Running a business today is very different from running a business just 20 years ago. Most of the interaction with clients happens online these days. While your physical location is still important, it’s your online storefront that matters more.
Achieving good visibility online is no easy feat. Doing so has become difficult unless you know what to do. Today we’ll give you a brief rundown on how to achieve better visibility for your website.
How Are Websites Ranked?
When you go to Google or any other search engine, and you type in a search keyword, you’ll be presented with a list of results. In 99.9% of the cases, the only results that people care about are the ones on the first page. Having your website become one of these first few results is the job of an SEO specialist.
What is SEO?
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, represents a set of processes and activities that are aimed at making your website more attractive to the search engine, such as link building, content marketing, keyword implementation etc. As it turns out, Google and the rest of the search engine operators, use algorithms to determine which website will be at the top of the first page of results, and which websites will be somewhere on the 8th or 10th page.
These algorithms are probably one of the most heavily guarded secrets in today’s business world. Even so, some of this hidden code has been deciphered, which can help with increasing your rankings in Google and optimizing your websites for better visibility. Here’s how it works.
How to Increase Your Site’s Visibility and Ranking?
Boosting your site’s ranking requires you to do two things — optimize the site itself (on-site optimization) so that it is in line with Google’s requirements, and make Google recognize your site as a voice of authority in your niche (off-site optimization).
On-site optimization is a process that requires you to make a series of adjustments to your site’s performance and appearance, which will make it more attractive to Google. These adjustments include, but aren’t limited to the following:
- Increasing site speed
- Optimizing site structure
- Optimizing your links
- Creating quality content
- Optimizing images
These are just some of the tasks that need to be covered when performing on-site optimization. If you’re running a WordPress or similar platforms on your site, you can use a number of plugins to take care of the on-site part of SEO. However, keep in mind that more plug-ins usually mean slower performance, especially if we’re talking about plugins created by lesser-known sources.
Once you’ve made sure that your on-site SEO is on point, it’s time to work on the off-site side of the search engine optimization process. Off-site SEO generally revolves around building a reputation for your website.
Having a site that is technically up to Google’s specs will tell this search engine that you’re on the same page, but it won’t tell them that your content is better than that of your competitors. To gauge this, Google counts the number and quality of links that lead to your site.
If you have thousands of incoming links that lead to spammy-looking sites, there’s a good chance Google won’t like that. On the other hand, if your site has been mentioned by another strong authority site like Forbes or similar, Google will recognize that and give your website a higher authority rating.
How Do You Acquire Quality Links?
This is a million-dollar question that has more than one answer. That being said, you’ve got two common practices that will get you quality inbound links. The first one is to simply create quality content that will organically bring good links.
If you’re in the finance niche, write a quality article about something related to your field. Given enough time, a high authority website will pick your story up and cite it in their content, thus providing you with a high authority link for free.
The other option is to contact owners of high authority websites and offer to write them a guest piece. Depending on the deal you make, you can score a number of quality links this way and the other party gets good content for free.
SEO Takes Time
Everything we’ve mentioned so far represents a small part of what SEO is all about. If you’re serious about boosting your site’s visibility and exposure, you’ll want to hire an SEO specialist to take care of this process for you. Even so, you must understand that SEO takes time. It’s a process that can take up to 6 months or a year to start showing any tangible results.