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In 2021, what you cannot afford as an entrepreneur is not being online. In particular, what you need to have is a professional website.
It may sound silly and obvious, yet there are a lot of entrepreneurs and businesses that don’t have a website or take care of their online presence, they developed their website ten years ago. years and it hasn’t been upgraded since.
Even if you have a website you need to make it visible and authoritative, it needs to attract customers and ideally outperform your competition’s websites.
To give you a real analogy, search engine ranking has the same effect as the location of a physical store in a city. Even if you have the best storefront imaginable, if no one walks past your store, they will never know about you. When it comes to your website, think more of “main street” than “side street”.
One major thing your website has in common with a successful store is that they both need a lot of traffic (visitors).
So how can you improve your ranking on Google, Bing, Yandex, DuckDuckGo, etc. ? The first step is to understand what are the most important search engine ranking factors.
The most important ranking factors:
- Back links: the number of links you have from other websites. In particular, what really influences the ranking of your website is the number of domains pointing to it.
- SEO on the page: As Moz explains, on-page SEO is the practice of optimizing individual web pages in order to rank higher and generate more relevant search engine traffic.
- The quality of your content: High quality content offers a better user experience, and that’s why it ranks better on Google. Did you know that the longer a person stays on a web page, the higher your website will rank? Google believes that the longer a person stays on a website, the better the website should be, and it is desperately trying to deliver quality search engine results.
- Page speed: the speed at which a page loads for users.
Once you know how ranking works, you can start working on optimizing your website.
The following are the things you can do to increase your visibility online and attract more customers.
The best thing you can do to get traffic – and potential customers – to your website is to post high-quality articles on a regular basis.
Show your expertise in your field through your content, show your potential customers that you can solve their problem and make your content visible. They will eventually knock on your door.
Do keyword research
In order to increase your visibility, you need to know which terms are most commonly used to search for the products or services that you offer. If your article ranks well for one or more popular keywords, you will receive increased organic (natural, unforced) traffic.
To find the most popular keywords around the topics you know, there are several tools you can use.
Personally, for keyword research the only tools I use are Google Trends and the Ubersuggest Chrome extension. They are free and very easy to use.
If I see that a keyword is popular and the SD (SEO difficulty) isn’t too high, I write an article around it and optimize it. The SD is a metric that tells you from 1 to 100 how hard it is to compete for a certain keyword.
If you are using WordPress, make sure you install the free version of the Yoast plugin, as it helps you optimize your content around the chosen keywords and improve its readability.
Use keywords naturally in the content and don’t try to overload the text with the keyword (s) – search engines no longer use keyword density as a measure. The best places to put keywords are in the main article title, in some of the paragraph titles, and just all over the place.
Create a plan
In order to have more visibility, you must have a content plan. For example, if you are a personal development coach, you need to find keywords with high search volume around those topics that will interest your potential clients, then create interesting, easy-to-read articles that target those keywords. (800 words is a good length for a blog post).
In other words, the keywords you are targeting should be the phrases that your potential customers will use to search on Google.
You can also target a group of keywords with a single post. I use Excel because it is the best tool for annotating anything you need to organize a blog post around a group of keywords.
Focus on on-page SEO
Once you have written one or more articles, you need to make sure that they are all well optimized to appear in the search results.
Here’s a quick reminder of what you need to check before posting:
- The keyword you chose should be included in the url, better if the slug matches the keyword. For example, if the keyword is how to be confident, the URL should look like: your site.com/how-to-be-confident
- Make sure the keyword appears in the first paragraph of the article;
- It should also be included in the title, better if you include it at the beginning;
- The keyword should be included in some of the subheadings;
- Make sure the keyword is included in the alt text of the selected image.
If you have the Yoast plugin, you will automatically see a checklist at the end of your article.
When people come to your web pages, they will be more likely to rank well in search engines.
To build backlinks, the best things you can do is write high quality content, so people want to connect to it, and create guest blogs.
Guest blogging on authoritative websites is the best form of backlink building to start getting more traffic to your own website.
For example, my website is all about personal development and relationships, and I have guest posts on platforms like Thrive Global and Plenty of Fish.
It has helped some of my articles to rank on the first page of Google for several popular keywords, and it all happened just a few months after my website launched.
Avoid Black-Hat SEO Like The Plague
While white hat SEO practices – such as guest blogging, keyword optimization, and active participation in forums without spamming other users – are completely legitimate, black hat techniques are not.
Black-hat SEO practices can work very well to rank higher. With a caveat, they only work in the short term as they go against Google Webmaster guidelines.
In the long run, they can damage the credibility and authority of your website, as Google has several algorithms designed to detect black hat methods and penalize websites that engage in these practices.
Now you might ask, “Ok Sira, but what are some examples of black-hat SEO?” “
Here are some examples of black hat practices:
- Buy backlinks;
- Keyword stuffing, that is, filling your content with your target keyword so that the text doesn’t sound natural;
- Automatically generated or spun content with backlinks pointing to your site;
- Spam forums with backlinks pointing to your website.
WARNING — If Google catches you using black hat techniques to improve your website ranking, it will penalize you by lowering your ranking and no matter how much you try to improve your ranking afterwards, it will not make a difference. Many businesses have been ruined by the use of black hat SEO.
Convert your readers into customers
The most important step is to convert your readers into customers. That’s why you started creating content, right?
There are several ways to do this. In particular, some of the most common – and effective – methods are:
- Add a call to action at the end of your article, for example by inviting the reader to schedule a call with you;
- Create a pop-up window to collect emails from your readers, then promote your product or service through a newsletter;
- Promote your products or services in sidebars or throughout the article.
Getting organic traffic to your website and converting users into customers isn’t easy, and it’s a long-term journey. It takes a lot of patience. However, if you do it the right way, with love and a lot of dedication, you can surely outshine your competition and really grow your little empire.