Having a storefront business is ideal but if you do not have an online presence you are missing out on a large customer share. We are living in a digital age and almost every consumer expects that your business will have a website from which they can learn about your products and services.
But even if you have a website it is of no use if you get little or no traffic to it. This is where SEO comes in.
SEO stands for search engine optimization. What it really entails is the strategy of making your website easy to find and popular with search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. For the following example I will be referring to Google as it is the most popular search engine.
When a person types a search term into Google, the search engine looks up all the sites in its index which matches that search term. It will then give results for web pages that best fit the search term.
The key to making your website index well is to have a good amount of quality content mostly in the form of text. So how does Google decide which website to rank first for a search term? Here are a few top criteria.
Website must have relevant content to what people are looking up.
If I were to look for the term “electronic tablets” in Google and your electronics business has a website that does not have text based information on tablets, then your website would not show up in my results. You just lost a potential customer.
Websites must provide their content in the form of text.
In the early 2000s, flash based websites were all the rage. As fancy and cool as it is, the problem with making your website with flash is that most of us are no longer impressed by animated intro pages and Google does not read and index flash. As such it does not help your SEO.
Websites with a lot of links from other sites
One of the natural tendencies of people using the internet is to link to a site that they think has good content. In most cases it solves a problem, gives relevant information and or provides entertainment.
The more people link to your website the higher your ranking will be and the easier people will find you online. A link to your site is seen by Google as a popularity vote.
Link building should be done with care however because not all links are equal. You do not want websites with poor reputation to link to you. If reputable websites such as CNN, BBC and the New York Times link to you, it will push your rankings up. The key is to create quality content on your website.
Websites that load fast
It does not matter how good your site is, no one wants to wait around for it to load up. If your website is slow you have a problem. Most web surfers will wait approximately 5 seconds for a web page to load. If they have to wait longer they are likely to click away from your site and you would have lost another customer.
To avoid this problem make sure that your website is not bloated with a bunch of graphics that have large file sizes. Where possible avoid using a lot of scripts and programs like Java as they also take time to load. Again be wary of using flash intros as they also hog resources.
Good page description
Use good titles that describe what each of your web page is about. Try to think of how people search for stuff on the net. Often they will not use one word such as Toyota or car. They are more likely to use long tail keywords such as “2013 red Toyota Corrolla four door sedan”. If your title page was simply Toyota or car then you would not get listed for the long tail search terms.
It is frustrating when customers come to website looking to buy something only to find that the catalogue is old and all the prices have not been updated. Customers also hate it when you do not provide enough information about your products and services.
Getting traffic to your website is basically about building a relationship. The key to sustaining a relationship is communication. If you stop communicating or communicate very little the relationship dies. You keep the channels of communication with customers open by updating your website often. Google loves it and so will your customers.
There are many other SEO practices that will give you higher rankings in the search engines but those I have covered are fundamental in having a good online presence. By practicing them you will see a marked increase in traffic and sales.