The first step towards creating a profitable online presence for your business is to build a website. If you already have a website up and running, that is a huge plus point right there. Now to get more people to visit your website, you have to optimize it. This is what is known as SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. SEO plays an invaluable role in getting more traffic to your website and helping it rank higher in search engine results. It is often the first step that any digital marketing service provider implements when optimizing your website.

For businesses, reaching out to targeted users holds the key to success, as does keeping their website updated and well optimized. The end result of all this is higher user engagement, which ultimately gets you more traffic and sales.

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Here we look at the best ways to optimize your website using proven SEO principles.

  1. Find keywords that have low competition but high search volumes

You can call it the most basic step or the most important step, but there is no denying that choosing the right keywords can make or break your marketing campaign. That is why it is so important to pick a keyword with one eye on its search volume and another on its overall competition.

The importance of keywords cannot be overstated. Search engines rank websites for keywords. So when you wish to rank your website for a particular keyword, so do thousands of others. This is where keyword competition comes in. There are several keywords that have not only high search volumes but also a fair bit of competition. If you try to rank your website high for those keywords, it is bound to be difficult as hundreds of other websites are already ranking for those keywords.

Thus the challenge lies in finding keywords that boast of a high search volume but don’t have too many websites competing for them. This ensures your website gets a high amount of traffic in the shortest possible time; it is a lot easier to rank for low competition keywords before graduating to more competitive keywords.

  1. Use LSI keywords along with seed keywords

All a search engine wants to do is know what your website is about. And as discussed earlier, it does this by scanning your website for the right keywords. However, major search engines like Google and Bing go a step further and scan for terms and phrases related to the main keyword. Now the search engine’s main job is to provide users with answers relevant to their queries. With a view to improving the relevancy of those answers, search engines aim to understand your website and its content.

This is where LSI keywords can make a difference. Short for latent semantic indexing, LSI keywords are nothing but long tail keywords (or as some people call them, key phrases) related to the main keywords (which are also known as seed keywords). For instance, if ‘LED TV’ is your seed keyword, your LSI keywords can be ‘best-LED TV under Rs. 20000’ or ‘LED TVs best offer’ or even ‘best 32 inches LED TV’. So by using the right keywords, you can target the right audience. The search engine uses these LSI keywords to get a better idea of your website and subsequently, helps you rank higher and get more visitor traffic.

  1. Make the website easy to navigate

The navigability of your website has a major influence on its search engine ranking. Ideally, the user should find it easy to navigate your website and the transition from one page to another should be smooth and lag-free. So if a user lands up on your page during the course of a search and if he finds it difficult to access another page on your website, he is likely to lose interest and leave soon after.

That is why dwell time is such an important factor. It denotes the duration for which a user stays on your website and it is an important ranking factor for all search engines. The more time a user stays on your website, the higher is its ranking. Similarly, expect to see a fall in your website’s ranking if your dwell time falls progressively. That is why it is important to have the right navigation structure for your website.

  1. Create a sitemap and submit it to search engines

A sitemap is a basic file that contains a hierarchical list of a website’s pages. It is important because a sitemap makes your website crawl-able. That is why whenever you build a website and populate it with content, it is necessary to create an XML sitemap of the same and submit it to the search consoles of Google, Bing and other search engines.

Doing so allows search engine bots to crawl your website and index all pages within. This helps them understand the content, and thereby the relevancy, of each page which has a positive effect on your website’s domain authority.

  1. Write proper meta descriptions for each page and content

Meta description is the small amount of information that users see in a SERP (search engine results page) when they search for a particular term on Google. This meta description offers them a glimpse of what your page is all about. If you do not write meta descriptions for a page, Google fetches a few random lines from a given page and displays it to the user. If what the user sees looks incoherent or improperly written, he is unlikely to visit your website. That is why you need to write meta descriptions for your website that are easy to read and understand, contain LSI keywords and most importantly, are precise.  You can do this yourself or get it done from digital marketing agencies, which tend to have professional writers in their teams for exactly these kinds of purposes.

  1. Improve the speed of your website

When a user lands on your website, she expects it to load quickly. Simply put, no user has the time or the patience to wait more than 10 seconds for a website to load. Even that is a bit rich as multiple studies have shown that a user waits no more than 5 seconds for a page to fully load barring which, she quits and moves on to the next website. And bear in mind that once a user gets the impression that your website is slow and laggy, she is unlikely to ever return.

Here are some ways in which you can improve the loading speed of your website and make it blazing fast.

  •  Host your website with a good web host provider that offers you a large amount of bandwidth.
  • Optimize your pages for images. Smaller the file size of your website’s images faster will be loading speed.
  • Keep clearing the cache of your website from time to time. In case your website is based on WordPress, there are a number of free plugins available to do it.

 Other ways to optimize your website

The principles discussed above are all known as on-page SEO techniques as each of them are done within a webpage. There also exists a set of off-page SEO techniques that can similarly optimize your website with a view to acquiring more visitor traffic. These include,

 Building page links

When other websites link to your website (which is also known as backlinking), it tells search engines that your website is important and enjoys a certain level of authority. So when you build relevant links from other websites to your own, you get more traffic which helps with a higher search engine ranking.

 Building forum links

You can maintain an active presence on forums related to the niche your website deals in and include links in areas like the comments section or signature space. This helps in getting a higher amount of targeted traffic to your website as only people passionate about the said niche are active users of such forums.

Social media marketing and optimization

Social media is here to stay. Billions of people around the world are using it on a daily basis, which makes it an excellent source of traffic for nearly every niche under the sun. Social media networks like Instagram and Facebook can be used to create awareness about your brand and market it to the right audience. Doing so can drive heavy traffic to your website.

 Google AdWords (PPC)

A paid advertising service from the house of Google itself, AdWords is a pay per click marketing platform that you can use to buy ad spots in search engine results pages. The entire system operates on a supply-demand basis, which means if you want to advertise your website for a highly competitive keyword, you’ll need to pay more. The best thing about PPC is that you pay Google only when someone clicks on your advertisement.

The process of optimizing a website is an ongoing one. In many cases, it is a trial and error method whereby you need to discover what works to the benefit of your website’s ranking and what doesn’t. However, when done right, your website can benefit a great deal and for a long time to come.