Too many businesses go through the effort and expense to set up a website only to allow it to fail by ignoring it once it’s up. They put up a site and assume it will start showing up in Google searches and make the phones ring. Perhaps that was once the case, but in today’s world, websites can backfire if they aren’t properly set up and marketed.
Here are three ways you can get a brand-new website noticed even among other well-established players.
1. Use Social Media to Publicize Your Business and Site
If you aren’t on social media, start now. Some networks may already have pages with your business’ name. Claim them before someone unfriendly does.
Here are free and essential sites for most businesses to engage with. Start by looking for people and industry groups to follow for news and information. Later, you can use these networks to share your website, blogs and news, and you’ll soon get people looking at your information and even following you.
- LinkedIn: Today’s version of the Yellow Pages is particularly useful for business-to-business (B2B) enterprises. Create a personal page for yourself and a business page for your company.
- Twitter: Twitter is a great way to gather and share information. It also lets Google see every tweet in real-time, so be sure to leave your business’ Twitter feed open to the public. Orkin’s feed, for example, provides a compelling rundown of company, consumer and industry news.
- Facebook: Business pages are best for business-to-consumer (B2C) enterprises. It’s also the #1 social media site.
- Pinterest: It’s great for businesses selling products consumers want to view. For example, Allrecipes uses the site to get people from all over the world to discover its recipes.
- Yoast: Claiming your page on the popular review site lets you customize it with your own words and photos, and respond to negative reviews.
2. Write Naturally and Don’t Obsess Over Keywords
You’ve no doubt heard of search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO used to all be about keywords and keyword phrases (also called longtail phrases) people use to search on the web. The old rules called for putting as many keywords as possible in the content for each webpage and blog post. That way, Google and other search engines would notice a site for its emphasis on a particular topic.
This changed in 2013. Today, Google wants each search to get results that meet the searcher’s needs. In addition to looking for well-written and informative content, Google also looks at the user’s prior searching habits before it delivers a search engine results page, or SERP.
Older, well-maintained, and trustworthy websites will show up more often in searches. But newer sites that provide useful information can also do well. Here are ways to boost content optimization:
- Except for the landing page, write at least 300 words on each site page and 500 words for each blog.
- Periodically revisit each page to update it.
- Don’t overdo keywords.
- Look for similar words that echo a keyword. Google provides these at the bottom of each SERP.
- Limit keywords to about 2.3 percent of content.
- Blog at least once a week to keep your site active on search engines.
- If you’re a local service, emphasize your location.
- Half of your site visitors will view your site on a smartphone, so put in lots of white space to make pages easy to view.
- Check for spelling and grammar errors, which Google views as evidence of spam.
3. Use Other Optimization Opportunities
SEO goes beyond content. Here are some other ways it can boost your site’s visibility among search engines.
- Use visuals on each page. Add captions, preferably with a keyword you want to emphasize on that page.
- Create and post videos. They should show how to use your product or service.
- Put keywords in metadata. This should also include alt text read out in lieu of captions for sight-impaired people, snippets, and URLs. If you use WordPress, the free Yoast plugin is very helpful.
- Make sure your site is mobile-friendly. Many (if not most) views will come from smartphones. Google is probably giving preference to high-performing mobile sites for searches generated on mobile devices.
- Make sure pages download within about two seconds. Anything longer will lose potential site visitors.