By Jon Richardson of Overt Digital Media
There are two key considerations when it comes to your website: traffic and conversions. Traffic is the number of visitors you attract to your website, and conversions relate to the actions you want them to take, whether it is to buy a product, download information or contact you.
The joke goes, “Where is the best place to hide a dead body? The second page on Google”. It is an old (and tired) joke, but it does make the point. When was the last time you scrolled past the first page of any search results? If you can recall, I will bet that it is not a common occurrence for you.
Without traffic, conversions won’t happen. So, in this article, we will look at how you can generate traffic for your website.
You can pay a search engine optimisation consultant or company to optimise your website and boost it up the search engine results pages (SERPs). Due to the expertise involved and the laborious nature of the process, there will be a significant cost involved. It is also not a quick process; it takes time and you should not expect to see the fruits of this investment for around 3-6 months.
However, there are some actions you can take, at no or minimal cost, to improve your ranking on Google and we will look at some of those below:
Make sure you have the correct keywords on your website. These are words or phrases that your potential customers will type into Google to find services like yours. There are obvious (or fat head) ones such as ‘plumber near me’ but it is also valuable to include some less obvious (long tail) keywords such as ‘sink not draining’ which may lead to someone requiring a plumber.
Ensure your page descriptions, images and headings all have the most appropriate keywords in them. This is slightly technical and you will need access to the content management system (CMS) of your website. Titles, descriptions and headings receive more weight when ranking your website than standard text.
2. Google My Business
Registering your business on Google My Business (GMB) – this should take you 20-30 minutes and is a quick win. But don’t just build your page and forget about it. Encourage your customers to leave reviews, post on it and update it regularly. Google is the by far the most popular search engine and the more you interact with them, the more they will reward you in increased ranking.
3. Use reviews
Ask for reviews on Google, social media, TripAdvisor, Trustpilot etc and any other review sites you may belong to. Search engines are looking to deliver good content to their users and having good reviews signals to them that you have a good product or service, making them more likely to increase your rank in the search results.
Getting citations for your website by registering with the free online business directories (yell.com, text, scooploop, etc). Search for free UK business directories. It’s then a case of adding your business details, name, address, phone number and, crucially, your website on each directory. This is quite labour-intensive and repetitive, but it will bring you more traffic.
5. Generate content
Search engines reward you for new (relevant) content so update the content on your website regularly. Have a content strategy, plan out what your messaging will say and when. Also make sure you react to industry news and trends.
Writing a blog is a great way to enter a lot more content with keywords on your website which will improve your rankings in any search results. It also positions you as an expert in your field.
6. Promote your site
Ensure you promote your website on your social media channels, and publish your website on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn business pages. Join the community or special interest groups and share your posts to these. Whenever you post or engage make sure you drop a link to the most appropriate page on your website.
Have your web address in your email signature, on your quotes, invoices, menus, business cards etc. Any communication or collateral you have should have your website address on it.
7. Use email marketing
Email marketing is still an effective way of communicating with your audience. Ensure it has compelling calls to action linking back to the appropriate pages on your website.
This list is, by no means, exhaustive and there are also many technical aspects to SEO that will also increase traffic to your website. However, they are outside of the scope of this article and, probably, the expertise of most small business owners.
All of the above actions are easy and free. None require any technical expertise so can be done by yourself. Some of them are quick wins but others can be very time-consuming, such as researching keywords and registering for citations. It is worth considering hiring a professional as this will not only save you time but will also have significantly better results.