Digital Marketing to a small business owner especially in Nigeria can be very confusing. How do I get my website to display like Mr. A's Website on Google? What can I do so that when people search for so and so product, my business appears as among one of the first results?
Those are just few of the many questions business owners ask themselves when it comes to business visibility online. Though most of us use and rely on tools like Google in our daily lives, understanding how search engines index and rank web pages doesn’t come naturally to most people—at least not at first. Most entrepreneurs don't know most times the answer lies in the questions.
We see companies that have long existed before ours on the internet and we magically hope to be like them instantly. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) like every other thing in life that lasts, grows gradually. What we have learned here at E-Clicks is that SEO is a long-term investment. Whenever a business is planning on getting attention on the vast web space, we encourage such business to employ a strategy.
There are basic strategies which have been proven to work which I will list below;
GOOGLE IS YOUR MOST POPULAR FRIEND... LIKE REALLY.
So we'll start from here.
- Set Up Google Search console and Submit your Sitemap to Google: Now some people after reading the word "SiteMap" may instantly start getting a headache. No need for that as I will be explaining in the most simplistic way what Sitemap means. Every website developed has a sitemap, although some are more organized than others that's why it is always a good thing to get your website professionally designed and developed at first. A sitemap is just the list of all pages in your website. Search engines need this in order to determine the organization of your site which is where the whole optimization thing begins.
- Setup Google Analytics: Google Analytics is a feature on Google that gives you an insight to your websites performance. Simply put, it helps you see who visited your website, where they live, which browser they used, what page they visited, how much time they spent on pages etc... I'm sure you are getting the drift.
- Use Google Search Console for locating Errors on your website: Search engines index websites through bots which “crawl” the website and its pages. A crawling error happens when a bot tries to reach a specific page (or site) but fails. If you are alerted about any errors, you should definitely work to fix them immediately. Simply put, make sure all your pages are working using the google crawler bots on the Search Console.
NEXT FOCUS ON THE PAGES ON YOUR WEBSITE:
Page Optimization (which means page proper arrangement) might be a little tricky for those not familiar with basic html. But don't worry, the more you come across something, the easier it becomes to understand.
- No. 1 on my list will be to make sure you are using only one kind of heading format. Heading formats usually appear in H(Header) tags e.g H1, H2, H3 etc. For the purpose of this post, I will suggest the use of only H1 tags.
- Keep your page titles under 60 characters: Do this so they don't get too long for search engines to display unless they will get cut and we don't want that, do we?
- Keep Meta Descriptions short: When describing a page/post, which is referred to as adding meta descriptions, keep them short also between 155-160 characters. Just like you were sending an SMS. This way, they convey your message easily. Also try to add words familiar to that page. For example, if you have a bakery website, be sure to add keywords like bakery, bread etc in your meta descriptions.
- Include keywords in your page title: Page titles draw your desired traffic to your page. You don't want to name a page "Brown Beans" when you are talking of "How to cook brown beans". The latter should be the name of the page.
- Ensure all images are labelled properly: Google Images now account for nearly 23% of all web searches. To ensure your photos appear in Image results, you should name each image file something descriptive (i.e. don’t name images 2983jre798.jpg). You should also write descriptive alt tags that explain what each image is.
I will be brief because this can be explained simply. Building links just means you should try to get other platforms to have your website name inside them. Creating a Facebook page is one way of building links, posting on forums like nairaland and pasting your website link there is another way of building links. Calling a blogger and making sure they talk about you on their website is another good way of building links.
Be creative while building links. The more places you are, the more likely you will be seen on the internet.. PS: Make sure your back links are for the right things and not complaints of customers or you posting negative comments. That just gives you bad publicity and low trust.
In business they say Cash is King... In the Online world we say Content is King. Start planning a basic content marketing strategy. Developing and executing on a full-fledged content marketing strategy can take months, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t simple exercises that can help get you started:
- Brainstorm customer questions: Consider what questions customers may ask when they’re aware of your product category but aren’t perfectly informed. For example, we help customers understand the different grades of hair extensions available and what to consider when deciding between each grade.
- Help customers get more value out of the product: Have you ever noticed how many stores that sell food products also feature simple recipes to get started? This is a smart approach for many products—often, customers aren’t expert users and may not understand the tips and tricks you know about in order to get the most out of their purchase.
- Use keyword research to match questions with search terms: Of course, content ideas should be paired with the actual terms people are searching for.
- Add links to your posts: Most times your visitors may stumble on your post but are really looking for something else. That question could have been answered in another of your post. You can place a link in your blog to that post so it seamlessly to direct your visitors to what they might be looking for.
OTHER RANKING FACTORS:
Make sure your website is Mobile Responsive. Over 60% of the web traffic now uses mobile to access information. You want the right information to be shown in an easy to read format for your visitors. You can get a fully functional mobile responsive website with us.
Ensure your website is fast. We use this website to test all our developed websites and optimize them until they are within the industry standard requirement. Some common culprits of sluggish websites are images and website code. You can install a cache system on your website. Link your images to CDN's to enhance speed and reduce the load of your hosting servers.
You should always try to put yourself in the shoes of your customers when performing SEO. What do you think they want to see? What are they searching for? The vast majority of what we covered above—fast loading websites, interesting content and copy, clear page and image descriptions—are things that make searchers' lives easier.