SEO: Boosting Brand Awareness and Attracting More Qualified Traffic

web traffic

web trafficIn today’s crowded marketplace, SEO is an essential weapon to have in your armory. SEO will help your website and content get found when people are looking for information, products, and services on search engines. Ultimately, the businesses that get it right will appear higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), giving them increased traffic and more potential sales.

What makes one website more popular than another, and how do you ensure your website ranks higher in SERPs? First, you need to understand what search engines are looking for. You need to build a website for search engines as well as your customers. The best way to improve your rankings is to use honest SEO techniques so that search engines can easily crawl your site and understand your content. But there’s no quick fix. Don’t believe any company that tells you they can get you at the top of search engine results pages overnight.

What Exactly Is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s the process of getting traffic from “natural” or “organic” search results on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. When it’s done properly, it helps your site get seen by search engines and also increases your search rankings.

All the major search engines have search results pages, where they return results based on search queries. Unlike paid search listings like Google Adwords, organic search results are free, which is why it is such a valuable marketing tool. There are many techniques to make sure search engines “understand” your website and see you as a relevant source of content. The trick is to play by the rules, focus on the user experience, and make it easy for search engines to read your site. First, you need to be clear about your ambitions.

What Are Your Business Objectives?

While this may sound like a simple question, many new businesses don’t actually know what their long-term goals are, let alone how to achieve them. Having clarity from the outset will limit future frustrations and obstacles, and make sure you’re heading in the right direction. Some questions you need to ask yourself are:

  1. Who is your ideal customer?
  2. Where does your ideal customer spend time online?
  3. What are the main benefits of your products and services?
  4. How much can you spend on advertising?
  5. How do you manage your online reputation?
  6. What defines a conversion for you?
  7. What are your long-term marketing goals?
  8. Clear navigation
  9. Fast page load times
  10. Helpful links
  11. Clear calls-to-action
  12. Not too many distracting ads

When you know the answers to these questions, you can develop a consistent marketing strategy that is focused on clear objectives and consistent with your brand’s personality. But where do you begin with SEO? Following are some essential SEO strategies to make sure you’re on the right track.

Optimize for the Right Keywords

One of the primary ways Google and other search engines measure the relevance of your site is through keywords. Basically, if your content contains the right words, you’ll be seen as a better match to certain search queries. One of the best ways to optimize your keyword strategy is by using Google’s Keyword Planner. Check for relevant keyword phrases that have relatively low competition, as they’re more likely to rank higher in search results. If your keywords are too generic, you’re simply going to attract the wrong kind of traffic. If your business serves a specific geographical area, you should optimize your content with phrases that include your local town and surrounding areas.

Focus on Building Quality Links

Calculating the number of quality links that point toward your website is one of the most effective ways for Google to measure the value of your website. Ultimately, backlinks are a vote of confidence for your website. And if higher ranking sites link to your site, your content must be even more valuable. The key to building quality links is to do it organically over time. Using link farms and other spammy techniques will only get your site penalized. If you comment on another blog, only leave a link if it is actually helpful to the audience. Adding your website to directories is fine as long as you stick to the reputable ones. Try to think of your website “earning” links by publishing great content. You can also use Google Webmaster Tools to check for low-quality backlinks and remove them using the disavow tool.

Create Quality Content

Valuable, engaging, and timely content is the most valuable kind of content when it comes to SEO. What makes your business unique? You need to communicate your unique selling proposition so that search engines and users understand why your business deserves attention. If you consistently publish helpful content, you’re more likely to gain loyal followers and customers. Search engines also reward sites with rich media content. As well as increasing your website’s value with original content, you need to promote your content across other channels such as social media. Find out where your target audience spend their time online and join in the conversation. Since Google’s Hummingbird update, social signals are becoming an increasingly important factor in SEO.

Focus on the User Experience

If you don’t create a website that people are comfortable using, they will look elsewhere. To make your site more attractive to visitors and to decrease bounce rates, using simple SEO strategies will help. For example:

These factors all improve the user experience and boost SEO. Think about the user at all stages during their visit to your site and you’ll keep Google happy.

On-Page SEO

As well as keyword-rich content, try to include keywords within the URL of each page, and also in title tags, heading tags, meta descriptions, and alt image tags. Avoid having duplicate meta descriptions on different pages. Remember they will probably show up as a search result snippet, so make sure they’re well-written and attract attention. You need to inform and intrigue readers. Having unique meta descriptions for each page will also help you avoid Google penalties.

Optimize for Mobile

As more and more people are using their mobiles to access the Internet, search engines now reward sites that function well on smartphones, tablets, and desktops. To ensure your website adapts to any device, you’ll need to use responsive design. With so many different devices, operating systems, and web browsers, responsive web design is now essential to remain competitive. User behavior also varies across devices. Check your Google Analytics data to see which pages your mobile visitors are viewing the most.

Get to Grips With Analytics

By using Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools, and other analytics tools, you can keep an eye on how your website is performing and modify your SEO strategies accordingly. From analyzing your keyword phrases and page visits, to locating poor-quality backlinks and page errors, analytics is key to mastering SEO.

The Bottom Line

It’s often said that the quality of your web traffic depends on the quality of your SEO. To maximize your sales potential today, it’s essential to follow SEO best practices so that you can attract more qualified prospects to your website and other online properties. There are numerous other SEO techniques you can use, but these suggestions will give you a good return on your investment. Ultimately, to increase your online visibility and reputation, you should focus on the needs of your target audience.

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