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3 things every business must do for visibility of search engine results

Published by The Nation on Sun, 07 Jun 2020

Chibuzo NwokoloI have a website but Im not making any sales! Why am I not getting any positive results despite investing heavily in building my online presence' Recently a follower sent me this message Im really finding difficulties marketing my business online and get customers. Im just a new business owner, can you help me'When I receive requests or hear business owners state these, I categorise them into two groups:Youre either investing heavily in the wrong strategy for your business.You want a quick fix and dont have patience for organic growth.More often, business owners fall in category 2; you invest in building a website and setting up your brand online, good and fine, smart and great move but you then expect all the traffic and sales in the world automatically without investing the most important of all assets which are; time and patience to grow the brand.Its just like giving birth to a child and immediately expecting the child to start taking care of you. Things dont work that way, you need to cater for and train the child, invest heavily in the child until the child is matured enough to fend for him/herself and then fend for you, this takes time and patience-so also your online presence.In the period of patience and investing time, there are three (3) areas among many others you must focus on to invest quality time to grow. For the purpose of this article well only be focusing on these three and they include:Search engine Optimisation (SEO)Mobile OptimisationPaid searchIf youre familiar with digital marketing, you must have heard of SEO. This simply refers to some tasks that must be completed to increase your chances of being easily found on a search engine result when a user like you and I make a search query through a search engine like google.Everyone using the internet has at some point googled, its quite inevitable. The results you see when you search for things like Cakes in Lagos are made possible by SEO. Google as the most popular Search Engine on the Internet with over 91.8% market share has indexed hundreds of billions of web pages and still counting, now imagine how many pages are struggling to be seen all at once.Whenever a user makes a search, google web crawlers crawl these indexed pages and refer results that match certain crawling parameters. These parameters are built into what is known as algorithms. Google changes algorithms often so as to retain the credibility of search results to always return the most relevant results to a searcher.What makes your site relevant to google and other search engines range from keywords, to alt tags, H1/H2 headings, backlinks, etc. Optimising your website to reflect these parameters increase your chances of being on googles first page result. It would interest you to know that google is not the only search engine available but with a market share of approximately 92% as at April 2020, other search engines just seem obsolete. As a business owner managing your website, learn how to use SEO to your advantage, click here to embark on your learning path or you could click here to get us to do it for you.Another area business owners must not fail to work on to establish good online visibility is the optimisation for mobile. Mobile users accounts for 52% of devices used to access search engines, desktop and tablets share the remaining 48%. Mobile optimization is very key in web development and you must ensure that whoever is responsible for building your website puts this into consideration.Factors that make up a good mobile experience involve; fit to any screen size feature- you dont want webpages that extend beyond the device screen and content cannot be read at a glance, instead users have to scroll left and right to view content. This dampens user experience and someone like me will never return to that webpage.Another factor to consider is site speed. A couple of things usually reduce a site speed, an example is non-optimization of images for web. You dont just load up images or files with high storage on your website, ensure you optimize the files well enough to the lowest possible size with a good enough quality. There are other reasons for a slow site and Think with google test my site feature had made this possible for you to identify these issues and it also proffers solutions.We put together a free training manual to help you leverage the test my site feature on google for a better user experience, and some other tools like google my business and Google analytics. Click here to get it.User experience is everything when online brand positioning is being considered. It can be likened to the ambience and service delivery of a physical office. Imagine entering an office and its hot, no air, crowded, and service delivery is slow. This is how prospects feel when they visit a slow site that is not optimized for mobile. In addition, google web crawlers know sites that have poor user experience and such sites will be last resort when it comes to page ranking, or google will show your page when there are no more pages with as much relevant content as the searcher needs.The final area well be discussing in this article is as relates to paid ads. While its very good and totally advices to grow organically especially at the initial stage of your online launch, usually within the first 3 months, paid ads cannot be ruled out especially when you have a limited period of time to sell out stocks of items in your inventory. Search engine marketing (SEM) can be said to be SEO being paid for. SEM is very important and should be used from time to time to increase traffic to your webpages, boost sales significantly, generate leads, boost physical foot traffic to your shop, boost phone calls for inquiries, etc. Whatever your marketing objective is, SEM just like SEO can help you achieve them.Before paid ads are run, we usually advise businesses to take some time out to ensure their SEO is doing well and growing, from time to time type your business name o search engines to see how it appears, this gives you a clear picture of how people see you online. You can also use Google search console to control what people see about your business on Google. It would interest you to know that 65% of all buyer intent keywords are from paid ads clicks. This means that 65% of these keywords drive sales and should be used in your content, SEO structure or SEM campaign. Check the infographic below for more statistics.These factors discussed cannot be overemphasized and should be put into consideration when building a strong online reputation for any kind of business.
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