In today’s technologically advanced world, all businesses should have an internet presence. But it’s quite daunting really to see how many businesses still do not see the benefits of having and maintaining a current website. Think about this; when you want to learn about a company what is the first thing you do? Most people go to the Internet open up a search engine and type in the name of the company or industry. When people look for a company or business online, they will usually search Google or Bing often returning pages and pages of company websites on the topic that was searched. Do you ever go to the second or third pages of the list? How about the fourth, fifth or sixth page or beyond? Seldom, right? Did you know that the more popular your site is, the more popular it will become? The trick is getting people to find you amidst the hundreds of other similar websites on the net. So how do you increase your search engine ranking to stand out?
In order to increase your company’s visibility, Internet traffic and ultimately search engine ranking for your website you have to implement some relatively simple Search Engine Optimization or SEO techniques. These are techniques that you can utilize through the use social networking sites to draw people to your website as well as others you can put into place throughout the pages of your own website and blog. Following are some key techniques that when executed will improve your search engine ranking, help you drive more traffic to your website, increase visibility of the content within your website and expand the audience you can reach.
Key terms can be used in several ways to increase your visibility, search engine ranking and website traffic. Key terms should be used in the titles of your web pages and the URL’s that lead to those pages. Think about 1, 2 or 3 word phrases that a potential client might use to describe what you do, offer or sell that they may be looking for. Put yourself in their shoes of others or perhaps ask others what terms they would search for to find you. They may come up with some key terms that you may not have thought of. Use descriptive and informative text including key terms throughout what is written on the different pages of your website. Try to choose words that directly relate to your company, you as an individual and what you have to offer. Some good examples for IPWatchdog would be the following key terms; Patents, Intellectual Property, Bilski, Trademarks, Copyrights, Non Disclosure Agreements and David Kappos.
Throughout this article, take notice to some of the key terms that I use. You will notice they are underlined and bold. Once you have come up with a good solid list of key terms for your business, start using them frequently throughout your website. You do not want to limit yourself to just a few terms. Instead look for key terms specific to the products and services you offer throughout your website and use them accordingly. Again, try to put yourself in the shoes of those within your target market and look for key terms that will bring them to you.
TITLES AND DESCRIPTIONS
When you create titles or descriptions, again you want to use Key Terms. Create unique and distinct titles for each different page on your website, and make sure that the words you choose are descriptive and accurately reflect that which you are trying to get across. Titles should be short and to the point but should also accurately represent your website, products and services. As you can see by the title of this article, “Increasing Website Traffic and Visibility,” the key terms I used were Increasing Web Site Traffic and Increasing Visibility. Although I did not specifically use “Increasing Visibility” together, the two words within the title will still be seen by search engines. The title is succinct and it conveys in only a few words what the article will be about without. It also allows for search engines to easily find it based on the terms I used.
USE CLEAR, CONCISE, INFORMATIVE TEXT
Make sure that what you write is clear and concise and devoid of superlatives such as Biggest, Best, Cheapest, Fastest and so on. You do not want to use a lot of “sales” talk. If readers feel you are trying to “sell” them on something, rather than educating them, they will likely be turned off. However, demonstrating your expertise is the best way to “sell” yourself. When people like what they see on your website, they stay for longer periods of time, book mark your pages in their favorites, come back later and often share the information with others they feel would be interested as well.
USE TEXT LINKS
Rather than use long URL strings, it is best to use specific text and hyperlink it to the URL you want your audience to be redirected to. Search engines follow these easier and the text allows them to better determine what your keyword phrases are. I may choose to say
Social networking is important to building any business. You can read more about the importance of social networking at http://ipwatchdog.com/2010/04/04/the-importance-of-using-social-networking-for-business-part-ii-twitter/id=9765/.
However, I would be much better off to say,
Social Networking is important to building any business.
The bold, blue, underlined text is symbolic of a hyperlink. Most readers will know to toggle over the word, and see if it is hyperlinked. If someone were to search for Social Networking for Business in Google or any other search engine, the text link is much easier for search engines to locate, sort and return on those searches than a long URL string.
LINK TO OTHER PUBLICATIONS AND WEBSITES YOU HAVE
Once you capture an audience one way that you can keep them on your site, is to link to other publications you have written. This includes articles, blog posts and other informational pages on your website. Recently I wrote about The Power of Branding Through Catchy Advertising. Given that brand building is important to increasing traffic to your website, it would probably be beneficial for me to refer to to that article, also featured on our website, within this article. As you can see it is hyperlinked, so if someone wants to read more about it, they can do so by simply clicking on the link all the while staying within the confines of our website.
If you use Social Media, you should also be sure that you clearly link back to your website. This will allow those who connect with or follow you through those sites, to learn more about you because they can easily navigate back to your website through the link you provide them with. In addition, be sure to include a link to your website as well as to your Social Media profiles within the signature of your email. Even if someone reading your email decides to go to your LinkedIn page, they can still easily be redirected to your website.
FEATURE GUEST WRITERS
Although IPWatchdog is primarily an Intellectual Property based website, I write about topics that are focused more towards the marketing aspect of a business. This is common on blogs where occasionally you can feature Guest Writers who can write about topics that are not necessarily within your expertise. Offering information on other topics is a good way to expand your reach and ultimately driving increased traffic to your website.
To accomplish this, be sure to use key terms specific to that which your guest writers feature within their contributions, including the guest writer’s name. The key terms I use within my articles will be different from those key terms that are not necessarily contained within the pages of IP topics written by Gene. Brand Building, Social Media, Social Networking, Networking and Search Engine Optimization are a sample of the key terms used on my pages.
GET LISTED IN DIRECTORIES OR DEVELOP ONE OF YOUR OWN
There are thousands of directories of all different shapes and sizes available to you. Many are topic oriented specifically targeting a niche market within your industry. Others more generally target your industry as a whole. The NY Public Library has a free Industry Specific Directory List that you can use as a reference to get started. You can also search your favorite search engine for what is known as mini directories. These are individually owned websites that feature a directory within the pages of their site. Directory-Pages.com has information on how you can search for these mini directories. You can also host a mini directory on your own website, where others within your industry can be listed as well which in turn will drive more traffic to your website. You should be listed in as many directories as possible.
Finally start networking and make connections, Networking with web site owners and web masters that are in some way related to your own target market is a great way to begin finding advertising partners. General Social Media sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter are a good place to locate others businesses that compliment what your company does.. Offer to exchange links from your site to theirs and vice versa. Make sure you always have business cards with you and be sure to have your Website and Social Media URLs printed on your cards. You never know when you may meet someone who could utilize your services.
The previous recommendations are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many other Search Engine Optimization tools that you can utilize to increase your website’s search engine ranking as well as visibility within your industry. These two things alone will ultimately lead to an increase in traffic to your website. The more visibility and traffic you generate, the more your search engine ranking will increase. The more your search engine ranking increases, the more traffic your website will receive and so on. A little extra work can breed hefty rewards right off the bat.