5 Steps for Boosting Your Company's Website Visibility This Year
This post is the seventh in an eight part series on how to prepare your business for success in 2014. Follow the links to learn how to prepare your business for success, write a business plan, make your customers happier, make your business legal, market your business, improve your personal and business credit and finance your business. Meet guest blogger Phil Singleton. Phil is the owner of KCWebDesigner.com, a boutique web development firm specializing in SEO-friendly WordPress websites and custom website applications, and KCSEOPro.com, a full-service Internet marketing services company that provides organic search engine optimization and other online marketing services. Connect with Phil on his Google+ page.
As entrepreneurs and small business owners in Kansas City, most of us are always on the lookout for a way to boost sales or get to the next level. While companies are investing more these days in their web presence and overall Internet visibility, there are many free methods and networks that are underutilized or not being used effectively that can maximize website traffic and online leads.
Here are five ways you can boost your website’s visibility this year.
1. SEO Web Enhancements
Search engine optimization, or SEO, refers to ‘popping up’ at or near the top of search engine results in the non-paid section on the search results pages.
While natural ranking results are not always easy to achieve, the rewards are many. In some ways the search engines offer a level playing field in that an SEO-friendly website with an effective SEO campaign can achieve rankings in relatively short period of time. This can be very beneficial to startups and small businesses since they can appear side by side with larger, more established players.
By simply doing basic keyword research, optimizing a few key areas of your website content and coding, and by adding and maintaining a company blog, you can greatly improve the SEO potential of your website. Most of this can be done for little or no cost to your business and there are free SEO analysis tools that can point out exactly where your website’s SEO deficiencies are.
2. G+ Communities
Google Plus is now a major social network. Its primary advantage over other social networks is the niche and interest based G+ communities. Just by joining, your small business or startup can instantly gain access to a highly targeted group of potential partners and customers.
3. Guest Blogging
Blogging is now the number one form of online content marketing – and content marketing is now one of the most important components of search engine optimization.
There are three forms of blogging that you should consider this year:
a) Blogging on your own site helps with SEO, establishes your site as an authority in your field and helps with web traffic conversion rates (i.e. ‘converting’ a web visit into a call, email or online sale). This should be the year you dust off your company blog or add one to your site.
b) Allowing guest bloggers to post on your site gives you FREE exclusive content, while the author promotes their post in their own social networks, thus opening your business up to a whole new audience. There are multiple win-wins for your and the guest author.
c) Guest blogging on other websites. When you write and post blog articles on other websites that are relevant to your business – either directly or indirectly, you gain access to their website audience as well as their social media channels.
4. Online Reviews
Byte for byte, online reviews may be the most influential content on the Internet. Search engines such as Google use the quantity of reviews, the rating information and the actual text content within the reviews to rank your website in Google maps as well as general organic search results.
By having a proactive online reputation strategy, you can work to get reviews from satisfied customers as well as manage the impact of negative reviews.
Always look for a negative review to show your best colors. Be sure to take the high road every time. Consumers expect to see some negative reviews in the mix, but many just want to see how you react when something goes wrong.
5. Deal Sites
Online deal sites such Groupon are dreaded by many business, and they should be because very few businesses can make money from these types of offers.
Yet, there are two things a large deal site can offer: massive advertising exposure and a valuable backlink from your deal page that helps with SEO. Groupon alone has a Kansas City email subscriber list that is in the hundreds of thousands.
This is a bit counter-intuitive, but sometimes the best Groupon campaigns (for a business) can be the ones that sell the least amount of deals. In this case, as a business owner, the goal is to sell the least amount of deals while still getting all the email and advertising exposure, as well as a powerful SEO backlink from the deal page to your website . In other words, consider ‘using’ deal sites for advertising exposure while giving away the least amount of low-margin deals.
Just by re-reviewing your website and planning for some targeted social media participation, strategic blogging and online reputation management, you can significantly improve your organic SEO rankings and online lead volume this year.