As creators, and business owners, we invest in websites to have our voices heard and to showcase a product or service we want to offer the our industry / niche. We look to share our experiences and knowledge with whomever cares to listen.
If we were not trying to get noticed, we would continue to write in our diaries and tuck away photos under our pillows.
Businesses especially, NEED to be noticed in order to … well, stay in business. But, how? HOW?!? How in the world do I get my website online and in front of an audience?
That’s the age old question. Is it pure dumb luck? A magic trick? Does it happen through osmosis?! What is it?
Simple answer, get good at SEO (Search Engine Optimization). More complicated option, learn how to market yourself with SEM (Search Engine Marketing).
This is such a tricky subject though, because there is no one-stop-shop to ranking high in search engines or bringing traffic to your website. But, you will easily come across SEO companies claiming they can get you to the top of Google searches with a snap of a finger.
Makes you scratch your head and wonder, is it really that easy?
Well … short answer … NO!! It’s definitely not that easy. Though, there are some healthy steps we can take in order to properly leverage the web and make your website work for you. The steps are simple, yet they need to be handled on a regular basis to really take affect. This is a huge reason why companies hire teams or outside firms to focus solely on SEO/SEM.
So lets get into it, shall we?
*These are just our opinions and observations, we don’t “technically” know what we’re talking about. Does anyone really?
SEO – Search Engine Optimization
Here, we are looking at more of structural hierarchy to website components and content. Setting up your website with properly ordered headings, element containers (HTML5), adding proper metadata to your website, including alt tags to your images, making sure your content has a solid amount of targeted keywords., as well as internal, and external backlinks to your website.
An incredible amount of small details we can pay attention to.
Here’s just a short-list of ways to start heading in the right direction.
- HTML5 Elements – <header>, <nav>, <section>, <article>, <figure>, <figcaption>, <aside>, <footer> etc.
Check out w3Schools for some official definitions.
- Headings – h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6
- Paragraphs – p, strong, em, ol, li
- Images – alt, title, captions, width and height
- Metadata – Title tag, description tag, image alt tag, image captions/descriptions.
- Content Planning – What you say, and how you say it, makes a huge difference in getting noticed. Focus on around 3 – 5 keywords within your content. Create meaningful content based on those keywords, but make sure not to saturate everything with keywords, hoping those keywords will do you some good with SEO rankings. They wont. See what I did there? Don’t do that! You’ll quickly drop to the bottom of results.
- Internal Linking – It is good practice to have at least one internal link within your page or post content. This helps bring depth to the website, resulting in increased time spend viewing website content.
- External Linking – Having other reputable websites linkback to yours will be one of the most important and valuable things you can do. Those external links bring the credibility of said company, which will increase the credibility of your own website/company. This is so important, we discuss it below in Content Strategy for SEM as well.
SEM – Search Engine Marketing
Searching Engine Marketing focuses on just that, the marketing aspect of bringing an audience to your website. A big emphasis is placed on advertisements (Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram ads etc.), analytics, content strategies, promotions, social / industry linking, and so much more. The main goal is to get as many eyes on your website as possible. SEM is that “rise-and-grind” aspect you need if you every want to grow as a creative or business.
- Campaigns – You will be putting aside a budget, whether it be daily, weekly, monthly etc. to promote your services / product within Search Engines and or Social Media ads. There are options to target a specific demographic while placing a dollar amount on how much it will cost per click or number of impressions generated from your ad campaign. Done correctly, not only will you bring more traffic to your website, but more importantly the potential to convert the new traffic into paying costumers. Take a look at Google Adwords for a more in-depth tour on the benefits of diving into Paid Advertising Campaigns.
- Social Media Promotions – Seeking out influencers in your targeted industry or demographic. We see influencer marketing becoming increasingly popular, as social media is becoming a staple in our society these days.
You can connect with top / up-and-coming influencers to promote your product or service on their social media accounts. This will tap into their many thousands and possibly millions of fans / followers, which will increase your visibility. Websites like TapInfluencer assist in helping not only companies, but many creatives connect and start building marketing campaigns and promotions.
Aside from building ad campaigns, and reaching out to top influencers, you’ll need to do some heavier lifting yourself. You have a niche product, or blog, or service, all of it needs to be scatted and delivered in as many direction as possible. These will provide extremely valuable linkbacks to your website if you leverage them properly.
- Guest Blogging – This is where you will truly tap into your industry and its community. You can leverage their existing audiences as a guest writer, allowing them to also view you as a respected authority in your specific niche. The more quality content you develop, the more article shares and linkbacks you will see towards your company and website.
- Share Your Existing Content – On top of guest blogging, there are some social media accounts like LinkedIn and even Medium that let you write articles to an audience without having to be approved by anyone.
Sharing your articles to these websites will give your audience more places to find you, and increase the potential for them to share with their audience as well.
Videos / Live Broadcasting – People like to see the raw uncut, inner workings, and life of the people they admire. We’re nosey. Period. So, the more behind the scenes views of your life, and business will over time build you a great audience that will keep coming back for more.
These tips just scratching the surface of what can be done to optimize your SEO / SEM efforts. Continue to create quality content, do not overlook the value of a properly structured website, and leverage your community and top influencers. But, most of all, always remember the numbers will come as long as you never stop doing what you love.