Search engine optimization (SEO) is a key element of any business's digital marketing strategy. It's not enough for you to just install a website live. If you've invested in a business website, then it's important that you don't leave it sitting on the web and gathering dust. You should be following best practice to help drive interested traffic to your site and help search engines, like Google, know your site exists. This, in turn, will help place your business as high as possible in the results pages.

In the same way you would take steps to attract customers to your store to make purchases, you need to act to bring customers to your website amongst a 'digital high street' full of competitors.

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Making just a few simple key changes to the way you optimize your website for search engines can help you improve your brand's online visibility and attract a larger number of affiliate visitors to grow your audience.

Here are 6 tips to start boosting your ranking on a search engine now:

Be strategic with your keywords

Keywords are an essential part of SEO. If your keywords are not correct, then your SEO activities will be futile. It's important that you start your SEO campaign with a good understanding of the keywords and key phrases that are going to put your business in front of your target audience. Start with a little keyword research to consider the specific terms your audience is likely to type in a search engine as well as the phrases or terms that relate to your business and services.

Think like a consumer; What would you look for to find a business like yours? It's also important to think about exactly how key words and phrases would be identified in a search engine. Different generations of people may use words differently. There are plenty of tools to help with your research into keywords, such as SEM Rush and Moz. With the free version, you can usually research up to 10 search queries per month. These tools can also analyze how your competitors appear in search engine results, as well as monthly search volumes of specific keywords.

So, for example, your competitor may be using keywords that don't have a high search rate but they are in a high ranking because their website has been live for many years. With a newer business starting to implement SEO, you shouldn't expect immediate results, as search engines need time to crawl your site up a queue of sites crawling.

Sharing relevant content

A great way to boost your ranking on a search engine, develop your website, and retain customers is to share relevant, engaging content and keep this content consistent. Search engines don't really like out of date content. Set up a blog to publish thought-guided articles, news updates, or opinion pieces. Not only will this keep your website from becoming boring and static, you can also help develop the relevance and authority of your online website. High quality content will also be another great opportunity to use keywords and phrases to help search engines understand your business and rank you appropriately.

However, keywords should never be overused in content. This is called 'keyword stuffing' and search engines can punish you for this. The best location for keywords is in your headlines and titles, especially when it comes to blog content. You can even use more advanced SEO techniques like Schema markup that highlight different parts of your content to give search engines a better idea of what the content is and how to share it on search results. Blogs and images, etc., that appear on results as well as website links, are known as rich results. Think about when you got a returned result from a Google map or maybe a wiki analysis on how to do something - these are rich results.

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Don't forget technical optimization

To set your business website site, search engines will use software that crawls through your website to read the text and code. When it comes to letting search engines know that your site exists, you must verify your site first. This can be done quite easily through different website hosting platforms. Most even have guided instructions. Next, you need to submit each of your pages for expression via Google Search Console, and other consoles depending on the search engine. Finally, you will need to submit a site map. A technically optimized website will help the crawler read and understand all content. Your technical optimization should take into account your URL structure, meta title, H1 and H2 header tags, meta descriptions, and image alt tags.

Think in a unique way when it comes to your content

It's not just the content of your blog that needs to be unique and relevant. It's important to note that the success of your SEO also depends on having a variety of unique content on each page. If you repeat too much of your content – such as copyright text or contact details on every page – search engines could punish your website for duplicate content the same way you duplicated all your meta data on every page of your website. Titles and descriptions should always be unique to the content of the page. The content that an audience sees should always add value to the customer journey.

Encourage reviews and testimonials

Make sure you encourage feedback from your customers from a number of sources, as this will not only allow you to make vital improvements to your business, but is great for your SEO, especially when it comes to a local search site. Customers can leave reviews on your Google business page that will appear in search results, especially in local search results. Online reviews will help create signals for search engines about the relevance and popularity of your website. The more authentic reviews you can include on your website with platforms like Feefo and Trustpilot, the better your visibility will be. Reviews also act as a digital 'word of mouth' and can help drive traffic to your business rather than a competitor's website.

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Make sure your website has been optimized for mobile devices

If your website hasn't been optimized for mobile devices, then you're already missing out on opportunities to get a better ranking on search engines. Therefore, it is especially important to introduce an XML sitemap as well. As the use of mobile devices continues to grow, it will be even more important for your business to have a website that is easy to use on a mobile device.

This is not only essential for better sites but will also give your customers better service and user experience on mobile devices and eliminate the risk of bounce rates as they leave. If a web page takes more than 3 seconds to load on a mobile device, you could potentially lose visitors on mobile devices. A web page can be slow loading especially if there are many images displaying at once. Make sure your image sizes are small when uploading by uploading your images first to platforms like TinyPNG. These reduce file size without affecting quality.

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