Make Your Website Work For You

Four Basic SEO Practice To Drive Traffic

By Mac Glassford via Unsplash

In the current age of business, your website is your most valuable asset. It serves as your 24 hour storefront. Making sales while you sleep, it becomes the perfect employee. That is, if it is setup correctly. Too many times, people see their website as an information dump. A place to put every piece of information about their business as possible. Or worse, no information at all.

In order for your website to earn it’s keep it needs to do one thing very well: It needs to be easy to find.

The process of making your website easy to find is called search engine optimization or SEO. There are a myriad of ways to go about this and just as many businesses trying to sell you their SEO services, but what it really boils down to four simple steps.

Step 1: Fill in the blanks

Decide how you think potential clients might look for you on Google. The best way to figure this out is to go to Google.com and start typing a search you think someone might use to find a business like yours. Let’s us a comic book store for an example.

“Comic book store in Homer, Alaska”

This might seem like an obvious search, but keep in mind that your service or industry might not be so simple. This is just an example after all.

Now, make sure that that phrase, or parts of the phrase, is used throughout your site, especially on your homepage, but don’t overdo it.

“Cosmic Comics is a comic book store in Homer, Alaska. We carry all genres of comic books and have the widest selection in Alaska. We are located in downtown Homer.”

This will make it easier for sites like Google to know what your site is about, ultimately making it easier for potential customers to find it.

Step 2: Content is King

One of the mistakes often made by small businesses us but updating their site. They pay $xxxx to have a functioning website yet leave it dormant for years. In the fast paced digital world, dormant is as good as dead.

A good way to combat this is to start a blog. Yes blogs are still relevant. Not sure what to write about? Think about all of the questions you find yourself answering over and over again.

Wouldn’t it be nice to point someone to place where the questions are already answered. That’s what a good blog can do for you. The plus side will be, that if done right, anyone searching the net for questions you have answered will find you.

Other types of content can be pictures, videos, eBooks, and other consumable media.

Step 3: Link Your Sources

Do you remember back in high school, when your teacher would remind you to cite your sources when writing an essay? Search engines are keen on this as well. In fact, linking to other sites not only shows you’ve done your proper research, but it also increases the likelihood of another website linking back to you. Which leads me to my next point…

Step 4: Link Yourself

Whenever possible, link back to your site. Especially from your social media profiles. These inbound links from trusted sources look good in the eyes of Search Engines. The best places for inbound links are trusted directories, like chamber of commerce sites, yelp, or other online business directories.

Also, anytime you write an article or have an interview, try to get your website listed, if not linked, in your bio.

Like most things, there is a lot more to understand. These are just the basics and should be enough to make your site easier to find. If you want to dive deeper into search engine optimization, know that it is fluid and ever changing. Even after doing these four things, you should repeat the process every three months or so.


Andrew Barnabas Smith helps people plan, package and propel their messages to the right audience. He lives in Homer, Alaska with his wife and son.

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