will often employ staff within their marketing department for this specific task. However, there are several ways in which every website can be search engine optimized in order to make friends and influence people.
Here are 4 ways in which you can improve the effectiveness of your website today and take your first SEO steps. Believe it or not, many of your competitors won’t be actively engaging with search engine marketing, and even these simple improvements will give your business a significant headstart over your rivals. Better still, if you’re updating your website’s content then improving your SEO is something that can be done at the same time…
In every industry there are keywords that you will need to identify and use throughout your website. There are various tools that you can use to work out what these should be, such as Google’s Adwords Keyword tool. However, a good starting point is to sit down with a pad of paper and work out the search terms that potential customers are using. If you’re selling lawnmowers in Kent, for instance, this might mean using “lawnmowers kent”, “industrial lawnmowers kent”, “sit-on lawnmowers kent” and “lawnmower repairs kent”.
When you’ve worked out your keywords, the next step is to ensure that they feature regularly in your website. This includes the body text, menus, homepage and footers. If you’ve got photos and video embedded in your site then these too can be labelled using your keywords. This will mean that as searches are made, search engine algorithms will realise that you are a suitable target website and in time increase the likelihood of your website appearing in the search engine results page.
You’re probably familiar with the benefits of using social media – Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc – to promote your business and connect with your audience. However, you might not have realised that this is also a fantastic way to reach more people through search engines. Google, for example, takes social media into account when ranking a site, and will assume that lots of social media chatter is indicative of your expertise in a given area. It’s also a great way to share your original content with your audience…
Time invested in producing original content pays dividends in the SEO stakes. If you’re writing blogs, news items or regular status updates it’s helpful to include your keywords so that the search engines are able to find you. You’re also more likely to find that people are sharing links to your website with their friends/clients, increasing the volume of traffic heading to your site (potentially of highly interested visitors) and in turn giving your search engine rankings a boost.
Dale Carnegie found a way to help his clients expand their influence. As you improve your website, engage with your active audience and share your expertise you will do exactly this. In turn, you’ll give yourself a great opportunity to expand your influence and develop your business in the process.
This really is just the tip of the iceberg. If you’d like to find out more about SEO then why not get in touch with us today? Alternatively, there are loads of great resources available online. Failing that, you could do a lot worse than pick up a copy of Carnegie’s iconic bestseller… Little did he know.