So, you finally got your first website set up and now you are eagerly awaiting visitors and more importantly, sales conversions. Only, nothing seems to be happening.
When you launch a new website it can take time for Google to crawl the site; anything from a few days to several months. There are other factors too for why your site might not be showing up in the search engine results pages (SERPS), and that is because you need to develop an SEO strategy.
What is SEO?
SEO is the abbreviation given to search engine optimization. You may have a beautiful website but without following the basic SEO essentials you won’t be attracting all the visitors you could potentially have.
SEO covers a variety of areas including keywords, content, UX, how your website performs, optimization of images and video, and social media to name but a few.
Part of a digital marketing strategy to boost your website should include SEO, so here are a few pointers towards the basic but essential ways to improve your website’s visibility.
Choose what Google crawls and what it doesn’t
First off, you need to decide what you want Google to see. There will be areas on your site that will not be useful in Google searches, such as the checkout area. You can use a small text file called robots.txt to tell Google what you want it to see and what to ignore. This is a basic but important piece of your overall SEO.
Include only relevant content
If you want to obtain visitors and get them to stay on your site then you need to provide them with interesting and topical information. If your website sells diving gear then include posts about the latest hot-spots around the world to go diving in or the most popular diving schools.
By writing relevant material you will improve your chances of showing up on Google searches through keywords and links. There are SEO link building experts who can help you with your strategy and content, keywords and backlinks are very important.
Include relevant keywords but don’t stuff them in
You have possibly already heard of the term keywords but are unsure what they are. Keywords are simply the words that a user could type into a search engine to look for relevant websites. For instance, Charlie in Florida wants to go diving so he looks for diving shops in Key Largo.
If your website includes the relevant information and keywords including Key Largo diving shop then your site should be returned in the search results. Simple.
If you fail to add in key information such as your location and what you do then you may be overlooked. Some people try to stuff too many keywords into their website believing it will work better but Google looks for words and text that reads naturally so consider this when writing your content.
You need to ensure all your images and videos are optimized
Put most simply this means that they should be saved in the correct format, be high quality, have alt-tags, have relevant filenames, have thumbnails, and also be relevant to the website.
If you are showing videos, which by the way is a great way to retain attention, then consider including a transcript where applicable as this makes it easier for Google to ‘read’.
Write material for others
There are many simple steps to optimize your website and one very good way is to generate backlinks. One way to do this is to create content for other websites. Writing relevant guest posts for other trusted sites helps to create backlinks. The more backlinks you have from sites that Google considers trustworthy and an authority the higher you will show in the rankings.
Review your website’s UX
As always, Google is changing its metrics and adjusting its algorithms. The newest metric is called Core Web Vitals and will measure the performance of your website and namely the user experience or UX.
There are three metrics you need to be aware of:
- Loading time
- Reaction time from a button being pressed to the action beginning
- How the page loads on the screen, i.e. does the content move around as it downloads?
You can find a more in-depth look at Core Web Vitals on the Google site but if you use an SEO expert to help with your strategy they will be aware of these new changes.
To get as many visitors and sales as possible you need to make your website as visible as if it were on Main Street. To do this you need your SEO-optimized and quality relevant content in place.
If you are technically minded then you can do much of this yourself but it can be extremely time-consuming and is often wise to hire an SEO team to conduct a proper review of your site and design a full strategy to improve overall performance.