There’s never a shortage of things to improve on when you’re building a business.
One of the most difficult challenges small business owners face is performing a wide variety of functions that are vital to the success of your business.
One aspect that contributes to the growth of your business is how well your website is ranking for keywords that bring in new clients. The following strategies will help you develop the most important aspects of your site for long term traffic that converts visitors to clients.
Get listed for localized search
One of the first things you can do when starting out your websites development is optimize to appear locally. Claim your Google My Business listing in order to appear for local searches. Roughly 46% of all searches are local searches.
Local traffic will bring you visitors that typically convert at much higher rates than the average user. 88% of local searches made from a mobile device result in an in-store visit or phone call within 24 hours.
Even while your site is developing its ranking ability you can drive traffic based on proximity. The distance a business is to a person searching for a specific product or service is one of the largest factors Google has for displaying a website in their top three local pack listing.
Increase page speed
It’s been a ranking factor for some time now, yet many sites haven’t been able to reduce their page load time to the recommended 2.5 seconds. This provides your site with an opportunity to beat your competition in a category that can provide a competitive edge in the rankings.
Be mindful of maintaining fast load times as you put your site together. You can contribute to faster page speed by adjusting images to the size you need to reduce the amount of time it takes to load them. Images are often a prime source for increasing page speed as they take the longest to load.
The use of a CDN will also increase your page speed by providing servers closer to your visitors to reduce server response time.
Choose a mobile friendly design
No matter if your site is built responsive you should test it to see how user friendly it is on mobile screens. Most people are searching from mobile devices so in order to make your site user friendly it needs to be able to reformat and align its content to read and navigate easily.
Although sites built using WordPress, Joomla, Wix all offer responsive designs, there are sometimes elements on a theme that need to be adjusted. You can check how mobile-friendly your site is on Google’s Mobile Friendly Test.
Make sure you’ve chosen the right keyword
An effective keyword strategy is creates a solid foundation for the content you create. When you know exactly what keywords will drive in the most beneficial traffic you can create content around those topics that will get your site to appear in those searches.
Be prepared to pull keyword options from multiple sources. It’s not just finding one keyword that will make your content effective, but finding related ideas and synonyms that will enhance the optimization of your page and create depth in your keyword topic.
Create a topic cluster by creating a pillar page that’s optimized for your main keyword. Create more focused articles that go into the finer details of your pillar page. This promotes the depth of your topic and demonstrates expertise in your field.
Make your content original and effective
When you have great content it creates a lot of possibilities and opportunities to get your site to the first page. The content you create should always be with the user in mind. What’s good for the user is good for your site in the search results.
Good content encourages visitors to stay on your site longer, click through more pages and make return visits to your site. These are all positive signals for ranking your site.
Focus on finding ways to provide the most useful information and bring value to your readers. Find original statistics and meaningful information by conducting surveys, researching forums, browsing frequently asked questions on major brand sites and scanning through social media groups.
Find pain points, problems and the most commonly discussed topics to make your content more relevant to readers by addressing issues that directly affect their lives.
Optimize your efforts
Before you publish any content it’s vital you optimize the page for a target keyword. Search engines don’t need to see the keyword repeated through the body of text. That could actually do more damage than good. Search engines extract the meaning through semantic analysis and the strategic placement of your keyword.
Place your keyword in the areas that will signal its importance. That means using it in the title, URL, first paragraph, image alt tags. Using LSI keywords and synonyms in the subtitles will also contribute to optimization.
Link to content within your site to spread link equity, and build relationships between posts. By interlinking posts in the same topic cluster, you can guide users to other pages on your site that has relevance to what they were searching. Optimize your page by linking to it with optimized anchor text from another related post.
Get votes of confidence
Backlinks are one of the largest ranking factors that will move your website towards the top of the search results. Your page proves its authority when other credible sites link to it. Each referring domain is a vote of confidence in the content you’ve published. The more votes you get the more ranking ability your page acquires.
Although link building helps your website rank higher, if done incorrectly it can also harm your website and depress it’s visibility in the search results. Common mistakes business owners make are purchasing links, linking from the same site too many times or linking in blog comments too may times.
Any type of link scheme is technically against Google’s best practices and will be penalized if exposed. With the increased ability to understand contextual meaning, search engines are more efficient than exposing sites that sell links and penalizing every website who is linked to it.
The safest way to build links is to stick to white hat methods such as guest posting and reaching out to inform people about your content. With a natural link pattern from quality websites, your backlink profile will strengthen in authority and contribute to the ranking ability of your website.
Plan for the long run
Plan and strategize your keywords and content to create more traffic building opportunities. It is much easier to acquire backlinks if people like what you’re publishing.
By focusing on one thing at a time and building your website with the right foundations you can put together a technically sound, highly engaging website that ranks well in the search results.