Search engine optimization - Get visitors

Essential basics for building a website
Great image portraying words like "Welcome" as the common denominator for getting visitors to your website

Get the visitors you need

Just having a website is not enough. You will probably want to have visitors to your site and get conversion ( e.g. sales, clicks on ads, or other).

Analyze

Ranking before and after

Before you make any changes to your website, you should check your current ranking in the main search engines for your area / target audience (Google, Bing, Yahoo?). Open your browser in “incognito modus” (otherwise the search engine will give you different/personalized results). Go to Google (or other) and search for your keywords / key phrases (I will explain later on).
This way you can measure the effects of your SEO strategy.

Search result traffic

Use your analytics program (you should use one) and use Google and Bing’s Webmaster Tools to measure searched for words and phrases lead to your website and which don’t. And check your click through rate (people perhaps can find your site, but won’t click it.

Set goals

Set statistically measurable goals for your website. For instance the percentage of your visitors that you realistically want to place actual orders (this is called “conversion”).

Find your keywords and key phrases

Keywords are individual words that go with your business. In my case they would be website, learn, SEO, user experience, and so on.
Key phrases are phrases that go with your business. In my case: learn to build a website, best practices for building a website, and so on. Key phrases don’t have to be an exact match on your website to the phrases used by your target audience, but the keywords in it should all be in one sentence.

Use of Keywords

Use your keywords generously in the:

But always keep your content, title and URL clean, natural and understandable for your users.

Website structure

URL

Avoid meaningless URLs, like http://www.mywebsite.com​/ 1/1/32342323.html
First of all Google won’t rank your page as high as it could be. Secondly, the URL won’t give users any clue as to where they are. Or, when they’ve found the page in Google, what the URL will lead to. Google and other search engines can handle up to 2,000 characters for a URL, so there is plenty of room to use full words and descriptions of the page. Like the page you’re on right now.

landing pages

Create up to 5 landing pages for your most important products (or services and such) and use plenty of good keywords. Link from each page to your homepage and place the proper calls to action.

unique content

Try to keep unique content. With (nearly) identical content, search engines (including the one inside your website) won’t know which page to show. The attention both pages get will never be the same as with one unique page, decreasing your page rank for both pages.
Actually, search engines even consider www.my1stwebsite.eu and http://www.my1stwebsite.eu as separate pages.

Solutions:

Link to others

Link to other, high-ranking, websites related to your field. Websites without links outside are considered less reliable by search engines.

Keep it fresh!

Update your website and add new content regularly. Websites that have no changes are considered out of date quickly by search engines. This will affect your ranking in a negative way.

Use a blog

A blog means new content and search engines love new content (as we learned above). A blog also provides links to important content-pages (don’t forget to add them). Blogs can also be more sensational than regular content pages (depending on your business model of course). And therefore generate extra visitors.

Search engines

Use a Google (and Bing) Webmaster account:

Social Media and other tools

Links from others

Try to get links from other websites to yours, where:

“Nofollow” tells the search engines that the link shouldn’t be followed. The “ranking weight” of a link with “nofollow” is probably a mere 5% of a link without “nofollow”.

Social + review

Promote

Not a penny, yen or whatever currency!

Never pay for reviews or other black hat SEO tricks
Actually, don’t use black hat SEO altogether. Google and other search engines can penalize you and even remove your content from search results. The same goes for review sites.