Trying to increase your website traffic AND get qualified leads? When you learn how search engines rank websites and apply some simple non-technical SEO strategies you’ll start to see increased website traffic from qualified customers.
Search engine optimization (SEO) are techniques used to help customers searching for a product or service find a company’s website on search engines such as Google.
You know how important Location is to a brick and mortar business – right? How well your website ranks on search engines is just as critical for businesses today as well.
How do potential customers find websites for a product or service?
1. Direct traffic
They find a website by typing the web address directly into a browser or by clicking on a bookmark or an email link. These are usually clients familiar with your company, or have seen your web address in offline marketing and may be repeat visitors.
2. Referral traffic
Potential prospects can be directed to your website by clicking on a link from another website. Such as, linking from a LinkedIn page or an ad banner to a corporate website would produce referral traffic. The goal is people referred to your website will be qualified customers wanting to purchase a product or service that they are referred to.
3. Search engines
What key phrases will potential clients type into a search engine to find a service or product like yours? Think about that then analyze your web content. See how you stack up to your competitors in search results. For example, typing the keywords “family law attorney” in a Google search will provide a list of websites that provide information or services dealing with family law attorney’s.
Generally, a company has more control over direct or referral traffic than over search engine traffic. And direct and referral traffic is influenced more by an organization’s offline marketing. SEO seeks to provide a strategy for improving a website ranking resulting in increased website traffic.
Three types of search engine results that appear on a SERP (search engine results page)
1. Pay per click (PPC)
These results are usually prominently displayed on top or on the side of the search results. The name is PAY PER CLICK so you have to sign up for this service through a search engine such as Google Adwords. You will bid on certain keywords and set a budget. A well-orchestrated PPC campaign is the quickest way to drive qualified traffic to a website.
2. Organic or natural results
These are the rank-ordered results provided below the Ad results and AFTER the Local Google My Business Listings. These results are attained on the merits of the website and are not purchased. However, since most customers will not look at several pages of search results, a high organic placement, preferably in the top three positions, is necessary to succeed in driving qualified traffic to a website.
3. Google Places (Local SEO)
You’ll see 3 – 4 listings under a map right below the top Ads. Some refer to this as the Google “Snack Pack”. You only come up here if you have a highly optimized Google My Business Page. It costs nothing and can increase website traffic and qualified leads to your local business.
How search engines rank websites
The criteria used to rank websites in search results vary by the search engine (Google, Yahoo, Bing, and the others) which are constantly evolving. Although these criteria are not publicized, general strategies applied consistently over time will increase website rankings. Despite promises offered by some SEO companies, reaching a high search engine ranking will not happen overnight.
While the exact formulas are not widely publicized, search engines provide high ranks to websites that are
- relevant (sites that have good, relevant content throughout the site)
- authoritative and
Any strategy that seeks to increase these five criteria, will ultimately Increase search engine rankings and thereby increase website traffic.
Here are five non-technical strategies for SEO and will increase website traffic
1. Improve relevance by writing better web copy
CONTENT – good content will always win the search engine ranking battles! Start writing better web copy that focuses on how a product or service meets customer needs and you’ll increase your search engine rankings. Google is looking for sites that focus on answering customer questions. If your content is addressing the needs of your customer, then your web copy will naturally be filled with rich keywords. Avoid writing copy specifically designed to increase web rankings. Ultimately a website needs to be written for your potential customers and not just web rankings.
2. Improve by increasing the number and quality of inbound links
Search engines look at both the number and the quality of inbound links when determining rankings. By registering with web directories like DMOZ or getting referral traffic from high traffic sites like Wikipedia, websites can improve site visibility and perceived importance. You can increase links to your site by regularly providing new and entertaining content as well. Providing content including videos, polls, and other interactive features that people want to share with their friends is a great way to encourage other websites to link to yours.
3. Become trustworthy by being ethical
Questionable tactics like providing pages with long lists of keywords, too many ads and little usable content will eventually lead to penalties by search engines. Which basically means they will drop you from their listings!
Encouraging trust among customers, just like in brick-and-mortar business, is important in increasing sales and search engine ranking. Provide customers with a contact page and give them the opportunity to comment on products and services received.
4. Become an authority by networking
Develop a reputation as an authority with a product or service by using networking sites such as LinkedIn or by creating blogs and topic relevant articles or whitepapers. Over time customers will begin to associate the company with being an expert on the products and services it offers. Not only will this perceived authority increase website traffic, but it will also ultimately increase search rankings.
5. Increase popularity by encouraging repeat visitors
Marketing is a long-term proposition aimed at meeting and satisfying customer needs. By providing relevant, interactive content that is demanded by customers, the website will become more popular and ranking will increase over time.
When using nontechnical techniques, sound marketing principles will ultimately lead to increased web rankings. If you’re interested in technical SEO strategies you can use Google Webmaster Tools.