The importance of the search engines to any online business, especially those small, independently owned websites, cannot be overestimated.
If you are running an online business, the major search engines simply cannot be beaten as the most effective way of getting free visitors to your website. Sure, you can run online advertising campaigns and buy website traffic but this can be costly for small operations.
The ‘free’ part of the visitors your site gets from the search engines is an incredibly important factor in the reasoning behind most website publishers desire to form an effective search engine optimization strategy for their sites.
Particularly in the early days of a website, when profits may not yet be at their strongest, expenditure is something that most website publishers will look to keep at a minimum and if they wish to save money in the pursuit of visitors for their sites then the search engines provide the only feasible route available to them.
Although slower than buying traffic for your website, search engine optimization, if undertaken by the website publishers themselves, is free.
Although an effective search engine optimization strategy will cost a lot in terms of time, it will not negatively affect your online business’s cash flow. At least not directly. One way in which a self-controlled search engine optimization strategy can negatively affect your website’s cash supply is if it is ineffective. The less successful your dealings with the search engines are, the lower your ranking will be on their results pages and consequently the less visitors your site will receive.
What then makes for a successful search engine optimization strategy? How can you improve your site’s chances of ranking higher than it‘s rivals and thus attracting the organic web traffic it requires?
*Related Guide* Beginners Guide to SEO
The major obstacle your website will likely face in it’s mission to get more visitors from the search engines is the number of other websites it will be competing against. Understandably, as the visitors a website achieves from the search engines are free of charge, everybody wants to get them.
Exactly who your website will be competing against in the battle for the search engine results page rankings is down to the keywords that you select for your site.
The keywords you select for your website are essentially the terms that you believe any potential visitor to your site would be likely to put in the search box located on the search engine’s main page.
Selecting relevant keywords is not particularly difficult, but the problem lies not in the choosing of the keywords, but in the number of other sites that will have selected the same keywords. There is effectively no chance at all that your website will select a keyword that no other site has any interest in.
In practice what this means is that when it comes to keywords, your website is going to be in competition with many thousands of other websites and may only find itself on page forty of any given results page. Your website will not achieve many visitors, if any at all, from such a lowly search engine ranking.
How do you improve your ranking? Well, that in effect, is what a good search engine optimization strategy is all about. The main weapons in a good search engine optimization arsenal are large amounts of high quality content and strongly, relevant links with other websites. Although not the most difficult things to accomplish, these things do take time.
One great way of lessening both the time taken and the number of competitors you will have to face to reach the upper levels of any given search engine results page is the effective use of longtail keywords.
Longtail keywords are in essence the same thing as regular keywords, that is to say, the terms that you think potential visitors to your site would put in the search box of a search engine. The difference is in both length and style.
In terms of length, a regular keyword comprises of anywhere between one to three words. Longtail keywords tend to have between four to seven words in them an although that may not seem like much of a difference, it can have massive effects on your results page rankings and thus, the amount of free web traffic your site achieves.
The style of your longtail keywords are essentially more descriptive or specific than a regular search term would be. This effectively narrows the field of other websites that will be targeting the same keywords, reducing the number of sites you will need to outrank in order to claim a high place on the search engine results pages.
By simply altering the length of your chosen keywords it is possible to eliminate a huge amount of your website’s direct competition and in the process greatly improve the overall effectiveness of it’s search engine optimization strategy.
Don’t forget, the more successful your search engine optimization strategy is, the greater the amount of free website traffic you will get from the search engines.
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Digital marketing specialist with over 10 years experience in SEO and advertising. Currently working with traffic masters. I love all things digital, self confessed data nerd.