There are many different ways to drive traffic to your website. In this article, we’ll discuss the three most cost-effective ways to get more visitors and sales: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Local Listings and Search Engine Marketing (SEM).
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of improving your website to make it more visible in organic search results. A successful SEO marketing plan starts with keyword research to see what terms your target audience is using find your business, services or products online. Once you have a list of keywords, you then incorporate them by using them in the following areas:
- Meta titles and descriptions: These are the short descriptions embedded in your website that Google will show on their search results pages. Having keyword-focused, relevant meta titles and descriptions can increase the probability of search engine users navigating to your website from the list of search results.
- Image ALT tags: Google looks at these embedded image titles when crawling websites, so having keyword-rich, descriptive alt tags can help search engines better understand what your business is all about. Descriptive alt tags can also help visually impaired web users better understand your visual content.
- Page content: Incorporating your keywords into your content is a good way to encourage search engines to rank you for your most relevant search terms.
- Links: Links to your website can also increase your SEO value. Google looks at links as a sign of credibility, so making sure you have quality links from trusted online directories and websites within your industry should be a focus in your SEO plan.
- Layout: Google now prioritizes mobile versions of pages on its search results pages over desktop versions. Make sure you have a mobile-friendly design with simple navigation and an intuitive URL structure.
Visibility in local search results attracts nearby traffic, including mobile consumers. In addition to making location-based keywords a core part of your SEO efforts, it's critical to make sure your business contact information is displayed prominently across the web. Make sure your NAP “name, address, and phone number,” is added to profiles on local listing sites like Google My Business, Facebook and Yelp.
Making sure your business listings are correct across 100+ online directory’s is no easy task. Some website providers have tools that can automate the local listings process. This allows updates to your business information through your website, automatically deploying it across multiple directories so that your information remains accurate everywhere.
Search Engine Marketing
Like SEO, search engine marketing (SEM) can greatly increase your site’s visibility in search results. However, using SEM means paying for the privilege of being seen. Also called Pay-per-click (PPC), this type of advertising is available from major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. PPC gives you a chance to display specific advertising messages in prominent paid-only search result areas above and below organic search listings.
Targeting is key when setting up a successful PPC campaign. You'll want to make sure you’re spending your PPC budget on the right types of online searchers, so doing research before setting up your campaign, and constantly tweaking and testing your campaign setup will allow for the best possible results. While tools such as AdWords express make it easy to quickly start a SEM campaign, it's beneficial to hire an online marketer to lead your SEM strategy.
Let Professionals Help
Driving website traffic is an important part of your overall marketing strategy. Make sure you find a practitioner that's up to date on the constantly changing industry landscape and avoid unqualified companies that may end up harming your online visibility rather than helping it. Companies like SpaceCraft offer a turnkey solution with easy to understand, affordable marketing packages that include website design, SEO, Local Directory Listings and SEM.