5 Things You Can Do Now to Improve SEO
You’re a small business or individual that has recently (finally) gotten your website online, and it looks spectacular. Better than you could have ever imagined. There’s no way visitors will leave once they land on your hip piece of the Internet! But how will they get there in the first place? Unfortunately, just publishing your site and making it live is only the beginning. For people to actually find you, your site needs to be made searchable through effective search engine optimization (SEO).
After building an engaging site that is easy to navigate, SEO is the most important thing you can be doing online for your business. Here are 5 easy ways that you can improve your SEO today.
1. Add a relevant site tagline.
These days, most businesses use some sort of content management system (CMS) to build their websites, such as WordPress, Squarespace, or Wix. All of these platforms have Site Title and Site Tagline as editable options, and they should be the first things you address. The title and tagline are identified as important elements by search engines, and they are usually what you will see first in Google search results. So, while your site title will likely be your business name, it is very important to include some keywords that relate to your business in the tagline. If you repair roofs in Redmond, WA, then something like “Rapid roof repair in Redmond” is going to give you much better results than something generic like “Service with a smile”.
2. Fill your content with keywords.
Let’s talk more about keywords. Keywords are words you are hoping to target your customers with. Essentially, they are what you predict people will search for online to find your business, or words that you want your business to rank high for in search results. There is a hierarchy of importance for these words. For example, your site title has more SEO power than a header in a blog post, but a header (H1, H2, etc.) will have more SEO power than body text in that same post. It gets more complicated than that, but here is a basic example of the hierarchy:
Site Title > Site Tagline > Page Titles > H1 > H2 > H3 > Body…
To keep it simple, you want as many relevant key words as possible in the more important positions of the hierarchy.
3. Use internal links that establish site architecture.
Internal links are all of the links on your website that point to your domain. For example, all of the links in your main navigation (e.g. Home, About, Blog) are internal links. When it comes to internal links and SEO, the main goal is to build a site architecture that makes sense and is easy to navigate. If you can click back and forth through the site with ease, this means that search engines like Google can crawl and index your site just as easily (more on that later). You should avoid having links that are only available through submission forms or internal site searches, because Google will not make submissions or carry out searches, and thus these links will not be indexed.
4. Work at backlinks pointing to your site.
Backlinks - external links to your site from other websites - are SEO gold. Google’s algorithm considers them to be the single most important factor in searches, mostly because they are the hardest metric to manipulate. It is crucial that you start building these early on, and it can be difficult to do. Doing guest blog posts for different sites is a great way to reach a different audience while gaining an backlink. If you are selling a product, you could send it to a review site for free and possibly earn a backlink in the process. Keep in mind that some backlinks are more valuable than others. A link from a reputable, popular site (i.e. Forbes) is going to be much more valuable than a link in a one-off social media post.
5. Get Google to index your website.
I’ve mentioned already about Google “indexing” your website. What exactly is meant by that? In order for your website to be added to Google’s index and show up in search results, it must be crawled by Google’s spider-bots. They will follow a path, from your homepage and throughout your internal link hierarchy to map your site and report the results back to Google’s index. Once this is done, your site has a much higher chance of showing up in search results. You can get your site indexed by visiting the Google Search Console and submitting your website.
An effective SEO strategy is never finished.
Doing all of the above is only the foundation of a solid SEO strategy that yields more traffic and more conversions. Every move you make online for your business must take SEO into consideration. You should continue to fill all of your blog posts and social media interactions with keywords. If you offer a new service or move to a new location, you need to update your existing content to reflect these things.
Many small business owners or sole proprietors don’t have time to fool around with SEO. I do! If you’re not getting the traffic you feel you deserve, contact me today and I will gladly help you get the SEO boost that you need!