10 SEO tips for your business
With digital marketing strategies becoming more and more essential to the vast majority of businesses, it is extremely important to stay on your toes if you want your business to grow. Your digital marketing efforts shouldn’t rely exclusively on paid or inorganic promotional strategies, Google, Instagram or Facebook Ads, influencers – they should take into account how important a solid SEO strategy is as well.
Why SEO though? With SEO, the changes you make on your website will have long lasting, long-term results in terms of organic growth and lead generation.
So, what should you pay attention to when building your website? There are over 200 good practices that you can implement under the three main divisions of SEO: technical, user experience and keyword and content improvements.
This article we will focus on 10 of the most important ones that you should implement on your business website.
1. Speed Optimize your Website
Slow site speeds can drive away potential conversions. Consumers are becoming more and more demanding and less willing to wait, so if your site takes more than 3 seconds to load they will likely not wait around to see . Every additional second that it takes to get your page up, you’ll lose more users.
Google also cares what your speeds are. So much that, especially in mobile, they give preferential treatment to AMP sites (accelerated mobile pages).
They want to present their users with websites that answer to their needs and provide a good user experience, and quick loading times are essential for that. If your website takes too long to load, Google won’t be very interested in ranking it well in their search pages.
Some of the ways we can increase the speeds include:
Uninstall plugins that aren’t necessary
Use a caching plugin
Turn off the pingback or trackback feature
Compress your images and site
There are many ways you can improve your speeds. It’s important that you let a developer look over your page and figure out what’s causing it to load slowly.
2. Update your Google My Business (GMB) Page
If you haven’t already, you need to claim your Google My Business (GMB) page or create one if it doesn’t exist. This is a free service that helps your business get found. It’s important to fill out your profile completely and as accurately as possible. Of course, this is more useful if your business has a physical location and isn’t a strictly digital venture.
Even if your site isn’t ranking, your GMB page can rank. When you set up this account, make sure to add this information:
Verify your address – you’ll need for Google to send you a postcard with a verification code to the business address you post.
Add hours of operation and weekly schedule – you can even add your business hours for holidays.
Upload several different photos of your business – take pictures of the inside and outside of your business. Adding pictures of yourself and your staff is a great bonus as it makes your business more personable.
Attach your website address – you’ll have to use the main URL of your website on your GMB page.
Phone number – include your business’s phone contact
The more information you can give about your business the better. You can also publish posts to get more exposure to your page. They usually expire after a week.
One of the great things about Google My Business is that they will send you an email each month to let you know how many people found your listing. It will give you statistics showing the number of users that clicked over to your site, asked for directions, or called you.
3. Research the Right Keywords for your business
It’s not always easy to find the right keywords for a business. You have to think like your consumer and imagine which words they would use to find your services. There are a few ways you can figure this out:
Autofill suggestions from Google – when you start to type in a phrase or question, Google will autofill the page with the most common searches. If there are many common searches, there will be a dropdown of suggestions.
Related searches – type in the keywords or search terms that you think are commonly associated with your industry. Go to the results page and then scroll to the bottom of the page. You’ll see a section called “related searches”. These are other important terms to target on your site.
Without the right keywords, your target audience won’t be able to find you. You have to give Google as much information as possible about what you do and can offer the reader. When you do that, they will show your page to your ideal customer.
4. Give Your Content a SEO Upgrade
Content is king when it comes to SEO. As cliché as it may sound, it’s still true. There can be no compromise with content. Make sure you produce relevant and accurate content for higher results. Keep in mind your ideal client, and provide valuable and relevant information with those personas in mind.
The way and how often you write content on your site has a lot to do with the position of your page on search results. Remember, Google wants the best possible user experience for all their users so they will promote content that is as user-friendly and engaging as possible.
Here are a few things you should consider doing to upgrade your content:
– Readability score
The readability score is based on the Fleischman reading scale. This determines how hard your content is to read. It’s best to keep your score between 6-7. There are WordPress plugins that can assist you with that.
– Use Header 2 and Header 3 Properly
When you are writing, make sure you create headers and select that when you upload a post on your site. The title of your page or post is automatically coded as Header 1. Think of the Header 1 as the main title, like the title of a book or a study.
Header 2 is like a chapter title. You’ll want to create several Header 2’s throughout your content to make it easier to skim.
Header 3 is like a subsection within the chapter. Use this to bring out points under the main point you are trying to make.
– Write Short Paragraphs and Sentences
As opposed to everything we were taught in school, nowadays people skim articles for an average of 8-9 seconds.
Considering how little time they spend on each webpage, the content we write as to be as easy to consume as possible. Short paragraphs, short sentences, images and graphs to keep the users’ eyes on your content for as long as possible. Google values the amount of time spent on a webpage as well, so keep it entertaining.
– Increase the Length of Your Page
Starting in 2018, Google started preferring pages that were 1,900+ words. The theory is that users want all the information they need on a subject in one place. One would think sending them all over the website and getting more page clicks would be better, but now apparently it’s preferable to put all the information they may need in one place.
It’s important to be detailed and as informative as possible, but make sure you don’t waste your efforts. Publish a mix of shorter and longer posts on your site to increase page rankings. Shorter ones can be posted more often, and the more in-depth ones less frequently.
5. Publish Pages that Target the Local Market
Whether you have a local market or a worldwide audience, you should have pages that target strategic areas. Write each page as though it were a landing page with city-specific information. These pages should be outlined like this:
Short introduction that includes the name of your company, the service you provide and the name of the city you are targeting.
An engaging headline with a promise you make to your customers. Write a short paragraph mentioning why people chose your service.
The next headline should include the name of the service you provide, followed by a 2 or 3 paragraph text explaining what this service is and how it works.
Write a headline using the name of the city or area you are targeting. Write 1-2 paragraphs talking specifically about the city and what’s nearby. If you have a physical location for your business, you can include directions to your location in this section.
Include a call to action headline (CTA) at the end. In this final paragraph, use your company name, the services or products you are offering, and the city you are targeting.
Create landing pages for every area that’s near your business. If you have a global market, consider targeting large cities first and then work your way down.
6. Customize your Meta Description
The meta description is the paragraph that is displayed on a search results page. You will want to write a custom description of the page or blog post you publish. In this description, make sure you use the keywords you are trying to target on your page.
When you write the description, include enough information to help the reader determine if your page will answer their question. Your descriptions can be no longer than 158 characters. Any longer than that and the description will run off the page.
If you use images in your articles, it is also very helpful to use the alt-text option to improve keyword density.
7. Get the Best Backlinks for your Website
A backlink is when another site links back to yours. It’s important to note that not all backlinks are valued the same way by Google. If you get a lot of links on fishy or spam websites or on websites that also feature these links, it can actually hurt your page rankings.
One of the ways you can do this is by adding your site to business directories. You can find local directories by searching for “business directory in your city”.
8. Link your Website to Google Analytics and Google Search Console
It’s important that you have Google Analytics and the Google Search Console. You can learn a lot about your business and your consumer habits from these resources. The analytics will show you information such as:
Search terms that brought a visitor to your site
Which pages and posts are getting the most traffic
Links clicked from your site
This information will help you know what efforts are working and what else can be improved. You might be surprised at the demographics you are attracting and what your page is ranking for. Whatever pages are getting the most traffic, you should update with more calls to action and valuable information.
9. Put Together a Website that’s Easy to Use
You can drive all the traffic on the internet to your site, but if its user experience is terrible it won’t convert. The information on your site should be easy to locate and intuitive. Make your CTA buttons as accessible as possible.
Other things you should consider adding to your page:
Easy to read content
A simple to understand navigation menu
Customize the 404 pages to include top posts
This is also where fast load times are important. Every page that you click on should load within 3 seconds. Otherwise, the chances of a user abandoning your page increase, even if they wanted to know what you had to say.
10. Strategic Use of Keywords in your Content
Every page on your website should focus on the keywords you are trying to rank for. Make sure you go in and update your old content to reflect current keyword strategies. For example, keyword stuffing used to be a common practice that Google penalizes now.
In order to do this in a balanced way, you’ll need to make sure your keywords appear in these places:
Another header on the page
Title of the image
Last paragraph of the page
It’s important that you keep your keyword density between 3%-5%. If it is too low, it will be hard to rank from the keywords used. If it is too high, you could get penalized by Google. If you have a penalty, it will show up in the Google Search Console.
Ensure all the images used are fully optimized with alt tag and title tags. Perform keyword research and use a blend of low/medium/high difficult keywords when titling and tagging your images.
You can research what other SEO practices could be relevant to your business. Google is also constantly updating and improving their ranking system so it’s in your best interest to always stay on top of the situation.