My first website was a web-based bulk messaging service for small businesses. It was built on the Joomla content management system (CMS). And I can still remember the excitement when my site went live — indescribable. This happened after several weeks of designing and testing every component of the website to make sure that they work perfectly. That was my first business online. But, my excitement was short-lived. My website wasn’t making any sales. I could see stats like “400 visits this month” but those numbers meant nothing to me because no sales were coming in. I’ll admit that I was happy that people could see me online but I didn’t know why sales weren’t coming. After about a year or so of running the business at a loss, I had to “let it go”. I was frustrated to the extent that I had to reject all offers from my close friends who wanted to buy the business from me. I was making little or no sales despite the fact that I was online — doing business. Then, I knew nothing about SEO, blogging, content management, digital marketing and other online marketing methods — even when my business was based solely on mobile marketing using sms solutions. This happened a long time ago but I learnt my lessons the hard way. Today, there are several businesses going through the exact same process as described above. They are online but they are making little or no sales. They can’t reach their prospects no matter how much they try. If your website is not converting or making sales, it’s high time you start optimizing your website for your target audience. The only way you can do this is through search engine optimization (SEO). There is more to the power of search engine optimization than what is currently being portrayed on the web. It’s more than just ranking your website on search engines. It’s more about reaching your prospects who are in need of your products or services through your website. When you approach SEO with this understanding, you’re sure to “unleash it’s full powers” on your business. And when this happens, then you’ll have the magical powers of SEO working for you. Angel Dhaly of Sydney SEO Services says that “SEO is using the magical powers of digital marketing to boost your business by reaching your prospects online”. SEO is not complex. It’s one of the simplest concepts to understand if done the right way. Neil Patel of Quicksprout wrote a step-by-step guide on understanding the powers of SEO — and using it effectively — in your business. #1. It ensures higher rankings Search engine optimization increases your website’s reach on a global scale. It ensures that you rank for your unique selling points on search engines. However, making your website appear on the first page of search engines is a plus for your website. Records have it that websites that appear on the first page of search engines often get visited more than the rest. A good SEO strategy will help your website to appear on the first page of popular search engines. #2. A good SEO increases your website’s visibility One way to increase your website’s reach is to enhance its visibility. A good SEO helps increase your website’s visibility. Search engine users modify their searches until they get the desired results. By appearing on every page of search engines for your focused keywords, your chances of being visited increases. When a search engine user encounters your website each time a search is made for a particular phrase or sentence, they tend to visit your site often. #3. It enhances your credibility The appearance of your website on search engines says a lot about your business. You may not have the opportunity to correct the perception of people towards your online business through face-to-face interaction. Your website enjoys more credibility when it appears on the first page than on other pages. There is an unsaid belief that websites found on the 2nd or 3rd page lack experience and credibility. For your business to appear on the first page, people perceive you as an expert that’s dependable. This will boost your credibility in the long run. #4. It fosters better user experience A website that lacks good user experience will suffer poor visits. Good SEO practice is making sure that your site is user-friendly. This means that users will find it easier to navigate your website without any form of confusion. Google, for instance, doesn’t relate with websites that offers poor user experience. For you to meet up with the standard, you must ensure that your photos, videos, and page speed are in proper condition. Optimizing your website to meet up with these criteria will enhance its reach. Users love websites that are easy to access with clear photos and perfect videos. Once your website is user-friendly, you’ll enjoy more visits. #5. Good SEO ensures higher traffic The essence of you optimizing your website for search engines is to generate more traffic. With good SEO, your website traffic will continue to rise. It isn’t enough for you to have a web presence for your online business. It is also important for you to generate highly targeted traffic. Having good SEO for your website means it is likely to be visited each time there is a search for your focus keywords. Your keywords should be search phrases that your prospects are constantly using online to locate products or services that are similar to yours. #6. Make use of keywords Good SEO is designed using optimized keywords in your line of business. This ensures that your customers find you when they search for you on the web. Using keywords to optimize your website for search engines is a sure way to having good returns. Therefore, having a website that doesn’t use keywords is tantamount to having no web presence. To enhance your website’s reach, you need a good SEO expert if you suck at SEO practices. And when choosing your expert, make sure that you are using the right practices so as not to get your website blacklisted.