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Launching your own online business is a very exciting milestone in life. You’re on the path to financial freedom, you can create your own work hours, and you no longer report to someone else from nine to five.
But more often than not, the dread of trying to stand out in the never-ending world wide web kicks in. Let’s assume you have a great, unique idea, you’ve proven there is a demand for this must-have new product you’re selling, and you’ve launched a beautiful site, now what? Crickets. No traffic means no money.
How do new customers find you? These four tried and true tactics will help you increase your Google ranking and in turn increase traffic to your site.
Backlinks are incoming hyperlinks from one web page to another website and they pass equity to your site, think of it as a vote of recommendation. Backlinks are the most important factor determining your site’s search ranking. Start your link-building strategy as early as possible because it can take months for Google to update your ranking and for you to reap the benefits of your link-building efforts.
As with most things in life, aim for quality over quantity. A single link from a well-known authoritative site goes much further in increasing your SEO rankings than getting hundreds of links from smaller unknown websites. There are many ways you can go about building links, including pitching to editors of major magazines or news sites or partnering with popular bloggers.
Do you remember how you reacted the last time you tried to visit a site and it wouldn’t load? Like most people, you probably exited the tab and moved on. If your site load times are slow, it won’t rank high in search results. Not to mention, the customer experience won’t be positive if your site isn’t up and running in seconds, three seconds to be exact. For every second longer that goes by, your abandonment rate will skyrocket, leaving unhappy customers and potential sales on the table.
So, what can you do about it? Use tools like Pingdom to test your site speed and get a comprehensive report showing you where and how you can improve time-consuming processes to gain speed.
Having a company blog will do wonders in achieving this task. Google wants to see that you have a dynamic and active website. Of course, you won’t always have new products to launch or updates that need to be made to your site, that’s where the blog comes in. You can regularly publish blog posts on the latest topics and trends within your industry, which helps your search engine ranking in the long run, and the new content gives your customers a reason to return to your site.
New websites have a hard time competing for top keywords, that’s why it’s best to start off by identifying long-tail keywords (a phrase containing three or more words) that your site can more easily rank for. The task of identifying what those long-tail keywords should be is tedious, there’s no way around it. Google’s Keyword Planner is a great place to start plugging in keywords that are relevant to your site to see what the competition for each of those keywords looks like. This will help you eliminate the ones you shouldn’t be optimizing for and select the ones that can work best to drive traffic to your site. The three key things to look for:
If you spend a few days doing some homework and identifying the best keywords for each product/page of your site, and be sure to plug those keywords onto the appropriate pages, your site will clearly communicate what you’re selling to Google. This will allow you to attract targeted customers who are looking for exactly what you are selling.
This article was written by Jia Wertz, Forbes.