Increase your Visibility Online to Grow your Business
We were last talking to Peter about SEO and its importance in creating visibility. There are different criteria search engines look for to decide on page ranking. Search engines deploy “spiders” to crawl around the web. They look for new pages to collect and add to search engine indices. The main criteria used to be based on Keywords, or words people use when searching for things. Now it’s not as simple as repeating keywords throughout a website.
In this Interview you will learn:
- SEO in depth
- Page Rank Criteria
- Increasing Visibility
- Leveraging Social Media
- Simple Tip for Profound Results in Achieving your Goals
Can you discuss what search engines look for to determine page rankings?
Search Engine Optimization is based upon how well your page is structured. Each Search Engine has different Optimization techniques. Google and Bing will rank by different criteria.
Generally speaking, there are 3 main criteria that search engines look for today.
1. RELEVANCE: Keywords and Related Keyword Lists. Focus on 10-20 related keywords. Research and target specific keywords. Do an analysis planning on keywords. You don’t want to compete with big firms for certain keywords. With my company for example, the keyword for “Web Design” is super competitive. The cost per click is over $9 dollars (Avg cost is $1) for “Web Design” which is insane.
2. TRUST: Quality Coding and URL structure. You want to have a well structured and designed webpage. The site URL is extremely important. If you have multiple pages, products, or features, you need to have them coherent and structured together. This affects your overall ranking. Your site speed also affects ranking. So minimize html errors and increase your site speed to boost your ranking.
3. AUTHORITY: Backlinking. You need to have a lot of high quality links for your page. You want to link other sites and ideally have other sites link to yours. The more authority they have and more well known they are, the better.
If you just open up a brand new webpage, you need to work your way up to get recognized. Think of your website as a person and the Google Search Engine as the community.
Say you move into a new neighborhood. You’re the new kid on the block and you need to establish yourself with social proof. Google is a large community. They’re not going to recognize you as a new person just because you joined them. So you want to make a lot of new friends.
For a website, you want to create links or friendships all over the internet. So links to Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and other high authority sites. If other blogs mention your website, that will create a strong link.
Google web crawler will be able to identify those links and say,
“Hey this person actually knows a lot of cool people. Maybe I should put this person up on the ranking.”
You want people to link and find your site from another source. You also want to have other partners on your site. It helps a ton to have your website on social media or blogs. Heavy traffic websites putting links to your page, will help immensely for SEO. You are borrowing their strong ranking to help boost your own.
Would you say that business professionals should mainly focus on SEO? How can they increase their visibility online?
It depends on the industry where their clientele is. If you’re in the medical industry, you need to know how your patients are finding you.
With eCommerce for example, you need to identify how your customers are shopping. If you have an online shoe store, do customers shop in physical retail stores more or do they buy shoes online? If online, which websites do they go to and how do they find those websites? You need to know your target audience.
From data we collected, the average user will search on a search engine at least 7 times until they find something they want. So it depends on where your audience is. For shoes in particular, people use search engines like Google. For the education industry, they use YouTube. If it’s a trendy brand or a young influencer, they use SnapChat. So it really depends on your audience. If you want to capture teenagers to early 20’s, you want to heavily use Snapchat, Instagram or a trendy social media platform. For ages 25-45, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are good places to capture your audience. So it really depends on where your audience is or hangs out. Always ask, “How does my target audience usually find me?”
You want to double down on the areas which work, instead of trying to get good at all the different social medias or advertise here and there. It’s best to focus on one platform or particular channel first.
Social Media is that important for creating visibility?
Yes, traditionally if you wanted to share any information or create any type of visibility for you and your services, you had to place ads through traditional media like radio, print, and television.
However, now with Social Media, you can create and link your business site to social media, sharing and spreading information. Essentially it’s free marketing and advertising. When people share your posts, they are advertising on your behalf. Independent bloggers also help greatly when they mention you on their blog to their large audience.
Are there other ways to increase visibility? Would posting articles and videos to educate their target audience/clients help?
Absolutely, posting videos on YouTube and Vimeo would greatly help SEO page ranking as well. The more hyperlinks one has from other well-known websites, the greater their page rank will be.
Right now, videos help tremendously. Videos are much better and more intriguing than static images.
One client we were working with was a new startup less than 16 months old. They were selling products with only static images. We helped them set up videos on each product. This helped them increase their revenue significantly. Last year their revenue was over a million. The only difference was that they put up product videos instead of static images.
Videos now are more and more important for basically every industry. People need to see your face and get to know who you are instead of just plain text and pictures. Most of the pictures people use on their sites are also just stock photos.
For businesses with basic websites, what simple tip can they use to improve their website?
Probably the most helpful thing would be a very Direct Call to Action. For example, if I were visiting a Doctor’s website, I have a need. I may be in pain seeking a solution. You need to address this right away with a clear landing page and a call to action.
You want to sign people on right away, get them to make that appointment immediately. Not intrusively, but give them options. Have information on who you are and what you do, show some videos, testimonials, and give them the option to book an appointment.
So a Call to Action would be, “Click here and submit your information.”
Yes, but not just that. Pretty much every website now asks for people to sign up and give their information and email.
You need to give people value, a reason to sign up. So for a Doctor’s office, maybe show a short video of the Doctor and office staff introducing themselves. Address the most common issues for why a person is visiting their webpage or problems they need solved. Offer them helpful newsletters or some sort of perks, or even just a simple convenient way for them to book appointments.
With obvious trends now, what do you think will be the “next thing” in the near future?
Well e-commerce is now still in infant stages, it’s just starting. Right now the US has about 35% of population shopping online. In other parts of the world like China, it’s only 10% of population shopping online. So e-commerce will continue to grow around the world.
Also another really cool thing being developed is the “Internet of Things”. They’re trying to connect all the physical things around us online. So your car, TV, and even furniture could be connected online to gather data. Physical goods and hardware will be personalized based on the collected data. Similar to what Nest is doing with their smart thermostat.
Is there anything else you would like to add that we didn’t cover?
Yes, security. Web security is very important. For websites that have a collection of large users or user data such as emails, it’s important to keep it secure. These sites usually get at least one attack a day. Websites must have proper Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), Transport Layer Security (TLS), cryptographic protocols, and firewalls on the server. Proper structure and code quality also affect your site security.
Are you talking about viruses?
Malicious Hackers. There are hackers attacking your site, doing SQL injections hacking accounts, getting users personal information and passwords. Also sometimes they use viruses, trojans and other tactics.
Finally how can people contact you?
They can find me at my website.