Focus On The Fundamentals To Expand Your Online Reach
Search Engines have an agenda. Their customer is the person entering words into the search bar. They want their customers to find the information which best fits their search. When this happens, that customer will use that search engine again, and again. And when that happens, advertising revenue for that search engine increases. When you understand this strategy, you’ll see how important it is to honor the rules – it’s to your advantage.
Here are 8 Search-Engine Friendly Fundamentals to follow.
1. Update Your Website
Search engines prioritize websites where new content and information has been added. They want to see activity and engagement. This sends a signal to them that you’re invested in providing valuable online information – new ideas, opinions, concepts, services, products, relationships, controversy. Your business must regularly share new and improved information.
Keywords are the 3-5 word phrases your visitors enter into the search bar. Keywords must be used throughout your website so the search engine finds a match. Not sure what your keywords are? Here are a couple of resources to help you get started: Hubspot is an amazing provider of great information to help increase your online reach. In my business, we use a lot of tools. These vendors also produce great content. One of the best is SEMRUSH and this article on Keywords.
2. Phone Number and Address Above The Fold And In the Same
Search engines want to easily find and store your business information. The easier it is for them to find it, the better. They want to get it right. That’s why it’s important to use the exact same spelling of your business throughout your website. If you have multiple business phone numbers or email addresses, pick one and use it everywhere on your website.
3. Use Real and Interesting Images
Leverage how you connect to your visitors with images. Communicate your message more effectively with photographs and infographics that align and enhance your words. How many times have you seen the same stock photo used on multiple websites? Been there – done that.
Instead, take a picture of something you believe exemplifies your point and use it. Or, choose a photograph from over 40 different websites all offering royalty-free photographs. We use many of these sites. One of my favorites is pixabay.com. Take the time to find the right image.
4. Mobile Ready and Have a Sitemap
If you haven’t updated your website design in years, it’s probably not mobile-ready. That means the website and its content will not be effectively presented on a tablet or smartphone. Since mobile use has exceeded desktop use, your website must be readable on a desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile device. One of the features of the website grader tool is to tell you if your website is mobile-ready. Check it out for an answer.
A sitemap is a roadmap for search engines. A sitemap helps search engines find information. Use the website grader tool to find out if you have a sitemap. Go to the SEO Section and look for Sitemap. If you don’t have one, reach out to your webmaster. Let them know you want one. It’s not hard to make that happen.
5. LinkedIn Profiles
LinkedIn and search engines are a mutual admiration society. When someone types a person’s name in the search bar, it’s likely they have a LinkedIn profile. The search engine displays this link to the customer. The search engine is happy because they have a happy search engine customer.
You need a 100% completely filled in LinkedIn Profile to help the search engines. If you need help getting started, check out this resource.
Make it easy for your future clients to learn about you by adding a LinkedIn button to your LinkedIn Profile on your website.
6. Call To Action – What Do You Want
Websites are used for a variety of reasons. We believe one of the strongest reasons is as a way for your future customer to call or email your business. A Call To Action is when you use a button and wording directing the visitor to take action – like call you.
Continue to ask for what you want your visitor to do – use a clear and direct call to action.
7. Visitor Analysis
Google captures enormous amounts of data. The data about your website and your rivals are fascinating.
- How many people visited your website – it’s there.
- Where did they go on your website – it’s there.
- How long did they stay on your website (this is a reflection if they found what they were looking for) – it’s there.
- And so much more.
This is called Google Analytics. Start with the basic information and see how it’s trending month over month. This is an indicator of the changes your website is having on your visitors.
Discuss these statistics every month and take care to continually improve the statistics. Review what’s working and not working. Look for input on what should be different on your website to improve the statistics.
8. Write Unique Content
What answers to what questions are your future customers looking for on your website? They want:
- Your Viewpoint
- Your Perspective On An Issue
- Your Knowledge and Guidance
- Your Services
- Your Background and Who You Do Business With
This is what makes you … you.
It’s vitally important to take time each week to reach out and share new information (content) with your existing and future clients. They will remain engaged with you. And the search engines will love it too.
Wrap It Up
There are specific things you are in control which increases the likelihood your business will be found by future clients. These are 8 Search-Engine Friendly Fundamentals.
- Print off this checklist
- Set weekly goals and take a small bite each week
- Call your webmaster (or 1492 Digital) for help
- Send us an email, firstname.lastname@example.org, and share which of these steps made the biggest difference to your business