Close your eyes and think back to the time when you first started your business. Remember the day when you sold your first product or service, or when you officially launched your website? Can you recall the time and effort you put in and how excited you were to finally get the business off the ground? You were giddy with great expectations and life was feeling pretty good. Maybe your start date wasn’t all that long ago or maybe a few years have already passed.
Now fast forward to where you are today. You might be scratching your head and wondering what happened or why the dream business you created a while back has not materialized as you had once imagined.
You might have the best product in the world, but it can’t help people if they don’t know your business, product or service exists. In essence, when prospects can’t find your business, it is the equivalent of you living on a deserted island. Living on the island may have been fun at first, but now your resource (you time, finances and energy) are starting to wear thin. It’s time to get off the island and back to civilization where you can be revitalized. It’s time to rescue your business.
There are a few simple tactics that you can do to drive traffic and improve the chances of being on page one for Google and more importantly, found by your prospects. Some of these tactics you can do yourself, others may require you to speak to your webmaster to implement. So grab your life ring and let’s jump in the water.
1. Use your main keywords within your website title tag.
If people don’t know about you or your business, then they can’t type in your business name to find you online. The way they are likely to find you is through the keywords that they enter into the search engine. Determine the major keywords or keyword phrase (3 to 4 words that people would use in a search) that describes any of the following: what you offer; the benefits of your product; or how you solve a problem.
Now go to the back end (the dashboard) of your website and list that keyword phrase in your title tag section followed by a vertical bar and then your company name. Hit the save or update button.
Let me demonstrate what I mean about the process. I work in the training and development space for corporates. I’ve also identified the major topic that people seek me out is for presentation skills training. Therefore my focus for my keyword phrase is corporate training and presentation. To further narrow down a prospects search geographically, I also include my location as part of my keyword phrase.
My title tag reads:
Singapore Corporate Training | Presentations | Experiential Hands-on Learning
By having relevant keyword phrases in my title tag, I don’t need to worry about whether or not people know my company name, I just need to indicate the keywords people are searching for and it’s more likely I will be come up on page one for the organic search listing.
Make sure you also add these keyword phrases in the keyword meta tag section for your home page.
2. Spy on your competition.
One of the best ways to determine great key words is to check out your competition to see what they are doing. Take a moment to list out the top 10 keyword phrases that people would use when searching for your product. Now type in keyword phrase and note what comes up as the top 5 websites for this phrase. Here’s the fun part.
I want you to do two things. Look at each of the website names that come up. Each of the underlined phrases or sentences is what is listed in their title tag. Notice how many companies list the benefits of their offering vs. the name of their company.
Now you can do a bit of spying. Click on the website. Now right click your mouse. Scroll down the menu until you come to View Source. Click on this and it will take you to the html code page for the home page (you can do the same for any page in a website). Here you will be able to see the title tag phrase shown as in code as <head><title>. Scroll down a bit further and you will see where it says keywords. Here is where you can see some of the keyword phrases that may also be driving traffic to the site; some which you may not have thought about.
3. Add an XML Sitemap to your website.
An XML Sitemap is a structured format that a user doesn’t need to see, but it tells the search engine about the pages in your site, their relative importance to each other, and how often they are updated. A sitemap is an easy way to inform search engines about pages on your sites that are available for crawling. Site maps can improve search engine optimization of a site by making sure that all the pages can be found.
Most webmasters will list your website with search engines; however it is usually only the home page that gets indexed, not all of the pages within your site. A XML sitemap makes it possible for all pages to be found.
4. Re-Submit your Website to search engine directories.
Chances are your website has already been listed with the major search engine players such as Google, Yahoo and Bing given that you’ve been in business for a while. The purpose of re-submitting is so the search engines can update your site and index each page based on your adding in the site map.
Look for a free website submission service to use to get listed on the various search directories. You will need to go directly to Google and Yahoo to add in your website.
5. Write a Blog post and then spread the news.
Sharing valuable content and tips is a great way to drive traffic to your website, blog or newsletter. Start by writing a blog post once or twice a week. Once you’ve posted the blog to your site, start a discussion on the different LinkedIn groups you belong to. Write 3- 5 sentences in your discussion and then give a hyperlink where people can read the full story.
Consistency is the key with blogging. If you content is newsworthy or informative, people will begin to follow you and eventually the traffic to your site will increase.
Start today and begin implementing just a few of these tactics. I’m confident that in a few short weeks you will begin to see an increase in the amount of traffic coming to your website. The key is to have quality content on your site to keep them coming back.
Pamela Wigglesworth is a Singapore-based American corporate trainer, speaker and Managing Director of Experiential Hands-on Learning, a training and development company. A resident of Asia for over 20 years, she works with companies across multiple industries to enhance their branding, marketing communications, personal communication skills and effectiveness in the workplace.