As a business owner in this increasingly digital age, it’s essential that your company has a strong, modern, and engaging online presence. These days, outdated websites with dull colors and designs won’t cut it; when you’re competing with countless other brands selling similar products, you need to cultivate an online presence that will grab the consumer and sell your product.
But equally as important as your website itself is the SEO strategy used to take people there. SEO, which stands for “search engine optimization,” means the process of upgrading your site to increase its visibility for relevant searches. In other words, SEO makes it more likely for your company to appear in a Google search, which inevitably leads to more attention and an increased probability that you’ll attract paying customers to your site. While improving your SEO strategy requires a bit of time and effort, it’s super low cost and totally worth it; the combination of a high-quality website and a good SEO strategy is a real power duo. Here are some SEO strategy tips that will do wonders for your website traffic and your business’ income.
1. Do an SEO Audit on Your Company’s Website
An “audit” sounds like a fancy word, but it’s not nearly as complicated as you might think. It’s merely an examination of what you’re doing in order to figure out where you currently stand and how you can do it better. You can pay an SEO company to audit your website for you, but it’s cheaper and equally as effective to do it yourself; however, it can sometimes be helpful to use an SRE — or Site Reliability Engineering — service to make sure your website is running properly.
To do an SEO audit, you will examine your overall site performance and create goals based on your analysis. What pages are getting the most clicks, and which ones might be lacking engagement? Understanding this information can help you figure out what you’re doing well and what you can do better, and it’s an important first step in implementing a successful SEO strategy.
2. Conduct Keyword Research
A huge part of SEO revolves around keywords, which is why keyword research is an important next step in the SEO implementation process. Keyword research, however, is easy to do, and just requires a few analytic Google searches. Typing keywords relevant to your business into Google and identifying which ones are most popular will help you understand what customers are most interested in. For example, if you’re a women’s bathing suit company, you might start by typing in “bathing suits” to the search bar and seeing what Google fills in from there. Make a list of the most popular results so that you can include those phrases in posts on your website.
3. Check Your Headings
When it comes to SEO, using headings to your benefit can be a huge advantage over competitors. Not only is it a good idea to include keywords and phrases in your headers in order to attract customers, but your headers should spell out pretty clearly what your post or page is about. When you have a potential customer skimming your blog, you want their desires reflected in your content. When you have the keywords your target audience is using in your headers, your consumer base is much more likely to be intrigued and to keep reading.
4. Use Meta Descriptions That Include Keywords
If you’re a business owner who has never heard of a meta description, it’s time to learn. Meta descriptions are one-to-three sentence descriptions of your page that will show up under the header when your company appears in a Google search, and their existence increases the likelihood of clicks infinitely. Keep them short and use only a couple of keywords, but make them compelling enough that they stand out among the sea of other Google results.
5. Add Alt Text to Images
When you upload a photo to your website, the story the picture tells might seem obvious to you. Maybe it’s from a company luncheon where the CEO gave a great speech or from an awards ceremony in which your business won a big honor. Or, maybe it’s a stock photo that you thought was relevant to your blog post. Either way, the average customer browsing your site might not immediately understand the photo, which is why alt text is so important. The text should be descriptive and include important keywords but should be no more than one or two sentences. This way, your photo works in conjunction with engaging yet concise descriptions to tell a good story.
6. Link to Other Posts on Your Site
You want all parts of your website to be intriguing for customers, which is why linking to other pages or posts on your website is useful. It helps search engines create an accurate sitemap, and also helps your audience uncover more of your content and get to know you better. Make sure to use descriptions that give readers an accurate sense of what they’ll find if they choose to click on your links, and make sure the links are woven into your posts naturally. You want your audience to see you as competent, savvy, and authentic.
7. Don’t Overuse Keywords
This seems extremely counterintuitive based on everything else in this list, which has hammered home the keyword aspect of SEO strategy (which is important!). However, you want to make your page optimized without being overbearing. Don’t force keywords into sentences to a point where your content becomes confusing or even illegible. For example, if you’re writing a short meta description, don’t use every relevant keyword from your keyword research list. Instead, choose one or two that are impactful and fit seamlessly into your blurb.
The bottom line? SEO strategy is a way for you to show you can solve problems for your audience; you want to prove that you can predict your customers’ desires and give them what they need. If SEO implementation is done right, your clicks will soar and your engagement will climb to levels you never thought possible.