Most people who start building their first website believe that as soon as their website would go online, there would be a flood of people visiting it and bringing new business to them. In reality, this does not happen like this. A new website is just like a shop in a big desert. No website is by default visible to anyone. All our Search Engine Optimization efforts have only one purpose and that is to increase the website visibility. It is therefore at the core of SEO. However, first, we should understand what website visibility is. Even before we talk about how visible is a website to search engines, we should note how people interact with search engines. They type certain keywords in the search box and the search engine presents the results page called Search Engine Results Page (SERP). The domains shown higher on SERP are more visible than the ones below. It shows a relationship between website visibility and keywords. Now we can define it.
What is Website Visibility
Website visibility is calculated in percentage AND with reference to certain keywords. There is no such thing as perfect visibility. Whenever we say visibility it means visibility for a “set of keywords”. So, for example if we are targeting 100 keywords, our domain visibility would be based on those 100 keywords. If our website has a visibility score of 10%, it would mean there is a 10% chance that someone would click on our website if the person types one of those target keywords. The SEO tools which tell a visibility score such as SEMrush or SEO Profiler, ask you to enter the keywords for which you want to know your visibility. The selection of the keywords is therefore crucial for the website visibility score you would get. If you poorly chose the keywords which are less competitive and of less value to your business, you might get a higher visibility score. However, this higher visibility score would not be so fruitful for the business. Now I assume that you have selected the profitable keywords after a proper research and your visibility score is perfectly valid then this is the time to discuss how can we improve the visibility. Here are the five actionable strategies:
1. Remove Errors and Mistake from Your Website
This activity is also called “technical SEO”. Search engine hate websites with errors such as broken links. The first thing you should do is to remove all errors. You can find errors by using tools such as screaming frog or deep crawl. Not only the errors but also the slow websites cannot get good Google ranking. GTmetrix is a free tool which not only tells the speed of your site but also suggests how you can improve it. Use this tool and act accordingly. Also, not following Google guidelines would be a big mistake. Some people argue that Google is not a law. That is correct but because you are relying on Google to get the traffic, you must follow their SEO guidelines or you will be penalized.
2. Put High-Value Contents
If you want to make search engines happy, then make your website readers satisfied with some valuable and well-researched contents. Since to get higher Google ranking, you are competing many others in your niche, you have to beat them with the depth and value of your contents. Do not just re-phrase the contents from other websites. Create your contents and publish regularly. Consider contents as the blood of the body of your website. When writing contents, focus on your audience. But for this, you have to do some hard work. Do the following:
i. Think about your target customers. Who are they what are their problems and issues. Most website owners have an only vague concept of their clients. They think of just some random people interested in their products. You should clearly and precisely define your target clients and build a “customer persona” for your business. Only then you can target them in your campaigns.
ii. Go to Yahoo Answers, Quora and other similar websites and try to find out what questions, people are asking in your niche. These are their pain points and you have to address the answers to these issues in your contents.
iii. Now it is time to do some keyword research. First you should write down your objectives and business goals. Then find some profitable keywords using not only Google Keyword Planner but also some other tools. If you cannot afford a paid subscription, there are plenty out there which are free. This topic has been discussed elsewhere and also on my YouTube channel, so I leave it there. After you find the keywords, you should arrange them in groups and make a map of keywords to your website. Now it is time to write some contents.
iv. Before you start writing using the tool called Buzzsumo to get an idea of what titles are getting backlinks and social shares. Make your title and get some ideas of subheadings.
3. Link Building
Try to understand what is link building and how it differs from spamming. A backlink is a link pointing to your website from another site. You do not need thousands of backlinks as many people try to promote. You only need few but high-quality backlinks. The most important thing about backlinks is relevancy. These links should be coming from relevant websites. Now the point to note here is that the relevant websites are most of the time your competitors. However, if you try, you would find few highly relevant websites which are not your competitors. Do not just focus on websites with very high domain authority. If you do not know what a domain authority is, use two of your free daily searches on Moz website and find out the domain authority and page authority of any internet site. Do not get frustrated, link-building is a slow process and increasing the visibility of your website is a long term commitment. Therefore, just proceed forward, slow and steady, bit-by-bit. Also, try to earn links with your contents as mentioned above.
4. Social Media Engagement
Everyone knows that social media is important to get your website visible. However, there are some very critical points you should take note of and I will try to put only a short mention of those here in this post. It is because every single one of them needs further explanation and I will cover this in my future posts. Some of the important points are the following:
i. For a continuous visibility and traffic to your website, you need a constant engagement with your audience and not just occasional interaction. For this you need first to figure out what types of contents are needed for that. Also, there are certain engagement metrics in Google analytics which you must understand and monitor. Videos are also good for engagement. If you are shy of the camera, not a problem! Just screen capture videos are enough for engagement. These are three points and the rest will be covered in a separate post with an explanation to these three.
ii. If you find social media overwhelming, then use the tools such as coschedule or hootsuite.
iii. The last but not least is trying to find the “hottest” social media and focus on that. People have gained a lot of visibility, traffic and money from Facebook and LinkedIn in good times. However, now, in my opinion these two are dead dogs for small businesses until you pay them a huge sum of money. However, the Facebook advertisement is still cheap and if you know how to make a good custom or lookalike audience for Facebook ads then you can try that and tweak that until you get results.
5. Promote Your Business Website Locally and outside of online media.
There are still a huge number of people who prefer paper format. There are many local magazines out there which have a large circulation and advertising there could be on a budget or even free. You can talk to your council or local clubs and you might be able to get a free advertisement or at a nominal price.