Search engine optimization (SEO) is a handy tool for building a respectable ranking for your website. But 75% of that ranking depends upon your off-page SEO.
Your off-page SEO is based on the authority of your website; particularly what other websites communicate about yours. Another way to say it is: websites with higher authority will rank better than websites with lower authority.
Inbound links are the main influencer on website authority. When another site links to your website or even a page on your site, that constitutes an inbound link.
More inbound links, especially from websites with high authority, will create the kind of link love that lends authority to your site.
For instance, an inbound link from the New York Times website will give your site much greater online authority than a link from a low-traffic blog with a tiny readership.
The greatest tool for attracting solid inbound links is the creation of valuable, remarkable content that prompts other sites to link to it. You can also increase your site’s inbound links by sharing your content in social media and, of course, optimizing it so search engines can easily find it.
A recent search marketing benchmark report by Marketing Sherpa found that SEO has been most effective at increasing website traffic. Other objectives included increased brand or product awareness, increased lead generation, improved product reputation, increased online sales revenue, etc.
It’s reassuring to see increased website traffic as the primary objective. If your SEO isn’t increasing the number of visitors to your site, then your SEO needs more attention.
Once you understand the impact of optimizing your website to make it more search engine friendly, both on and off-page, you’ll see why SEO must be a top priority.
Once you realize the impact SEO can have on your revenue, you’ll understand why it’s worth attending to today and not procrastinating.
The Website Architects help you put it all together for the ultimate lead generation website. Contact them today for a free website persuasion analysis.
There are two separate categories of SEO:
On-page SEO pertains to how friendly your site’s content is to internet search engines. It comprises roughly 25% of how search engines score and rank your site. This is a relatively easy thing to improve.
Off-page SEO is connected to your site’s overall web “authority”. This authority is determined by what other websites say about your site. Improving your authority takes a bit more effort. We’ll cover this in greater detail in a later post.
For now, let’s focus on the basics of getting your on-page SEO squared away.
Hubspot offers a free Website Grader than will analyze your site for SEO effectiveness. The higher your score, the more effective your optimization is. Don’t be upset if your SEO score comes back lower than expected. On-page SEO is relatively easy to improve and requires much less effort to get favorable results.
Other key elements of on-page optimization include:
- Page Title-the text at the top of your browser window when viewing a web page.
- Meta Description-the brief site description in Google search.
- Headings-paragraph titles or text in larger or bold print.
- Cascading Style Sheets(CSS)-the back-end code of your website.
- Images-especially images with keywords in the file name.
- Domain Info-search engines favor sites that are registered for longer time periods.
- MOZ Rank– a general measure of your site’s online authority.
- Google Crawl Date-fresh content invites Google to crawl your site regularly.
- URL Structure-this structure is about how different URLs connect with each other.
Like the old commercial that stated “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature”, our goal isn’t to trick search engines. We’re simply creating an easier path for the search engines to find your site so they can direct more prospects to you.
By optimizing your website around the keywords most relevant to your business, you increase the likelihood of getting found by people searching with those keywords. This, in turn, drives better and higher quality traffic to your site.
Here are 3 simple keyword strategies from Hubspot to help you find the right keyword to bring customers to you:
1. Create a list of 3-5 keywords relevant to your business.
This isn’t the same thing as your brand name, it’s the words and short phrases that describe what your product or service is about. You’ll need to think like someone using a search engine to find your product.
2. Choose Keywords based on difficulty and relevance.
As a rule, very general words like “marketing” are highly competitive which makes it more difficult for you to rank well in search engine results. Your best bet is to choose less competitive keywords that are more specifically related to your business.
Fortunately, there are numerous tools like Google Keyword Tool and Keyword Grader Tool to help you determine how competitive your specific keyword is. Your terms must have relevance to your business as well as difficulty by not being too competitive.
3. Design and optimize your site around your keywords.
Once you’ve chosen your keywords, it’s time to incorporate them into your website. This will require some in-depth website optimization.
Your keyword strategy is to be ranked on the first or second page of search results. Any further back and it’s like you’re not there at all. For this reason, short search phrases are better.
This used to be the question when it came to creating and maintaining a decent website. WordPress for small business changed all that.
In the early days of website design, once you’d figured out your needs you’d hire someone to do the work of designing and coding your site from scratch.
Then when you wanted to update your site, you’d need to have geek skills or you’d need to have a geek on staff.
Thankfully, times have changed.
Today there are numerous Content Management Systems (CMS) including WordPress for small business, Joomla and Drupal to name a few. Good CMS makes it easy to update your website whether you’re technically-inclined or not.
You no longer need to have a degree in computer science to build and maintain a stellar website. CMS allows your site to shine even if your tech budget is small
You’ll first need to determine your needs, just like in the old days. But once you’ve incorporated a good user-friendly CMS, you’ll be able to update and tweak your site easily.
There are two benefits to being able to do this:
- -You’ll be lean and quick and able to make changes on the fly
- -By constant testing and adjustment, you’ll optimize your conversion rates
An added bonus is that CMS simplifies the process and puts the website back into the hands of the content creators. This means that your content doesn’t have to be filtered through another person’s interpretation before making it to the website.
Never forget, content is what really matters when it comes to demonstrating to your site visitors that they’ve found the right place.
Wordpress for small business has proven itself to be a robust, user-friendly CMS that’s flexible enough to work for nearly any functionality requirements.
Properly architected lead generation websites keep visitors engaged and informed by providing elements for customer interaction online.
Websites that put off a ghost town vibe will not boost your conversion rate. Your visitors need to experience a personal and intimate connection with real people before you can gain their trust.
Your website should also act as an educational resource for your visitors rather than simply another channel that pushes product in their direction.
The key elements for customer interaction online include an active blog with an RSS feed and social media icons.
An active blog is one that is constantly being updated with relevant, compelling and educational content for your visitors. It serves an an information hub that provides them with the text, images, links and data that are becoming the currency of the Information Age.
Your connect with your web visitors by publishing information online while simultaneously providing them the opportunity to respond to you, your content and other readers.
An RSS feed is simply a family of web feed formats that automatically notifies your blog subscribers whenever new content is posted. It replaces the cumbersome method of bookmarking favorite websites where the web surfer had to do all the work of checking for updates.
Your active business blog (meaning your content is updated and freshened often) combined with an RSS feed enables you to syndicate your site’s message to an audience of people who’ve chosen to connect with you. They’re now your tribe.
Social media icons likewise enable you to interact with and inform web visitors but only if you are active in social media channels.