Search engine optimization is a powerful method of organic online marketing. Everyone is employing SEO tactics when they bring their business to the web. It’s woven into the website’s code, accounts for social media inclusion, and is backed by thorough analysis of trending keywords and other marketing factors. Whether you’re just now building your business’s website or you have no idea how to optimize, here are ten things you need to do to get started.
- First things first: perform a site audit.
How will you detect areas for improvement? You do it yourself or hire an SEO consultant to perform a site audit.
- Equip yourself with the proper SEO tools.
You can’t go anywhere without these. Grab Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools; these allow you to not only obtain feedback from Google, but examine your website’s performance in everything from page quality to website traffic.
- Use human-friendly and SEO-friendly URLs
What makes a good URL? Make sure your links are descriptive and contain the keywords you need. Keep it short, sweet, and free of clutter characters, such as random symbols or numbers.
- Make sure you title everything.
Leave no page untitled. Search engine crawlers examine not only your content (which ought to be titled as well), but your website’s code as well.
- Create quality content worth sharing.
When you’re writing posts, write for a human audience and not the search engine’s robots; by appealing to the bots, you end up with incoherent content that won’t improve your SEO ranking at all. In fact, irrelevant, spam-like content will hurt your standing. People will share what they like, which generates organic traffic and leads to inbound links.
- Keywords, keywords, keywords.
You’ll receive a penalty for stuffing your content with keywords. However, you can use them in other parts of your website, such as page titles and your URL. When including keywords in your copy, use very similar terms to avoid keyword stuffing. Imagine everyone is trying to find the best Chinese food in Atlanta, and you want them to discover your restaurant. Some people will search “Atlanta Chinese Food”, some may look for “Chinese restaurants in Atlanta”. Vary your keywords and phrases while keeping them tightly relevant.
- Diversify your media.
Did you know Google indexes videos in their SEO rankings? If you want to stand out among competitors, make a Youtube video and apply some of the same strategy as you would text content: use your keywords and make it shareable.
- Establish a social media presence.
You can’t get away with not having a Facebook page or Twitter account. Depending on what Search engines consider social media outreach and interactions in their SEO rankings. Broaden your internet presence by adding social media share buttons to your content.
- Identify your local business with a Google Local page.
This is absolutely essential for local business owners. Set up a Google Local page; even if your actual website is ranking poorly, the local results will be listed above regular search results. Keep your business’s name, address, and phone number updated to keep potential customers up to speed. There will be one thing out of your control: reviews. Good reviews are good for business, so make sure satisfied customers leave feedback on your Local page.
- Connect with Google+.
Google+ may not have as huge of a user base as Facebook, but linking your website to a Google+ account allows you to display a picture beside your search result. You’d be surprised at how many people will click on your listing over another, even if the other link is ranked higher on the page. It’s a small detail, but people like to put a face to a name.