Lessons from Digital Future 2017: Five ways to optimize your digital presence with SEO

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How often do you search all the way to page 3 on Google, Yahoo or any other search engine?  Unless of course you’re searching for something really specific. So if you don’t, then what are the chances of someone finding your company website which only appears on page 4?

Sites that rank that low on search engine results get little traffic (probably it’s just you and your staff visiting the site). At Digital Future Conference 2017, a session dedicated to Search Engine Optimization provided some tips for improving your search engine results page ranking.

Listed below are 5 of the many ways that were shared by local SEO expert, Trust Nhokovedzo, during DF 2017 that can be used to optimize your digital presence.

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1. Content

Probably the most obvious one, yet sadly, we still find websites or links with inadequate or inaccurate information. You’ll find a tech company website still containing content posted in 2015… like really? – the irony! In some cases, companies direct you to ghost websites, an example from the top of my head: skyzmetro FM. They literally urged people to go check out their website only so you’d see “coming soon! Please bear with us. This website is under construction.” Such levels of incompetence make people loose trust and even when the website is finally up and running, only a few will be willing to check it out. So the idea is to have an available website, which has adequate and accurate information which people can rely on and confidently recommend in order to gain traction. And the content should be updated to keep it fresh.

 

2. Websites compatible on mobile

You’ll realize that a great majority of Zimbabweans access the internet on mobile phones.  It’s wise to ensure that your websites are designed for mobiles first rather than just for the desktop (PC) view. Some sites are really difficult to navigate using a phone as they need constant zooming in and out, which of course is tedious for users. Also, it’s important to make the website compatible for all the main browsers used in Zimbabwe i.e. Opera Mini, Chrome, Firefox and UC Browser in order to ensure that people can easily go through the site, thus increasing traffic and enhancing the digital presence of that particular site.

 

 

3. Add websites to Google my business

Imagine searching for a business on the internet and then finding that even though they have the products you need, they have no physical address listed, neither do they have the correct contact details on there. Believe it or not, such websites exist.

Google my business is a tool that will enable you to specify contact details of your business so that if someone searches for your business name they get those details.

Google will also display the necessary detail in such a way that they are easily identifiable, even without opening the website. It is much more efficient if high quality photos are uploaded onto the site as Google my business displays those images as a way of attracting the attention of users. This tool is a utility that most businesses can leverage on as it can significantly increase traffic on their website and as such rank themselves higher on the search engine’s ranking… and it’s free by the way.

 

4. User-friendly websites

People will always pick simple over complicated, well at least that’s the norm. Considering how busy people are (or how pricy data is), people wouldn’t want to spend time trying to decipher where to click to get what or which buttons mean what. Therefore, it is only ideal to make a website that can easily be navigated by anyone. I mean seriously, say you’re selling bags or clothes how complicated should your website be? If people do not get it, they will simply move to a simpler website and of course your website will remain on page 4 or even move to 5 because Google can detect that visitors quickly clicked away after landing on your page.

 

5. Back links

Here I will talk about two things: link structure and link quality. The structure of the link should somehow clarify what the link is about. An example http://www.saversshop/fg109-ts8881/ vs. http:www.savershop/shoes/shoe-sale/ which one of the two gives better insight of what the link is about? Google considers the words in the address in deciding the ranking of your website’s pages.

Secondly, the link quality involves how often and most importantly who has links to your website on theirs. Basically, it pays to have websites with higher domain authority linking to your website. For instance if the World Health Organization (WHO) puts links to your health related organization’s site, it then ranks higher on the search results page as such links give an indication that you have valuable content. Also, it helps to have more websites of the same field (or related) to link to your website as well.

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