What is a search engine?
Think of the Internet as the world’s biggest library – but instead of books, its shelves contain billions of individual web pages. Imagine being in such a vast library – it would take forever to find what you were looking for! Every library has an index to help you track down the book you want. The internet has something similar in the form of ‘search engines’. A search engine is a special website that has indexed billions of pages – and make it easy for you to find a website or page in an instant. Popular search engines include Google, Yahoo!, Bing and Ask.
“48% of consumers feel that the best way of gaining their custom is to show up in the search engines when they want or need a product or service.”
*research by Fractl + Moz
Why is it important your website ranks highly in search engines?
The most important reason why you want to get first page rankings is that you want to be visible to everyone that will need your product/service. In a perfect world your website would organically (unpaid, free listing) rank at the top of Google for the search terms most relevant to your business.
The key to receiving traffic through Google is to gain first page rankings, because first page websites get 91.5% of Google traffic. Most people don’t really bother going beyond the first page.
“71% of searchers click on organic search results, meaning you need an organic presence.”
As a small business owner you should follow these steps to get your website noticed by search engines:
A keyword rich domain name really helps with SEO (search engine optimisation). Choosing a domain which contains your targeted keywords will increase your CTR (click-through rate) and help gain higher rankings in Google.
Blogging & Linkbaiting
Linkbaiting is the art of generating populist articles & blogs such as lists, Top 10s, showcases, ‘How To’s’ and tutorials. Linkbait articles are designed to attract links to your website, boosting its traffic. One of the ways that you can boost the number of links to your website is by submitting your blogs to blog directories such as DMOZ, Allforblog, BlogDigger and Blogarama.
Create rich, unique content
You need to include the words and phrases you wish to be known for into the content of your website. Also create content on your site that users want to read about. Content marketing should be a major part of all Marketers plans in 2017.
Boosting the visibility of your website with search engines is all about building links to your site. Ultimately, your website’s popularity is determined by how many other sites link to you and how popular these linking sites are. Put it this way: getting a link from a national newspaper, magazine or the BBC is worth its weight in gold.
Your potential customers search online for products and services locally. If your business is listed on web directories, you will show in the search results, for people searching for the products and services you sell. Google uses directories as a source of information on your business and has a number of directories that it trusts. Being on these directories gives Google more confidence that your business is a bonafide local business and is great for SEO.
Links to your social media on your articles and blogs are a great way for people to “vote” in favour of sites and social media sharing represents a way for that voting behaviour to continue. Social signals are emerging as ranking factors as search engines determine how to leverage our social interaction and behaviour.
You need to build meta tags into the fabric of your website. Meta tags are words which you can write into the HTML code of your website – in other words, the unseen instruction part of your website. They can’t be seen by people looking at your website, but they are recognised by Google and other search engines as they trawl the internet looking for relevant sites.
Your website content should indicate what your website is about by using keywords which describe its contents. A website that is well optimised for search engines “speaks the same language” as its potential visitor base with keywords for SEO that help connect searchers to your site.
Site speed is the time it takes for a web page to load. Google has indicated site speed is one of the signals used by its algorithm to rank pages. A slow page speed means that search engines can crawl fewer pages using their allocated crawl budget, and this could negatively affect your indexation.
Over half of all local searches are conducted on mobile devices, meaning your website must be optimised not just for desktop – but mobile and tablet devices too. 61% of people will leave a site if it looks terrible and isn’t mobile friendly.