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How to improve your online visibility

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Businesses today are realising the importance of the internet to promote themselves, get their name out there and ultimately increase profits. However, it is not enough to simply be online. Your business actually needs to be found amongst the millions of businesses cluttering the online world. Online visibility is what distinguishes successful internet ventures from failures and underachievers. Even companies that invest thousands of dollars in sophisticated websites struggle to connect with their target audience because they are unaware they even exist. If you type your business name into the top three Australian search engines (Google, Bing and Yahoo!7) and your business name does not appear on the first page you need to do some serious work on improving your online visibility to help your customers find you. Here are some methods to help you increase your exposure online. 1. Include related keywords Search engines look at the keywords and phrases included in your website copy to assess what your site is about. You need to determine what your key words are and what words people type into a search engine when looking for a business like yours and make sure these are incorporated throughout your website. These keywords need to be included into the page title, meta tags, page description and then repeated two or three times in the copy on the page. It is a good idea to use a different key word or phrase in each page of your site. By using a range of relevant keywords you should see an increase in traffic from search engines. 2. Update your website frequently Search engineslike websites that have freshitems, they do not like outdated static websites. Each time you add content to your site you improve the ranking of your site in the search engines. It is a good idea to add new content to your site each week. This can be articles, industry news, customer profiles, case studies or videos about your products or services.  Adding a blog to your website can help make the updating process easier. A blog not only provides fresh information but provides your visitors with an opportunity to interact with your business.

3. Enlist the help of Search Engine Optimisation Search engine optimisation, or SEO, is the strategic process of making a website more search engine friendly in order to achieve improved organic search rankings. The more information search engines have about your website, the better your search rankings will be. In approximately 50 percent of online searches, people select a company found on the first or second page. So if your company does not appear in the first 10 to 20 results, you have already lost about 50 percent of your potential business. 4. Get your business listed As almost 70 percent of Australians use the internet, it is important for your business to be present wherever people are looking for services and businesses online. About 10 years ago you just had to make sure your business was listed in the local print directory - today you have to do more. You have to think internet. There are hundreds of ways to promote your business on the web but online listings are a great place to start. They are a great way to increase traffic and inbound links assist to optimise your website. They help your business appear in the first page of search engines and provide an important link directly to your website. It is a good idea to make sure you are included in your local and industry specific online directories, such as FranchiseBusiness.com.au. 5. Website copy Once you have managed to lure visitors to your website, you have just a few seconds to capture their attention. They will quickly scan the page and if they can’t find what they are looking for they will move on just as quickly as they arrived. Most people will only stay looking at your website for approximately ten seconds, so every word matters. To convince them to stay, make sure you make it easy for visitors by using attention gra? The copy on your pages should appeal to the wants and needs of your target audience, while making it easy for them to find the answers they need.

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