You have a website. Now What?
A website without traffic is doing your business no good. Getting your website found is critical if you want to grow and build your online presence.
If you follow this blog, you should know that getting found online is a very important topic. We’ve talked about the basics and tools that will help you get found for a long time. We even put together a free email course to help small businesses get an understanding of the basics of SEO so they could get their website found.
As a small business owner, finding the time to grow your business can be difficulty. If your like the majority of small business owners, you probably wear a lot of hats and it takes a lot of time.
What I want to do is help you maximize your time and become more effective with your website. I want to help you find the tools and resources that will make getting found less difficult.
The Minimum Toolkit
There are plenty of wonderful tools available to do quality SEO. Some are free, while others are not. What I want to do is identify the essential pieces of the puzzle and give you some tools or tips to help you do the basics of SEO so your website starts to show in search results.
You Must Have Analytics
The first and most important tool is basic web analytics. Analytics provide you with data about visitors to your site. It identifies the keywords used to get to your site, the pages visited, the number of visits per day, etc. It is a significant piece of the puzzle because it tells what is happening on your website.
When you review and track your analytics, you should be able to find trends that work. What are the keywords that bring visitors? What pages seem to be the most active? Do visitors stay on the site and read content or vanish after the first page?
Answers to these questions can be found while studying your analytic data. You have several tools at your disposal.
Google Analytics: A free tool that keeps track of traffic. It requires a google account and site ownership verification. By placing a small piece of code on your site, Google begins to track your visitors.
AWStats: Most web hosts provide Awstats for free. Access your sites cPanel and open the Awstates panel. This data is collected directly from server logs. It is an excellent source of data that will help you know what to do to improve your sites performance in search.
Research, Research, Research . . .
You need to be able to research keywords to find available terms that you can optimize for. I tell people that not doing keyword research is link trying to shoot at a target after being spun around three times with a blindfold on. You may hit something, but your probably going to miss your target.
Don’t write post, create pages and generate content blind. Get some information to know how you should phrase your post and what terms are getting searched. Think long-tail instead of short-tail. In other words, instead of trying to optimize for “Widgets,” optimize for “brown widgets that bounce.” The second is a long-tail term that would have less competition. The lower competition terms are easier to rank for.
If your not using Google’s Adword Keyword tool, your missing out on a free tool for research. If you want to get found online, research for terms that have potential.
Social Media Metrics
Social Media is a powerful tool in online marketing. Regardless of the kind of business you run, you have a great resource of potential customers or clients on various Social Media networks. In order for your website to get found online, you must be engaged in Social Media. This is a fairly new trend in search. Google and Bing, the two major search engines, are tied into social media. Google has its social network Google Plus and Bing is the search engine for Facebook.
The reason this is important is because it provides search engines with a type of proof for a page. When people begin to share content online through social networks, search engines begin to identify pages that are important. The more it is shared the more important. These pages begin to get ranked and less engaged content get pushed to the bottom of the heap.
Regardless of the reason you use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Pinterest, you need to be actively involved sharing your content and engaging with others. This leads to links, comments, shares and increased engagement.
It is the engagement that all website owners want. The engaged audience is one who has bought into who you are and what you do. They listen, respond, share your content. They are the people who buy what you sell.
Social Media monitoring is critical as you build your online presence through search.
But It’s Hard
As a small business owner, you need SEO to be streamlined, manageable. It needs to be something that you can do in a shorter period of time and get good results.
The problem is that these necessary tasks are generally disconnected. You have to go from one to the other. Copy/Paste information so you can compare. Generate spreadsheets to keep track of all the information. It can become so overwhelming, that many small businesses stop working about SEO and hope for the best.
Anything worth doing IS hard.
But we need a way to streamline the process to make it easier for small businesses to get their websites found in search. . . you need a tool. You need Thor’s Hammer. A tool that is powerful and strong and something that only you can use.
So, here’s your homework. Anser the following question in the comments below: What have you been doing to get your website found online? Is it working? If yes, why? If no, why not?