There are about 1,031,500,000 websites online right now, and that number increases every second. Inactive websites aside, how can your marketplace compete with millions of other thoughtfully designed and search engine optimised websites out there? Is there a way you can make yourself more visible to your target audience?
To answer these questions, we first have to look at important tools that can help you measure how visible your site is. Here are our tips and tricks to boost your SEO:
Measuring your site’s performance
Alexa ranking is a common way to determine your website’s performance. Your Alexa Ranking depends on how many visitors you get daily. It provides free traffic metrics and analytics, but it works mainly as a way for you to check visitor count. A low Alexa Rank means that your website is more highly visited. Your main goal should be to boost your website’s position in Google Page Ranks and raise traffic.
Be active on social media
This is an obvious one, but many startups don’t spend enough time building on their social media accounts. Just creating a Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+ and Instagram page for your marketplace is not enough. You actually need to post actively to raise your visibility to people on the networks and to search engines. Once or twice daily is enough — more than that and you’ll risk annoying your followers.
Initially, your social media pages might turn up first in a Google search for your business name, but over time, your website should be on top. Make sure that images, logos, and language style remain the same across all networks, and remember to link everything back to your homepage to drive traffic there.
If your marketplace is short-staffed, services like HootSuite that helps you schedule posts on multiple social networks ahead of time can be of great help.
Be visible on other platforms
Let’s start by figuring out how to increase traffic to your website. Just submitting your page to a bunch of different websites and search engines won’t do the trick. List your business on Google Services or AngelList and ride on their traffic.
Other than being present on social media, participate in forums which let you promote your marketplace or put your website in your signature. Question-and-answer website Quora is a great place to start, as its community base is well-educated and active in the tech startup scene. Follow topics related to your marketplace, post a question, or answer one when you encounter someone who might benefit from your marketplace and expertise.
Another product sharing and discovery website that’s popular among startup founders is Product Hunt. You can submit your product and it will be listed in a linear format. Like Reddit, the site has a comment and voting system that allows your post to rise to the top of each day’s list. Get your team and friends to upvote, share and comment to give your post an extra boost.
Photo credit: Product Hunt.
If you don’t see your target audience on Quora or Product Hunt, you can also start with forums that are popular in your country.
Maintain a blog
Sites with more pages tend to rank higher in search engine results. Other than your marketplace’s basic information, you need to find a way to place unique content, with the appropriate keywords, on your website. That can easily be done by maintaining a blog that’s part of your marketplace domain (not on a separate URL). Write regularly about what you think is shareable and relevant to your merchants and customers, and soon enough, Google will take notice.
It also helps if you have a comment section and sharing buttons so you can engage your readers and allow them to easily share your post on their social media accounts.
Videos can go viral
More than reading, the internet generation loves watching videos. Visual media is always good to get people interested in your marketplace at any phase. If you know how to shoot and edit videos, put some effort into creating a short but engaging video to promote your marketplace. There’s no surefire formula for virality, but if it does go viral, be prepared for the traffic.
Devise your video so that it can serve as a good branding or educational tool for potential merchants or customers of your marketplace in the long run. Many businesses have risen to success thanks to YouTube. Even if your video doesn’t get as many views as you’d like, it will still improve your site’s visibility as Google Search results often feature YouTube videos.
Finally, make use of the keyword tags as they will make a difference in your ranking. Also, don’t forget to provide a link to your website and your social media accounts on your YouTube Channel and video page.
Sounds easy? Your website will move up the ranks if you do these consistently, but with so many other sites out there vying for people’s attention, you will need to consistently and diligently maintain your website visibility — that’s the hard part.