Your website is complete, the countdown to launch day is over — yet no one has visited it. This is a frustrating reality for many small businesses.
The truth is you are competing against millions of sites. “We are fast approaching 1 billion websites”, according to Internetlivestats.com, a “milestone which at this rate will be reached by the end of 2014. From 1 website in 1991 to over 700 million in 2013…” So, as you can imagine, a professionally designed company website is only the beginning.
The good news is, you can grow website traffic and effectively compete against competitors as long as you do your homework and use the right tools. Here’s a look at five key things you can do today to get started:
Create Relevant Keywords
As Moz.com explains, “It all begins with words typed into a search box. Keyword research is one of the most important, valuable, and high return activities in the search marketing field. Ranking for the ‘right’ keywords can make or break your website.” There are certain keywords that more likely result in conversions than others. CloudLiving, a website created by entrepreneur Tung Tran dedicated to sharing advice on how to build profitable affiliate websites, has published a list of 84 keywords used by people who are ready to buy. For example, a few popular and sales-friendly keywords include: Avoid, Bargain, Best, Bonus, Budget, Buy, Cheap, Compare, Comparison, etc.
Leverage Keyword Tools
Start with Google Keyword Planner, a free AdWords tool that is designed to help you build Search Network campaigns. You can enter one or more keywords and research search volumes and the associated level of competition. Also, Übersuggest is another great, free keyword suggestion tool. It has an easy to use web interface and lists plenty of relevant keyword options. There are additional paid keyword tools on the market including SEMRush, Long Tail Pro, Wordstream, and many more.
Employ Responsive Web Design (RWD)
Mobile technology is here to stay. According to Pew Research, as of May 2013 “63% of adult cell owners use their phones to go online” while, “34% of cell internet users go online mostly using their phones, and not using some other device such as a desktop or laptop computer.” This means a majority of your website traffic is likely to come from mobile devices such as tablets and smart phones — and mobile devices require responsive websites. If your website isn’t responsive, online visitors will abandon it.
Optimize Website Images
Images appear in search engine results. Optimized images can drive a lot of traffic from image-based searches. The key is proper image optimization. This is so easy, but mostly ignored. It begins with using the appropriate “Alt Tags.” For example, if your website content includes “entrepreneur interviews”, your Image tags should include your target keywords. Instead of using the default file name your camera creates, use a name that includes relevant keywords and minimize the file size of each image. The smaller the file size the faster the webpage will load. And faster page load times are rewarded by better search engine rankings.
Utilize Content Marketing
Most websites are like online brochures. They provide basic information about the products and services a company offers with contact information. However, brochure-like sites get no love from search engines because they lack content. Companies that get the most traffic are excellent content marketers. They understand that content is what attracts online visitors and encourages them to return. Thankfully, your content doesn’t have to be complicated. The fastest way to create content is to address FAQs. Create valuable content around the FAQs of your business and respective answers. Although text is the most common content, other common content options include online video, podcasts, slide presentations, webinars, and infographics; just to mention a few.
This article has been edited and condensed.
George Meszaros is a serial entrepreneur and the co-founder of Success Harbor. Success Harbor is dedicated to document the entrepreneurial journey through interviews, original research, and unique content. Connect with @successharbor on Twitter.
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