Alright! We are in the final stretch. Have you done the tips in the first two articles? If not, having to do all 17 may be a bit daunting if you’re not website savvy. Therefore, if you’ve not read articles one and two, I recommend reading them first or this one may be a little confusing. Below is what we covered in the last two articles.
Are you ready? Take a deep breath, exhale… and let’s dive in!
As I’ve said before (read, Your Website’s a Brochure that Needs to Be Handed Out), if you don’t promote your website, it will only be found by people you send to it. If you need to send someone to your website, the website serves only as a brochure. You already have a relationship and conversation going, so you don’t need your website for anything more than credibility.
By connecting your website to your social-media accounts, people can follow you. This is one method of capturing your visitor to continue the conversation. You see, when you write an article, like I’m doing here, you will share it through social media (among other places). If people find your headline and image compelling, they will click on it to read your post. This not only drives traffic to your website with what is known as PULL MARKETING (read, Newsletter Vs. Blog: Which is Better?), it creates backlinks. That link which now exists on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Twitter, Et. Al. leads to your website from other prominent websites. Not all backlinks are equal! If you get backlinks from low-rated sites, it hurts your standing. These are high quality!
The more good backlinks you have, the higher you will rank. Why? In Google’s mind, if all these sites are linking to you, well, you must be doing something right that they would want to share your content. On the contrast, if you have too many links going to other sites, you lose standing in Google eyes, because it means you don’t have enough quality and value that you must link to someone else who does.
Also, make sure you configure your site with share buttons to all available networks. If someone doesn’t want to follow you, but wants to share your content with their personal networks, it creates more backlinks and access to people you may not have found otherwise.
Most people have heard of Google Analytics. For those who’ve not, it provides detailed information on website traffic, what pages are most popular, what’s your bounce rate (how many people left your site after viewing just one page), demographics of visitors, where did the traffic come from and much more. All important information so you know if your site’s working or not, what might need tweaking and what are people finding compelling.
First, you must create an account. If you have a Gmail address, use your Gmail login info to sign up for a Google Analytics account. Once you’ve done so and gone through the process (this isn’t a Google Analytics How To article) you will see the following screen:
Copy the code in the box and paste it in the SEO Google Analytics section of your theme (see image below). If you’re creating a traditional website, you will want to put that in the header code of every page on your site.
Your site is now connected to your account and it helps with SEO as well, since Google can track all your sites information.
As with Google Analytics, if you don’t have a Google Plus account, you can create one using your Gmail account. Google Plus is Google’s version of Facebook (and every other social network it’s tried to mimic, all wrapped up into one). Since they have to compete with Facebook and Bing, they make it mandatory to have one and that it be linked to your website, so they can verify authorship of content – simply because they can.
When you create a Google Analytics account, you are issued a 21-digit ID which follows you (see image below).
Make sure to paste this URL in the SOCIAL MEDIA section of your theme or social-media plugin, so that the Google Plus icon is linked to your account and that’s it (see images below).
A sitemap is exactly what it sounds like, a map of all your webpages and how they flow or connect. This makes it easy for bots to index your site; hence it helps your ranking. If you are using JetPack in WordPress, it has a feature to create one automatically and update it as needed. If not, you will want to create one.
There are many sites offering a free XML Sitemap Generator. One you can use is XML-Sitemaps.com. It’s simple. Paste your domain in the “Your Website URL” field, click start and follow the prompts. Once you’re done, download your sitemap.xml file and upload it to your /public_html folder (the folder that holds your website files). That’s it; you’re done!
It’s much easier to get local traffic than regional or national traffic. Google makes this simpler with a Google My Business account. This is a local micro-website controlled by Google that links to your main website. Consider it like a landing page with Yellow-pages functionality.
You can create special offers with or without coupon codes, post your articles for easy local finding, hours of operation and contact information, and much more. Since it’s controlled by Google and automated, you have limited flexibility on aesthetics. You can see my local listing here: http://success-by-design.business.site/.
Finally, once you’ve created your Google My Business account, it will generate a Google Maps page specific to you. Within that page, you will see a sidebar. If you scroll down the sidebar, you will see a link that says, “Write A Review!” You want to copy this URL and email it to your clients and friends, and ask them if they’d be willing to write a review (see image below).
While there are more technical considerations a developer would also do, these 17 tips will guarantee to make a difference in your ranking. So, go through all three articles, take it one tip at a time, make those changes or additions and you will be rewarded by Google and your visitors. Don’t procrastinate! If you just found this article, don’t be overwhelmed. Take each article and make it a step. Start with article #1 this week, do article #2 next week and this article in week 3. You will be glad you did!