In today’s digital age, having a website is essential if you want your business to survive and thrive. However, if you want to actually attract customers, just simply throwing up a website and hoping that customers will find you won’t cut it.

Your website has the potential to help your business grow substantially – however, it can’t do that if your site is hidden on the fifth page of Google!

If you’re having a hard time getting traffic to your website, the solution likely involves search engine optimization (SEO). But, before diving deeper into that topic, I want to first share what SEO is and its importance. Then, I’ll share 6 SEO tips on how you can increase your site’s visibility and help customers find your website.

Why is SEO important?

Here’s what it really boils down to – SEO helps your business grow, gain a competitive advantage, and get found online. SEO is the process of increasing traffic to your website through organic search engine results.

Basically, it’s a set of search engine rules for optimizing your website, increasing your website’s search engine rankings, and improving your website’s visibility (if you still have questions about SEO, check out this article for a good overview).

Throughout the rest of this blog, I’ll really focus on that last point – improving your website’s visibility.

Determining your company’s online visibility

Before you can improve the online visibility of your business, you need to first understand where you currently stand.

Let’s say that your company sells shoes online. To figure out how visible your online shoe store is, go to Google and type in “online shoe store” (or if you have a brick-and-mortar store, add the location in your search).

What page is your website on? If your company shows up on the first page, that means that your company has high online visibility and customers can easily find your site. If that’s the case, great job; most companies aren’t that fortunate.

If that’s not the case, then that means that you have some work to do.

6 SEO tips to increase your online visibility

Now, we’re finally at the part of the blog that you really care about! If your online visibility currently isn’t high, don’t worry. It’s not the end of the world. You have time to turn things around. In fact, I’ll let you in on six effective SEO tips that will help increase your online visibility:

1. Register your business on Google My Business

Register and link your website to Google My Business (GMB), doing so will ensure that your site appears in relevant, location-based search results. No matter what industry you’re in – tech, medical or real estate – if you have a business, you need to register it.

It’s really quick and easy to do – this article provides a good step-by-step guide (while the article is aimed at businesses in the medical industry, the same steps apply to businesses in any industry).

By verifying your business, it lets Google know that your business operates in the location that you claimed. As a result, this increases your chances of showing up in the search results of the people who are searching for a business similar to yours in the area that you’re located.

Here’s the bottom line – GMB is a major part of local SEO. So, if you want to get more customers through your front door, it’s vital that you create a GMB listing.

SEO tips

2. Start blogging (and post regularly)

A blog is one of your company’s most important assets. A blog gives your company the opportunity to showcase your expertise and position yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Just think about it – the success of your website is determined primarily by the content on it.

Remember, your website is a living entity on the Internet, and it is a representation of who your business is and what your business offers. If you don’t offer new and fresh content, your website might be considered a “dead” entity by search engines.

As a result, that would impact your search rankings. And here’s why that matters – 75% of people on the Internet never scroll past the first page. Therefore, if your site isn’t on the first page, basically, your site doesn’t exist and you’ll likely never be seen by potential customers.

3. Be mobile friendly (it’s a MUST!)

It seems like cell phones are permanently attached to everyone’s hips these days. And, according to Pew Research Center, 96% of Americans own a cellphone.

For the past few years, using a phone to browse the Internet has surpassed both desktop and laptop computers. In fact, desktop traffic has been decreasing, yet mobile Internet usage has continued to increase.

If the fact that the majority of Americans use their phones for everything doesn’t encourage you to make your website mobile friendly, then maybe this will: A few years ago, in 2015, Google made an announcement that they would be expanding ‘mobile-friendliness’ as a ranking signal. So, basically that means you need to have a mobile-friendly site or your rankings will suffer.

4. Master acquiring external links (backlinks)

A backlink is essentially an incoming link from one website to another site (yep, simple as that). And Google uses links to rank websites (sort of like “votes”). When a site links to another site, it is saying that the linked website is a qualified reference. Thus, getting backlinks increases the traffic to your site.

How do you acquire backlinks?

  • Create content/blog posts that include your keywords. If you have really good content, you’ll be more likely to attract a relevant audience. And some of the readers that you attract will be more likely to create backlinks to your content. However, remember that your content must be informative, rich and meaningful for that to happen.
  • Ask nicely for backlinks via outreach – you can ask other sites, bloggers, or journalists to link to the content on your site.

5. Speed up your site

Did you know that a slow website could cost you new customers? According to Google, 53% of people (a.k.a. potential customers) will abandon your website if it takes longer than three seconds to load.

Oh, and there’s more – since 2010, Google has been using site speed as part of its algorithm to rank pages. And time and time again, Google has said that fast load times help websites rank better.

So, if you want to rank well, it’s important that your site loads as quickly as possible. If you need more insight into the speed of your site and what you can do to speed it up, a good tool is Google’s PageSpeed Insights.

This tool analyzes the content on your web pages, then provides you with suggestions on how to make your pages load faster. Two other good tools are GTmetrix and Pingdom.

6. Encourage customers to leave reviews online

Do online reviews help with your online visibility and rankings? The short answer is yes. Reviews, specifically Google Reviews, can improve your SEO efforts and overall search rankings.

How? Reviews can be a strong signal that communicates authority and trustworthiness. And reviews help Google get to know your business better. According to a local SEO report conducted by Moz, your review quantity, diversity, and velocity all contribute to your rankings.

If you didn’t think that online reviews were a big deal, it’s time to change that mindset. They are one of the top factors that influence where and how your business appears in local search results.

Bonus tip: Learn and implement proper on-page optimization

In addition to all the SEO tips mentioned above, an essential pillar of SEO is on-page optimization. That’s another blog post in itself, but just know that on-page optimization is the process of optimizing web pages in order to rank higher (this includes using title tags, meta descriptions, and more). And if have a website that is built using WordPress, Yoast SEO is a good plugin to use as an on-page optimization guide.

Final Thoughts

You may have a website that has a beautiful layout and looks great. However, if your website doesn’t follow these SEO tips and has unoptimized content, slow load speeds, and poor mobile design, your website won’t rank well and you’ll stay hidden from customers.

Don’t let that happen. Hopefully, you’ve learned a thing or two about how to make your site more visible online. So, put these SEO tips into action – stop hiding from your customers and take the steps to increase your online visibility!

Now, I’m curious – what are some of your top SEO tips?

Featured image credit: shutterstock.com

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Jason McDonald is a senior marketing executive with extensive experience in digital marketing, strategic planning, and revenue growth. Currently, he is the SVP of Marketing and Sales at DrCatalyst, a leading medical billing and marketing services company.

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