SEO, or search engine optimization, refers to efforts made to improve the visibility of your website in the search engines, and it's an absolute must if you want to ensure your business stays competitive online. And while Google has made its ranking algorithms harder to crack than ever, there are still plenty of improvements you can make right away to help your site rank higher and drive more traffic.
Here are five tips you can use right now to improve your visibility and lay a foundation for SEO success.
Before diving into SEO, you need to do keyword research. Keywords are words or phrases people use to search for products, services, or information online.
The first step is to figure out what your business does—we'll call it Service Business 101. Next, you want to understand which words your target audience will likely type into a search engine when looking for these core keywords for your products or services.
To do keyword research, you'll need to figure out what you do, who you serve, what they want, and how they talk about it online. You can start by browsing through sites like Quora where people are asking questions in forums related to your business. Read these posts and see if you can discover new keyword opportunities. Just make sure not to steal these ideas – use them as inspiration for your unique content!
Optimizing page titles is an essential SEO best practice. The purpose of a title tag is to inform search engines about the topic of your web page. When you enter specific keywords into your website's title tag, you tell search engines exactly what your page is about. You can think of a title tag as like the chapter title in a book’s table of contents – it gives the reader an idea of the topic of the chapter.
The keywords contained in your title tag are essential for several reasons. First, search engines use these words to find your web page. These words are also visible in search engine results pages (SERPs), so optimizing them can help you stand out from other search engine result listings and improve your click through rate (CTR). And of course, title tags help Google determine where your web page should be ranked within its search engine results pages. By incorporating the right keywords in your title tags, you can give your pages a better chance of ranking on the first page of Google searches.
The first search result always has a large share of clicks. You must write meta descriptions that match your target audience's needs. Make sure your descriptions are long enough (about 100-155 characters or more) and specific, with relevant terms included. Most importantly, use natural language; Google is smart enough to detect keyword stuffing in meta descriptions for SEO purposes, so don't overdo it.
Tip: Tip of your title tag as like a headline and your meta description as like the ad copy that “sells the click” and helps persuade the searcher to click on your listing.
For local businesses, it’s critical to create and optimize a Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business profile, or GMB).
Why is a local focus so important? According to Google:
Here are some tips to get you started:
Plus, you’ll also want to request reviews from your customers, clients and patients on an ongoing basis. And, of course, make sure to create and optimize separate Google profiles for each of your business locations
Next, it’s critical that you build citations and links to give your business credibility in Google’s eyes.
What are citations? Citations are mentions of your company’s “NAP” - and the more citations you have, the more trust Google will have that your business is established and trustworthy.
What are links? Links are hyperlinks from one website to another website. Google considers links to be like votes in favor of your website’s authority. The more links you have from high-quality, relevant websites, the more likely Google is to rank your website at the top of the search results.
The best way to build a foundation of citations and links is to get your business listed in dozens of reputable, relevant directories. You’ll want to get listed in 3 types of directories:
And again, it’s important to make sure that you use your real business name in your listings and keep your NAP consistent.
If you are ready to improve your SEO, try some of these easy-to-implement steps and watch your traffic grow. If you need help implementing any SEO best practices, contact us today!