Search engine optimisation (SEO): more visitors on your website

Want more people to visit your website? Search engine optimisation is a technique that makes your website easier to find online. By using the right keywords in your website copy, you make it easier to find for search engines. And customers.

5 SEO tips

Several factors have an impact on your website's online findability. SEO expert Jordy Noll shares the most important tips to rank higher in search engines like Google and Bing. 

1. Know what your customers are looking for

Find out which keywords your customers are using in search engines to find your product. 

Perform keyword research. Pay attention to the following points:

  1. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Think about the questions they may ask the search engine about your product or service. You find out by asking yourself and your target audience: which problems does my your product or service solve? 

  2. Write down all the words that you think may be relevant to your website or business. 

  3. Use a keyword planner like Google, AnswerThePublic, or (free version) to find related keywords. Unlike these keyword planners, Ubersuggest does show how often people search for these keywords. 

  4. Create groups of similar keywords, including synonyms. Look for the most important keywords in each group based on keyword volume (high) and competition (low). 

2. Create a logical layout for your website

Create a website with a clear layout to ensure that your visitors find the information they are looking for. Think of your homepage, several product pages, and a contact page. Here is how you do it: 

  • Each keyword group from step 1 should have its own page.
  • Use a logical structure on your website. For example: if you sell furniture, only use general categories like 'sofas' and 'tables' in the main menu. On the underlying pages, you can provide information about 'two-seater sofas' or 'coffee tables'. 
  • Make sure that all pages can be reached via at least 1 page on your website besides the main menu. In other words, if a visitor is looking at the page about 'sofas', make sure they can click through to an underlying page about 'two-seater sofas' via a hyperlink. 

  • Ask friends and customers to test your website to see whether the layout makes sense and they can find everything. 

3. Use copy, metadata, and images 

Search engines determine what your website is about by looking at the copy, metadata, and images on it. To optimise your website, make sure your main keywords (see tip 1) can be found in all three. You do so using your content management system (CMS). 

Copy: Search engines search the copy on your website. That way, they decide whether a website matches a keyword. Copy includes the information on the homepage, product pages, page titles, blogs, and the 'About us' page. 

Metadata: Metadata and meta descriptions are what a search engine displays on the search results page. To attract the right customers to your website, write concise and complete meta descriptions for each article on your website, as well as for the landing pages. 

Images: Images with an alt text (a text that explains what is in the image) and title make your page more relevant, so they will rank higher in searches. Alt texts and titles should always feature keywords. 

4. Add hyperlinks

Hyperlinks to other pages allow your reader (and therefore search engines) to keep reading and visit other relevant pages. Use links sparingly: too many links make for difficult reading. Plus, irrelevant links lower your website's reliability.

Tips for using hyperlinks: 

  • If you can, link to pages within your own site. The longer the visitor stays in your online shop, the bigger the chance they will buy.

  • Link only to websites you trust. You are referring a potential customer, after all. Only link to websites you would also refer customers to in a conversation.

  • Make sure that visitors can find new information on the linked page. For example, on the page 'how to clean your sofa', you could include a link to the website of the cleaning product manufacturer. 

5. Ask for relevant hyperlinks (backlinks)

Have other websites link to your website. Ask your local business association to list your website on their website, for example. When other relevant, popular, high-quality websites refer to you, your authority grows and more people will visit your website. It is important to find websites that offer information, products, or services that are relevant to your company. A link on a design blog will have more impact than a link on a car website, if you want to sell furniture. 

SEO: the pitfalls

Avoid a negative impact on your website ranking and findability. Here are some of the pitfalls:

  • A slow website 
    A slow website means potential customers may leave you without having seen your website. Check your website speed by using a tool like Google Pagespeed ToolGT Metrix, or Test My Site.
  • An unsafe website 
    In the olden days, website addresses started with 'http'. Now, 'https' is the standard. the extra 's' stands for 'secure'. It tells your visitor that your website is safe to browse. If your url does not start with https, search engines will rank your website as less secure. Make your website more secure with Let’s Encrypt or Cloudflare.
  • A website with no mobile version 
    Make sure your website works well on a mobile phone. Since most users visit mobile websites these days, search engines mainly evaluate the mobile version of your website. 
  • Paid links 
    Do not pay others to post a link to your site. This goes against Google's guidelines. They can impose a penalty, like lowering your ranking or removing you from the search results. 

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