Do you have someone who manages your website? Often with small and medium sized businesses the website is something left to whoever feels they want to take it on. Someone calls a designer when it needs a major overhaul otherwise the site is let to fend for itself. Even if you have someone regularly posting updates, news or blogging, chances are high that the only people reading your website are already your customers. If this is the case, you could save yourself hosting fees and just send out a weekly newsletter to a mailing list. You don’t have a website just so that you can say you have a web presence. A website is a marketing tool, and it should be working to bring in customers.
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Bringing In New Customers
Often companies will set up a website because they feel they need to be online, but they don’t actually think about what that website is supposed to do, and the only time they share the link is when they send an email to a customer. You don’t get business cards printed or pull up banners, or brochures, without thinking about what they will be used for and how they will bring in business. This should be your attitude with a website. It isn’t a passive business card holder that you hope people will find, you need to be actively using it to bring in customers. The adage ‘build it and they will come’ is only start of the equation. The other old adage that you really need is ‘location, location, location’, and in this instance we are talking about where you are located in a search engine results.
If your potential customers use Google or Bing to try and find the solution to their problem, and your business doesn’t come up on that first page as being the best solution, then that is instantly a lost customer. It’s not that the other businesses are better than you, often the links that appear on the first page will be unrelated to your business, but they do loosely have the same keywords. So what do they have that you don’t? Really good SEO.
Why SEO Should Drive Your Website Strategy
Search Engine Optimisation simply means ensuring that the content on your webpage has been writing to highlight your keywords and important information relating to your business so that a search engine is able to work out what is important and what isn’t. If write a blog post about business in New York being a bad investment but investing in Cincinnati is a great idea, you don’t what someone searching “Good Business Investments in New York” to find your site – they aren’t your target audience. You do want the person looking for investment in Cincinnati though. You not only want your page turning up on a search engine, you want to have your link positioned as close to the top of the first page as you can. Somewhere like rankunlimitedseo.com can offer advice and strategies to help an established business focus their SEO strategy to move up the search engine ranks.
In a nutshell – SEO should be your focus so that your clients and potential customers can find you.
How Do I Write Bad SEO?
There are hundreds of thousands of websites out there that give an endless list of tips and tricks “guaranteed” to get you listed on Google. The vast majority offer advice that will at the very best scenario do nothing, but in the worst case may cause a lot of damage to your brand. Some things to ensure you avoid doing, not only because they don’t work, but because they will likely get your website blacklisted:
- Keyword Spam – remember that real humans will also be reading your website, having an unnatural number of instances of your keyword will make you look unprofessional. It also doesn’t work for search engines, who’s very sophisticated algorithms are looking for a specific density of keywords, usually only around 2%.
- Hidden Text – this is a very old, and dreadful, trick that still occasionally gets suggested. It used to be suggested that you copy and paste a dictionary, or a list of keywords, as text on your home page, but colour the text as the same as the background so that a human reader couldn’t see it. A similar but more modern idea is to hide keyword text in image descriptions and html titles. Not only will search engines punish you by blacklisting your site, any humans who use a screen reader to access websites will not be spending their money with your business either. https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/66353?hl=en
As you can gather, there are a lot of similar tricks designed to cheat search engines – and they simply do not work.