One of the best ways to reach new customers is to make sure your website's appearing when your customers are searching for answers to their problems or questions. You do this through Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - which means optimizing your site in the right way to improve the rank of your results when people search for terms related to your market.
Google accounts for nearly 90% of searches on desktop - so if you want to go directly to the source, read their SEO guide to help with the indexing of your site. This will happen automatically, with 'spiders' from Google which continuously crawl, categorize and rank all web content against a number of factors.
When you're looking at your site content, make sure it's:
• Relevant - Update it regularly, and use the same words as others searching to find your product or service.
• Easy to read - Don't use images as headlines, and make sure description tags for pictures or videos are accurate.
• Credible - If another site links to yours, that's a vote in your site's favour. So if other people have recognized this expertise by linking back, that'll help!
• Honest - Similarly, if you try to load up your site with keywords or links on hidden pages that are intended to be seen by crawlers but not customers, that counts as deception and can incur ranking penalty.
• Well-built - If it's easy for people to navigate, Google will probably like it. Make sure the links to your sub-pages are logically named, and minimize add-ons like auto-playing videos or pop-ups asking for email and addresses.
• Accurate - Like most people, Google doesn't like spelling mistakes or broken links. They can count more than you might expect.
• Optimized for mobile - More people than ever are searching on mobile rather than a desktop, so sites which are more mobile-friendly are rewarded over those which are not.
An SEO audit will give you an idea of how friendly your website is overall. Here's how you do it:
Get a list of your pages.
• Export all of your site pages to a spreadsheet, then sort them by the most frequently visited.
• Take your keyword categories and see which fit best by page. Add that category into a column alongside the page name.
• Add another column for any keywords you don't currently have covered.
Add keywords - naturally, of course.
• This is where your content comes in. You'll need to work in those keywords to your priority pages on:
- Headings & Content
- Image Titles & Alt Text
Learn to avoid search penalties.
Don't hide your keywords - or stuff too many of them into your copy. This includes forcing them into places they don't belong to try and rank for terms that don't come naturally to the page you're on at the time.
Keyword stuffing is the oldest trick in the book when it comes to SEO - but now, search engines have been specifically designed to detect it. Not only does it look spammy, but it's not approved by search engines and will result in penalties you just don't want.
Promote a good user experience.
The most important thing to consider is your visitor's user experience. While optimizing your website for an algorithm sounds purely scientific, remember that the goal of search engines is to deliver the best experience possible to their end-users - searchers. If you keep that goal in mind with your SEO strategy, you'll be more likely to make good choices. Think about humans first and search engines second, and you'll be good to go.
"The objective is not to 'make your links appear natural'; the objective is that your links are natural."
- Matt Cutts