Your website is up and running, but now you need to help people find you. Keep reading to learn the 9 easy ways to boost your website rankings so you’re on the 1st page of Google – guaranteed! is no particular order to do these in however, all 9 should be ramped up to happen simultaneously.
A client said to me once “I’d love to maintain my website but it’s expensive to buy a web programmer every time. Even when I do know what to do and how to do it, I cannot spend my time on being a website designer, so what can I do?”
DON’T GET A WEBSITE YOU CANNOT CONTROL – Completely! Purchase or build a website that you will be able to make your own changes to without having to pay hundreds of dollars to a web designer or programmer. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with purchasing a template from a professional or repository and making it fit your brand.
You probably own or rent a home, right? Is it custom built or does it look like a few other homes on your block? What makes it different is your personality. This goes the same for a website. Make it your home – or in this case – your business. I really like Open Source tools like WordPress, Drupal, or any other CMS (Content Management System) as a foundation. With these advanced web tools, you can have your website up for business in as little as 1 hour!
The other great thing about the CMS tools I mentioned is that there are millions of people in these Open Source Communities which means you don’t have to depend the one “IT guy or gal” that built a custom site.
You can get help almost instantly via forums, help desks, private chats, etc. Another cool and money-making feature about these CMS tools is that they have plug-ins or modules that can be instantly used on the web such as shopping carts, PayPal Credit Card Acceptance systems, Paid Membership group systems, and so much more!
Below are my Top 10 Ways to boost your website ranking.
10 – Social Networking
Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Google+, etc. Yes, you don’t have to get caught up in the personal side of things but remember, a business is an “entity” and even treated as a person legally in some cases. You MUST spread content across the web and the more you do about your business the more educated your buyer is. There a ton of ways to get this done without spending tons of time. There are tools that you can write once and publish it exponentially with the click on a button.
9 – Search Engines
This is the part of website marketing that search engines look to the rank you. The better your SEO, the greater your chances are of being ranked highest for the keywords and phrases that your potential clients are looking for. Referring back to #1, WordPress & Drupal both have SEO tools built in!
This means that you don’t have to struggle to find the right keywords or phrases. Some plug-ins even scan your website and perform an audit to score your content, keywords, tags, etc. before you publish your site live. If you own a business or are responsible for promotion and marketing of a company, you don’t have time to learn how to be a web programmer, right? Can you imagine being able to make, market, and manage your company website in just a couple of hours a day and leap-frog your competition? It’s possible and greatest of all, most of these tools are free! But I do issue this ***CAUTION*** Don’t get caught up in plugin/module “hell”.
Choose these add-ons very carefully as your site could slow to a crawl or go down. If you have doubt or concern, find a forum you’re comfortable with and ask as many questions as you can, FREE! If you’re struggling to find a forum you like, find a local CMS guru that can help you… like me for instance:). Many of the items can be resolved quickly and cheaply if any costs at all.
8 – Affiliate or Affinity
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could have 1,000s of people encouraging their friends and colleagues to buy your products or services? Imagine the impact on your business! It’s completely within your reach. You can get an Affiliate Marketing System such as AWeber or WP Affiliate.
With just a few mouse clicks, you’re in business. Many of the AMS add-ons cost little to NOTHING! If you have a great product or service you want to promote, there’s no better way than word of mouth and that’s what a good AMS will do for your business.
Remember “School House Rock”. The cartoon ads that came on in between other cartoons:). “Lolly, Lolly, Lolly, get your… ” AdWords here. This is more or less Google AdWrds, Facebook Ads, etc. The great part about this is that you pull true metrics of who your targeted audience is on the Internet, which in turn can create new sales and customers. It’s hard to get away from putting out money for this – so chose wisely and promote SMARTLY.
Make sure to do your research to see where your customers frequent most often. Don’t just push AdWords campaigns because your buddy told you it worked for him/her or vice-versa that it DID NOT work. YOU MUST do your due diligence in this area the most intently if costs are a concern. DON’T BE FOOLED that you can do AdWords Marketing without coughing up some dough. However, if you do it right, you’ll be raking in the dough.
6 – Co-Branding
This is where you find non-competitive organizations that can promote your business as it will also benefit them. Choose industries that you compliment your business!
Don’t just start asking everyone to to promote you – be specific and be direct. For instance, if you sell shoes, don’t let your first partner of choice be someone that sells clothes. You might be thinking,”What an idiot you are, Manny… ” Well, that might be true; but if I sold shoes, my first partner of choice would be someone that sold shoe insoles, shoe polish, shoe repair, shoe strings diabetic supplies, etc. Get my drift? Next level would be anything in foot care, then clothes and so on.
Create a simple little piece of HTML code (don’t be afraid – it’s simple and I’ll put it here for you) and ask your Joint-Partner to add it to their website, Facebook, Twitter, etc. etc.
5 – Real World
This is a seemingly obvious point – but so many small businesses fail to promote their business across all mediums. This is not just putting your website on your car, shopping bags, business cards, etc.; this should be creating careful messages that gather key information so you’re not wasting your money or time on things that don’t work.
For example, I’d recommend you register several domains that point to different pages (called Landing Pages) that take your potential customer step-by-step into your promotion. Let’s say you’re still selling shoes and you wanted to promote your running shoes that boast comfort while running. I’d look for a domain such as comfortableRunningShoes dot com or comfortwhenirun dot com
Sounds silly – but it’s effective. All these sites should point to a Landing Page that has the exact product and information such as video or short description about the product/service. Once the user hits the “Submit” button, they’re automatically sent to your main website with more information on the product and you now have a new lead and you know EXACTLY what they’re looking for.
Cost to you? Domain =$10 or less per year + your time to write the description or video. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by pushing your site towards the top and actually making $.
4 – Back-linking
If you were running for local commissioner, mayor, governor, congress person, or even president, what’s the one thing you’ll need to win? Votes. And in order to get votes, you need popularity.
That’s what you can think of back links as. The more you have, the more Yahoo, Google, and Bing see you as the most popular for the type of links related to what you’re promoting. Just like voting, if you have more votes, you win! ***CAUTION*** Don’t get caught up getting a ton of back links just to have them.
Choose back links that are representative of what you do minus the competition, of course. To find out how many back links you have or even your competitor has, go to Alexa
So, people can buy products or services from your company website but what about your Facebook or Twitter page? Yes, you can actually integrate your social networking pages with the ability to sell and receive payments that go straight to your bank account!
You can find many of these “Apps” by search the App community in the Facebook search. Imagine telling all your friends about your Fan Page and they tell their friends but the difference is, purchases are being made straight from your Facebook page! Another aspect is Facebook Advertising.
3 – HTML Ads
You’ve probably gotten e-mails from companies with either ConstantContact, VerticalResponse, MailChimp, or some other logo at the bottom of the e-mail with an “Unsubscribe” link. Go to your inbox and count how many of those you’ve received just today.
There’s a reason for that and it’s because it works… BUT, you have to be consistent, persistent, and aware of the CAN-SPAM Law. Yes, Law as in you can be fined or imprisoned for breaking this Law. So, “How do I send e-mails to potential clients without violating the law?” you ask. Read, Read again, and Read more of the Terms of Services of the HTML tools you’re using. Don’t click “I Agree” and move on like you do on other sites:). You can even lose your e-mail account from your ISP or even worse, get “Blacklisted” from the entire Internet. Bottom line – have integrity. Don’t send e-mails to people whose permission you don’t have.
I recommend starting with your existing client base, friends, etc. Be sure to have a sign-up form that your friends can point their friends to so you have proof that it was entirely their choice when they agreed to receive your communication(s). We’ll discuss opt-in forms in the next step. If you decide to use HTML marketing (and you SHOULD – just follow the rules) create a 12-month campaign that will gather new customers and create brand awareness that you likely do not have now.
People will know who you are and what you sell and be able to easily purchase from you as an educated buyer. Then, just like the old head and shoulders commercial, “and they told two friends, and they told two friend,… ” Next thing you know, your mail list is a behemoth.
***CAUTION*** Try to resist the temptation to sell your mail list. Again, you can do this as a lot of folks do, but you should let your subscribers know that upfront in your Terms of Service on your website. If you don’t plan on selling your list, your opt-in forms should say that in bold print on the form as are more likely to sign-up because NO ONE likes SPAM! BONUS MATERIAL!!!
2 – Opt-In Emails
Opt-in marketing can greatly benefit your business… but could also be your a “Achilles heal”. It’s pretty simple though. a. Follow the Terms of Service for gathering names. b. Start with people you know and have your opt-in form ready to receive new prospects. Most of the HTML Ad Tools such as in #9 have easy and hassle-free opt-in forms you can create with your brand on it – FREE!
1 – Texting
What is the most looked at device people carry with them?… DUH! The cell phone, right? You probably looked at yours at least twice while reading this. It’s cool, we all do it and that’s why it’s important to get your message and brand on your customers’ and potential customers’ cell phones. Same rules apply for SPAM.