Thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it’s no secret that more and more people are shopping online. While physical businesses are suffering, online commerce is booming as people are now using apps or visiting websites to buy everything from groceries and takeaway food to even automobiles! As an increasing number of businesses are realising the importance of strengthening their online presence, how do you stand out from the competition, and how do you get people to notice your brand?
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is among the most important aspects that you have to address in order to create a successful website and drive traffic. Relevant high-quality content is invaluable and is part of the numerous SEO tactics you can perform on your website pages to rank in search engine results. SEO is, simply put, the use of numerous strategies that help search engines like Google and Bing index your website, and show it to people who are searching for similar information. Remember, if you have good SEO, people will visit your website by clicking on its link in the search results, thereby leading to more organic traffic.
Search engines don’t randomly choose websites to rank higher, but consider many intrinsic attributes that positively affect its experience of crawling the site and how a real person will benefit from it. As such, content should be of the highest quality possible and keywords (the search terms that people type into search engines like Google to find information) used should be extremely relevant. Until a few years back, numerous websites ranked higher in results simply by “keyword stuffing” or generously repeating the same high-volume keywords throughout the content. Search engine algorithms have evolved to understand that this doesn’t make for good reading nor does it provide useful information, and thus now penalize websites following the practice. Tools like Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends can be used to discover new keywords, refine existing ones, and even analyse the popularity of top search queries in Google Search. Overall, your content should be original and of good quality, and use relevant keywords (including long-tail keywords) appropriately, which will not only attract visitors to your website but also make them stay on the page longer.
Relevance also includes how consistently and frequently your website is updated. Visitors want to see fresh content, be it text, images or videos. Not many people will be interested in seeing content that is old and irrelevant. The same thing applies if your website still shows offers or deals that were over a month ago. Search engines also prefer websites that are consistently updated with new and engaging content.
A common SEO mistake that many people do is skip HTML tags like alt text, title tags, meta description and header tags, which are of great value to search engines. These tags should contain relevant keywords and other bits of information that help search engines understand what your website is about, resulting in more efficient crawling and resultantly, higher search rankings.
Not having an organized URL structure can also result in lower rankings as search engines will not be able to crawl effectively. Adding appropriate keywords in the URL will not only preview the contents of your page, but it will also make the website structure more systematic, making it easier for search engines to comprehend, and will attract potential visitors to click through as well, resulting in better ranking. Internally linking related pages on your website is another good practice to keep in mind for enhanced SEO benefits.
After you accomplish all the above, what good is it if the pages don’t load quickly? Few visitors will stay on a page if it takes too long to load or doesn’t display correctly on their preferred device. Today’s search engines are smart enough to know when visitors leave a website quickly without interacting, and that can potentially lead to poor rankings. Having a responsive, mobile-friendly website and optimised images can do wonders for your page performance.
Online forums and social media can greatly help boost traffic to your website and it’s free unless you want to advertise. Joining relevant groups where you can take part in group conversations, replying to people’s queries, and genuinely engaging with posts and comments can lead to increased exposure, which will get you more website traffic.
And yes, it’s always important to know what is working for you, and what isn’t. Google Analytics is a great tool to discover insights that can help you drive more website traffic. By consistently checking the analytics data and improving upon suggestions, you will eventually be able to spot which content and strategies work best, and which ones need further fine tuning.
A great digital marketing company can help you achieve results that exceed your SEO expectations. Viral Mafia, a digital marketing agency in Kochi, is among the best in the city when it comes to SEO services.