Before you can make anything better or improve it you have to know what it is. You have decided to start an online business so after selecting your niche you have decided to build a website. Your website is up and running but alas you have no visitors.
So now you need to find out why your site is not getting any visitors?
When you start to look into this you come across a term you have heard many times but may not fully understand and that is SEO.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. In very simple terms SEO is the way a site gets free traffic using the organic search results from search engines.
In order to get traffic to your site, your site must be visible to search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo.
Each of these search engines look for certain elements on your site. These elements would make your site more visible thus the public would find it more easily when doing a search.
Search engines have improved over time. There are some elements that we know do affect how our site will be found and then there are other aspects that we can only guess at.
These other elements referred to as algorithms are updated on a regular basis. The purpose behind this is to give the user the best experience possible when searching the internet.
Back in the late 90’s it was much easier to get your site ranked in the SERP’s. Factors that determined a site’s ranking were things like keywords and meta tags. Unfortunately these factors were totally controlled by the webmaster. Often unscrupulous webmasters would engage in keyword stuffing to get their sites to the top of the search engines. Often the content on the page had nothing to do with the keyword used to find the page.
What this meant for someone looking for information is they could not always find what they were looking for. This would cause them to look for other sources to use for their searches.
That is why today search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo have a much more complex system in place. It is much harder for a website owner to manipulate the search engines for rankings.
So now that we can no longer stuff our site with keywords to get ranked what can we do to improve our site’s ranking? How do we optimize our site for the search engines?
Optimizing Our Site
One thing that search engines didn’t take into consideration back in the 90’s was the actual person who was looking for information. So today there is great importance placed on making your site better for the actual people who are looking for it.
When you are building a website today your main goal is to communicate with your audience. You want to establish a conversation with the people who are going to visit your site. Whatever they are looking for you want to do your very best to help them find it.
You have heard that expression that “Content is King”, well, good content can help optimize your site for the search engines. It will definitely help get your site ranked.
What else can you do to optimize your site?
Well first there are things you can do on your site that will help(On Page SEO) and there are things you can do off your site(Off Page SEO) that will help the search engines find you.
On Page SEO
On Page SEO is just part of your strategy to optimize your content so search engines can find it. Keywords still play a role in this today but not like it did years ago. Today if you stuff your content with keywords you’re likely to get penalized. Search engines are looking for content that flows so you might want to use your keyword in the beginning of your article and then do not worry about using it again – let the content flow naturally.
The title tag of your site should contain your keyword if at all possible. The sooner it is displayed the better. For example if your keyword is “popcorn maker” and your title reads “Pop without oil with your brand new popcorn maker” you will not get as much SEO weight as “Popcorn Maker – pop without oil”.
The same applies with the meta description.
Another On Page SEO factor that you have control over is how your site is laid out. The easier it is for the search engine to crawl your site the better your SEO. You can do this by having a sitemap and by linking your posts and pages.
Of course the actual content on your site will also affect your SEO. Google wants your content to be user friendly. They want your content to be fresh and well researched. They want your visitors to be happy when they visit your website.
They don’t want what is referred to as “thin content”. Thin content is articles between 300 to 500 words in length. This type of article was at one time quite popular, now they are looking for articles that are a lot longer. Some say you should aim for a well research article with at least 2000 words. Research has shown the length of the content does have an effect on your rankings.
Another factor that has an effect on your website’s SEO is how fast the website loads. Most people me included will not wait for a site to load. If your site doesn’t load quick enough people will click away and go somewhere else. You can check the speed of yours site and if it is slow you have some options to improve the site’s speed.
Just remember when building your site that you build it for the user in mind not the search engine.
Off Page SEO
There are also factors off your page that affect your SEO. Things like social media, social bookmarking and link building.
Search engines want to know how the world looks at your website and Off Page SEO factors let them know just that.
Link building became a very popular way to get your site ranked and many engaged in black hat methods to get their site ranked. Google has updated their algorithms to make it more difficult to get rank using spammy links. Now it is not just the number of links but also the quality of those links that matter.
In order to get your site ranked it is Off Page and On Page SEO factors that are going to do it. You cannot rely just on one method or aspect of SEO, there must be an even balance.
If you want to learn what you need to do to build a successful online business and build a website that people will visit check out my number one place to go.