A Short Guide to Increasing Online Traffic Through SEO
SEO and the Three Important Elements of Attracting the Right Visitors to Your Site
Online sales have risen to account for 8% of all retail sales and if the experts can be believed, this figure is expected to rise progressively over the next few years. eMarketer has predicted that North America will”… see double digit growth in online sales through to 2020″. By this time, online sales will account for a total of $4 Trillion globally.
While every business in the world is rushing to claim a piece of the online market it is easy to wonder how customers will find your products in the crowded and competitive online world. The answer is through the magic of Search Engine Optimization that is all about helping your products and services find their way to the customers looking for your specific options. At the same time, this must be done in accordance with the Google WebMaster’s guidelines to avoid future problems and increase the quality of the operation as a whole.
There are over 200 different factors considered in Google’s algorithms that produce the best possible search results to the user in response to their search entry. Most of these factors fall into the categories of technical website structure, on-site SEO and off-site SEO. If you hope for your web site to come high in the search results it will be essential that every aspect of these factors is assembled purposefully and well-maintained so that each update Google, make benefits your efforts rather than hampering them.
While the basics principles of SEO are fairly simple, the effective practice is far more complex. But with a bit of advice from best SEO services New York and some careful planning and regular optimization, it is possible to achieve great results for your sales and exposure.
Technical Website Structure Setup
The first step toward creating an an effective eCommerce strategy is a well-appointed website featuring valuable content and an engaging user-interface. This begins with the very first lines of code that lay the foundation for your site and is crucial to the stability and performance of your online presence.
The primary objective is to provide excellent user experience: this means that everything should be easy to understand and navigate. The menus, links and icons should follow an intuitive design and have a logical function. A focus group is a good way of testing the simplicity of your user interface, feedback can alert you to trouble spots and areas that need to be tweaked.
This will have the effect of reducing the bounce rates and position in the rankings if done early, because the basic design of the page is not something that will change much in the future. Some of the most important aspects of website structure are:
- Keep the navigation as simple as possible, never make the path from A to B any more complex than it has to be.
- Keep the number of options you have in the menu bar down to a few simple choices. Never go beyond seven unless you have to. A good rule of thumb is a few main functions in the sidebar with a couple subcategories as needed.
- Anything you are considering adding that is not a main function can be placed in the footer.
- Always consider your layout according to the user experience. You may be thrilled about displaying your press page on the main bar, but if you are running an eCommerce business your clients will not NEED this information. If they want it they can find it in the footer.
- Consider your keywords carefully and how you will include these in your main bar. For example, will your visitors be looking for a “studio”, “boutique”, “bakery”, etc. Always consider how the terms you use will attract more attention to your site, not simply the one that sounds ideal.
On-Page Content Optimization
On-site SEO refers to all the ways you can build your website to communicates its function to visitors and search engines. This will directly impact the way you choose keywords or phrases under which your site will rank and what position it will have in the end. Some of the most important considerations are:
- The keywords will be how your visitors find you and your SEO campaign will be tightly wrapped around them, so choose the carefully.
- Be sure your web site is mobile compatible.
- Use your internal and external links wisely. Internal links should improve user interface while external links should only be made to authoritative sites.
- Part of the user experiences to do with load times, the fastidious online customer has no tolerance for waiting more than a second or two for your page to load. Slow load times are also a sign of unprofessional work and what kind of message does that send?
- Optimize all the pictures and icons for the site by uploading correct sizes and be sure the use of Alt tags is done carefully.
- Be sure to provide your site with an SSL certificate to ensure that cash transactions are secures and business is safe.
Off-Page SEO refers to the popularity and authority your site gains and is an important factor in your relevance to search terms. This can be greatly increased by online reputation management such as getting mentions from other authoritative sites and press pages. Keeping an active Social Media community is another way to keep your off-page SEO high. Staying active in your industry and community can also provide you with links to bloggers and other authoritative sites.