it does surprise me that SEO is still considered to be quite a mystery to most businesses…

Put simply, SEO is how to encourage more traffic to your website.

A potential visitor will not scroll through dozens, hundreds or thousands of pages to find your website.If you want your business to be exposed to as many people as possible, you have to have your business appear in the top rankings in the major search engines when your key word phrases are typed in.

It is a fact that as your traffic increases, so too does your ranking. With that in mind, we have listed below some general ideas to boost your rankings. If you do not feel confident implementing these measures yourself, contact us and we can provide you with a fee for these expert services.

ANALYSE YOUR SITE
Honestly assess how professional your website is and compare it to your major competitors. What are they doing differently? Do they offer more services, do they present their products better? All of these factors when improved will increase your traffic over time.

KEYWORDS
A search engine will scan your website, but you need your keywords that concisely sum up your entire site to appear on the first pages in the body copy and also in the meta tags of your index page. Step into the shoes of your typical visitor. These keywords must be well thought out and in everyday layman terms that your visitor would use. 

It’s important to understand the keywords you wish to optimise for ‒ a great free tool to try is the Google Keyword Tool. Doing keyword research will help you to determine if investing in a good website and doing SEO or PPC advertising is worthwhile for your business.

Using your key phrases strategically is a better bet. Here’s a quick checklist you can use to make sure you’re incorporating your key phrases in such a way that both your readers and the search engines will know what your article is about:

  • In the url of your page (www.abcaccounting.com/home-office-deductions)
  • In the title tag
  • In the title of your article
  • At least 3-5 times in the copy of your article
  • In at least one heading
  • In the alt image tag of at least one of your images
  • In the caption of at least one of your images
  • In the meta description
  • At least once in bold, if possible.

BACK LINKS
Nearly every website links back and forth, but it’s all about being connected to the other high ranked sites that will increase your own rankings. Use your personal networks but devise a way to be linked to relevant, well known sites.

RICH IN CONTENT
What is the one thing that website browsers are doing when they run a search? Seeking information of course! So provide it, not just about your business and the products you may sell, but generic information relevant to your services. Search engines look favourably on it, and your new visitors will thank you for it!

VIDEO
Google loves video, and the more you link video from YouTube (the second largest search engine behind Google), the higher you will rank. There are so many stats that support the use of video, but my favourite is that by 2019, 80% of the world’s online traffic will be video. People consume video far more readily and at least 55% of people watching videos online every day. Google will view your website as one of value the more video content you provide, and will reward you for it. It’s just that simple.

ATTACH A BLOG TO YOUR SITE
A lot of sites these days encourage discussion with their visitors, and do this via a blog or forum on their site. It is also a wonderful opportunity to pitch yourself as an expert in your field and show off your abundant knowledge! As they become more and more popular, great businesses are being built off the back of a strong online blogging strategy. This is usually created by the owner or high profile staff member in the business, and is one of the sure fire ways to regularly communicate online with clients and potential clients, and keep top of mind and communicate all sorts of relevant information. 

The more fresh content you post to your website, the more you are building relationships with your community. And because content is organically growing each day on your website, this is viewed very favorably by search engines and you will rise quickly in search engine rankings.

SHARE CONTENT VIA SOCIAL MEDIA
Small business owners are often cynical about social media marketing and while it’s not for every business, it can be a cost-effective and engaging way to communicate with your target market, and bring more potential clients back to your site and increase your SEO organically.

Did you know that articles that are liked, shared and tweeted are more likely to rank highly in the search engines? Although it’s still unclear the exact impact these ‘social signals’ have on search engine rankings, Google has confirmed that they are indeed included in their algorithms. There are a number of factors that are likely included as factors in search engine rankings:

  • Number of fans who like your Facebook page
  • Number of Facebook shares
  • Number of Facebook comments
  • Number of Twitter followers
  • Tweets linking to your website or referencing your brand
  • Number of Google+ circles you’re in

Be sure to promote your new content regularly via all your social media channels. You can also leverage older content by promoting it every few months to increase the number of likes, tweets, and interaction, and by extension potentially increasing your search engine rankings.

LOCAL SEO – GOOGLE PLACES
If your business has a business location that you are happy to promote, then Google Places is right up your alley. There are many reasons why a small or medium sized business would benefit from using Google Places, including:

  • A small business owner who services a particular suburb has a very high chance of ranking at the top of Google for a number of keyword phrases simply by setting up a Google Places listing for their business
  • With Google Places you don’t even need to have a website. You can get up and running and rank at the top of Google simply by having a Places page for your business while your website is under construction
  • People are increasingly searching on Google to find services in their local area. If you aren’t visible when they search for what you sell, you’ll be losing customers to your competitors.
  • The increased usage of smartphones means that more and more people are using their phones to search on Google. And because Google can use your exact location through GPS targeting, they can show you location-based search results even if you don’t type in a location!

MANUAL SUBMISSION TO SEARCH ENGINES
Ensure that your website designer manually submits your website to at least the major search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, Ninemsn and Sensis. This should be standard, but you should always check that it is included in the quote

ON-LINE ADVERTISING
We always say buyer beware with any form of advertising, and online is no different. This is where you may pay another very high profile website for banner or e-newsletter advertising. Yes it does increase your exposure, and yes it does link you up with higher profile sites, but you must always analyse through your web statistics if it is translating into good sales leads, physical sales or boosting your rating.

PAY-PER-CLICK ADVERTISING (GOOGLE ADWORDS)
Pay-per-click ads are usually located on the right hand side of a search results page or shaded at the top. The advertisements are displayed based on users bidding on industry related keywords and you pay for each click through you receive to your website.

Google AdWords are the best known and most popular of all pay-per-click search engines. Many companies have great success with Ad-words as they bid each day for a nominated fee to appear on the first page of the search, and over time it grows your organic search engine rankings. The ads are able to be regularly edited, including modifying the daily spend until the desired results are achieved. As with all marketing ventures, you should test and measure the keywords you use and what is attracting the most hits to determine what is your most successful campaign.

A word of caution: If your website is outdated or doesn’t have a clear call to action, then we don’t recommend using pay-per-click advertising until you resolve the issues. It would be a complete waste of precious marketing dollars.

All in all, good SEO is a very valuable asset for your website, and every business should consider keeping some funds aside in their budget when creating their marketing plan, to allocate it to their Search Engine Optimisation. If you find that this is all too overwhelming for you, there are other services that we provide for you. Click here to view.

Contact us with your inquiry and remember, the most technical and attractive website doesn’t even rate a mention if no-one is visiting it!

Melissa x

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