Building a website or upgrading your current one can be costly, so it’s important to ensure people visit it! But how can you boost website traffic?
One of the best areas to start is your SEO – your “Search Engine Optimisation.” SEO describes the way that websites ‘speak’ to search engines to provide more detail about your website.
Search engines use complex algorithms to determine which website pages:
- Should appear in their index
- Be most highly ranked in the search results page (ie closest to the top of the search results first page)
- Appear most frequently in the search results list
SEO adds credibility to your website, increases your brand awareness and encourages high quality visitors to your site (ie ones that won’t just ‘bounce’ straight off your site).
Aspects to high quality SEO:
- ON PAGE OPTIMISATION – ways to optimise your website within the boundaries of your site.
- OFF PAGE OPTIMISATION – activities that tend to be undertaken ‘off’ the website pages eg via links, Facebook, video clips etc.
On page Optimisation
This refers to the settings that you can apply to your website pages so it is optimised for search engine analysis and ranking. You will need to undertake these setting alterations via the ‘back end functionality’ of your website.
Improvements you can make include:
- Keyword research and optimising your website content
- Optimising your meta title tag
- Optimising your meta description tag
Key word research & optimising your website content:
Think like your target audience, and identify the types of key words they would likely input into the search engine to find your product/service. Once you have identified the main ‘niche keyword’, brainstorm to expand upon various alternative keywords that are similar.
These key words need to be included throughout your website content and tags. Then search engines can recognize them as being relevant to the search that the user is undertaking. The more accurate and relevant to your website these keywords are, the more quality traffic will be driven to your site.
Quality keywords also encourage a lower ‘bounce rate’ statistic for your page or site, as information on it is relevant to their needs. ‘Bounces’ refer to users who leave your website.
Meta tags are one piece of the information that search engines look for when they are processing and deciding which search results will be most relevant to the search criteria/key words that the user has typed in. They help tell the search engine (and your target audience) what your site is about.
Optimising your Meta Title tags:
A title tag is compulsory and should include the main key word associated with that page. It is what the search engines use as the ‘search results title’ for that page. Check your Meta Tag Title is:
- Unique for every page on the website
- A relevant title description of the information on the page that it relates to
- Main keyword appears at the beginning of the title with less important keywords following it
- Location identifier to provide more specificity to your business location eg city or country
Optimising your Description Meta Tag:
This tag tells the search engine what your page or site is all about – like an advertisement for your site. It should include the main keyword upfront, with other keywords following, and be an accurate, informative description telling users what is on your site.
If the search engine assesses your description tag as badly composed or inaccurate, it may be ‘demoted’ by the search engines.
Likewise if the description you have is not an accurate reflection of the information on your site, a user will ‘bounce off’ your site and become frustrated that they have wasted their time looking at irrelevant information.
For these reasons, it pays to spend time getting it right! There are a number of key parameters for Description Meta Tags to be effective – talk to your website provider for more information on how to ensure you are optimising your meta tags.
A simple improvement you can make yourself, is having a ‘call to action’ such as a phone number to encourage people to call you, without the need to click through to your website. Many websites don’t have their phone numbers here and potentially miss out on leads and sales by missing this step.
Utilising these ‘On Page optimisation’ tools, will help ensure that you are on the road to better quality SEO for your website better quality traffic, and increased numbers.
In my next EMA “Business Plus” magazine article I will take you through ‘Off page optimization’ techniques.
NB: This article was published in the EMA “BusinessPlus” magazine. Enterprises of all types and sizes join the Employers and Manufacturers Association, for opportunities to learn and grow, make valuable business connections and change the world. EMA provides its members with professional advice and training to succeed in many aspects of business.