A company website is critical to a business’s online marketing strategy. In the Internet age, almost every business, whether B2B, B2C, nonprofit, local or global, needs an online presence to reach consumers.
Shockingly, a recent survey by 1&1 Internet reported that up to 40% of small-to-medium sized businesses still don’t have a website. What’s more, many that do are often frustrated that their company website does not get the traffic, or generate the leads they had hoped for.
Simply having a website is not the key to great results. Instead, it’s the ability turn your website into an inbound marketing machine. But before your company website can convert leads and develop new business, it needs to get found online.
A great website isn’t so great if no one visits it. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an absolute must-have to any website strategy, but it takes hard work and consistency when aiming for the top spot. These tips will get you on your way to increasing your organic (non-paid) search engine rankings.
Build Inbound Links with Off-Page SEO
Every website owner wants their site to reach the #1 position on the search engine results pages. But since there is only one top ranking for any given keyword, not everyone can make it. So what does it take to rise to the top? Off-page search engine optimization (SEO) is the most important factor to increasing your ranking results.
Off-Page SEO is about building inbound links, essentially getting other quality websites to link back to you. Search engines call this authority or “link juice.” The more inbound links you have, the more importance they give to your site and the higher you’ll rank.
Link building isn’t easy, since adding links to other websites is sometimes out of your control. Here are some tips to building inbound links:
- Create high-quality, educational or entertaining content. If people like your content, they will naturally want to link to it.
- Submit your website to online directories. It takes a little time to research and post your listing, but it is an easy way to start building links.
- Write guest posts for other blogs. This is a win-win for both parties. People will want extra (quality) content from others and in exchange, it’s a great way to links back to your website.
- Research link building opportunities with other websites, but always check the authority of the websites that you are trying to get links from. There are many tools online that allow you to check domain or page authority, including SEO Review Tools or HubSpot’s Marketing Grader.
- Don’t borrow, beg, barter, bribe or buy links.
Increase Relevancy and Authority with On-Page SEO
While off-page SEO is hugely important, we can’t forget about on-page SEO. This consists of placing your most important keywords within the content elements of your actual pages. These on-page elements include Headlines, Sub-headlines, Body Content, Image Tags, and Links. On-page SEO is sometimes referred to as “keyword density.”
It’s very common that businesses will do too little on-page optimization or too much (keyword stuffing). While it’s important to include your keyword as many times as necessary within a page, you don’t want to go overboard with it either. For on-page SEO done right:
- Pick a primary keyword for each page and focus on optimizing that page for that word. If you oversaturate a page with too many keywords on one page, the page will lose its importance and authority because search engines won’t have a clear idea of what the page is about. This is very common on homepages in particular, where too many keywords are used.
- Place your primary keywords in your headline and sub-headline. These areas of content have greater weight to search engines.
- Include the keywords in the body content but don’t use them out of context. Make sure they are relevant with the rest of your content.
- Include keywords in the file name of images (e.g. mykeyword.jpg) or use them in the ALT tag.
- Include the keywords in the page URL and keep the URL clean.
- And lastly, write for humans first, search engines second. Always prepare your content for your audience and then look to optimize it for search. Content written in the other order won’t read naturally and your visitors will recognize it.
A business website may be the most important factor in your inbound marketing strategy. But it needs to show up in your prospects' search results to have any hope of helping your business. Use these link building tips to improve your SEO.