Website Traffic Tip: Stop Linking to Your Home Page!

When you practice inbound marketing, you want to encourage visits to your website with links to content. You do this to drive traffic, increase your social signals and encourage visits from people who are getting to know you. One mistake novices make, is to link back to their home page, over, and over, and over again.  Don’t do this.

You want to link to content, like an educational blog post or landing page with a valuable offer, instead of your home page. This creates ‘deep links’. You want to deep links because:

  1. this gives your website authority and credibility with the search engines
  2. you will have an increased opportunity to rank for your keywords
  3. you are providing your potential customers with content they want to read.

Write this down. Don’t forget. Deep link.

Advertisements

Be Found Online – Top 10 Tips

 

seo-biz upIn my day job, I am frequently asked to evaluate websites and recommend strategies and tactics to attract visitors. I also work on our corporate website to continuously improve its ability to attract customers. The efforts have been successful with a 50% increase in organic search! As you may know, organic search can significantly reduce the need for you to spend money on Search Engine Marketing, such as Google Adwords.

In this  post I want to share my top 10 tips to be found online through organic search.

What is SEO?

First, you need an understanding of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It simply means optimizing your website in a way that will make a search engine’s spiders able to efficiently “crawl” and index your website. The content you create, the keywords you target and the way you optimize each page relate to SEO.

As you go about creating, or revising, your website and its content, keep the following tips in mind.

Top 10 Tips

1. Know Your Customers, or ‘Personas’.

Develop customer profiles, or Personas, to help you create valuable and relevant content.

‘Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers. They are based on real data about customer demographics and online behavior, along with educated speculation about their personal histories, motivations, and concerns.’ Hubspot

google-yahoo-bing2. Research Keywords

  • Researching keywords that people use to find your website is one of the most valuable actions you can take to increase your Search Engine (SE) ranking.
  • The simplest way to research keywords is to search for terms that you think your customers will use to find you. Or you can use free or paid tools.
  • Make sure you use your keywords in title tags, H1 headlines, alt tags and your content (if working with a web developer they should be able to help you with this).

 Bonus Tip: Long tail keywords like ‘Cost of widgets in Toronto’ are better than individual keywords, like ‘widgets’, which is too broad a search term and would have a tendency to return unrelated search terms .

3. Continuously Create Content with New Web Pages & Blog Posts

  • Remember that content is king
  • When creating content think about the value to your customers that you want each page to provide first, and then which keywords match that value.
  • A website with accurate well-placed keywords but with very poor content will not rank well.
  • Blogging regularly is a great way to increase SEO rankings.
  • When shared on social networks a blog can increase total traffic to your website.
  • Blogs help businesses to satisfy both customers and SEs by providing:
  • Relevant information
  • Backlinks from other blogs and high quality sites.

4. Make Your Content Unique

  • Make sure you’re not duplicating content – Google will penalize you and send your rankings to the bottom of the list.

5. Name Your Web Pages with Descriptive URLS

  • Choose descriptive URLs that accurately describe the content you’d expect to find on the page.
  • The cleaner and more descriptive a URL is (not longer) the easier it will be for a SE to identify the relevance of the content on a page.

6. Backlinks

  • Backlinks are links that lead to your website.
  • To SEs the number of backlinks is a strong indicator of the quality and popularity of your website.
Social Media

Engage in Social Media

7. Engage Frequently on Social Media to Increase Your Business’ Social Signal

  • Social signals are the new link building tool.
  • Google measures your website’s ‘pulse rate’ on social media channels.
  • Allows you to create many backlinks when you post web pages or blog posts to, for example, Facebook, which link back to your website.
  • Creates an opportunity for others to share your content, which will help increase your social signal and SE rank.

8. Include Photos and Videos

  • Get extra search ranking points by including photos, images like InfoGraphics, videos and audio files where possible.
  • For images, make sure you use alt tags and for videos, include short descriptions.

9. Think Local

  • Incorporate your location(s) into your website content wherever it makes sense and be sure to have a page of content setup for each location that you serve.
  • Get listed/claim your pages in location based services and directories like Google+, Google Places, Yahoo listings and Bing Business Pages.

10. Keep It Fresh!

  • Search engines are content and link hungry. Add new content on a regular basis.
  • Update not just the content but also the look of your website, if it’s not been done in the past 2 years, so that your company maintains an up-to-date image with your visitors. If you don’t yet have a website, you need to get one.

To get the most out of your online visitors, you also need to think about how to convert them to leads … but I’ll leave that for another day!

5 Steps to Social Media Success

While doing some research on social media, I came across this factoid:

Social media’s influence on driving business via the web is expected to surpass search engine optimization (SEO) in 2013, according to eMarketer

If you’re not engaging with social networks yet, or if you have let your networks gather dust, now is the time to move forward or be left behind in the world of search! In an effort to assist you, here are some steps you can take to be social.

Step 1 – Who are your customers?

  • Create a persona of your ideal customer – are they household consumers? Business principals?
  • What is their average age?
  • What social networks do they use?
  • What are their biggest concerns, needs, and interests?
  • How can you reach them –search engines, social media, blogs
  • What kinds of content do they prefer?

These types of questions will help you develop buyer personas and determine which social networks will be of most value to you

Step 2 – Determine which social networks to join

  • New social networks pop up each week. It’s a waste of time to join every new social network only to find you have no time to manage them.
  • Find out where your most active customers & influencers spend time online – then listen and take notes.
  • Some tools you can use to tune into the conversation: Google Alerts, Technorati, Google Blog Search, Bloglines,
  • The most popular social networks now are Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest
  • Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest are great for reaching household consumers, Linkedin, YouTube, and Twitter for the business community
  • Once you’ve determined which social networks you want to join, setup your account(s)

Step 3 – Join the conversation

  • Engage prospective customers by answering questions, providing insights etc
  • Add value to the community – answer questions and help others where you can
  • Your posts should not always be about “selling” your business
  • When you start listening to conversations, you might hear some things about your company you won’t like – but that’s OK!
  • Find a way to help and be willing to acknowledge mistakes when they happen – you’ll be seen as a hero
  • Recognize happy customers and reward them if possible with something like an added-value offer only available to those who follow you on Twitter
  • If you find something interesting posted elsewhere, share it

Step 4 – Create and post content

  • Whether you publish videos on YouTube, start a Linkedin Group or post to Facebook, the more content you produce and publish, the more traffic you can attract back to your website.
  • If your site is designed well to convert visitors into leads, these activities will help you increase sales
  • Make sure to provide links from your website to your social media networks

Step 5 – Monitor & Revise

  • Facebook, Linkedin and YouTube offer analytics for you to see how many people have viewed your videos, how many people you’ve reached with your Facebook page etc
  • Use free Google Analytics on your website to see where your traffic is coming from
  • If possible, keep track of how your customers learned about you, and which social network, if that is how they found you
  • If you see that you’re spending a lot of effort on a social media network with no return, then eliminate it and focus on the network that brings you the most traffic and/or where your customers want to engage with you