It is imperative for your business to have a website that finds itself at the top of major search sites like Google and Bing. Why? Social media marketing is hot but online search is king. If you’re not showing up at the top, or at least on the first page, you’re missing the opportunity to drive potential business traffic to your site – more than that – you’re missing the chance of being discovered by new clients.
The question then becomes – what do you do to optimize your website? For the tech savvy or for those who are familiar with WordPress (I highly recommend WordPress – you cannot beat it for SEO), the following tips can be accomplished without too much trouble or time – (For those who are not tech savvy or do not have a WordPress site, just give this list to your website master):
Search Engines. You should always submit your website to as many major search engines as possible. The fact of the matter is there are literally hundreds of search engine directories out there. My advice is to only use the free ones – they work just as well as the paid search engines directories. It can be a little time consuming but it is definitely worth it in the long run. You can use this Free Web Submission tool to help guide you through the process.
URL’s. Keywords are essential. Does your URL have searchable keywords in it? Now, more than ever, your clients are using keywords to search for your business. This could include your name, your city’s name or even terms related to your business. Google provides a free tool to help you make your website more searchable.
Title, Tag, Body and Meta Description. Do your website pages have unique keyword phrases included in the title, tag, body and meta description? If not, you should choose a keyword phrase for ALL pages of your site and include them. One thing to note: meta descriptions should include keywords and phrases – not the page title. If you’re confused on how to do this, just ask your website person to help you.
Write for your audience not for SEO. You should always include specific industry related keywords and phrases in your content but make sure that you aren’t writing just for SEO – this will turn your existing and potential clients away from reading your content. Content is one of the key factors in building SEO – the more you have the better your search rankings will be.
Hot off the Press Topics. Is there something exciting happening in your industry? If so, Google LOVES new content. Try adding keywords associated with the hot topic to a page or a post on your website. Whatever the topic is, make sure it is relevant.
Formatting. What is formatting? If your blog looks a bit boring, then you need to format it. Knowing how to format a blog can improve visual impact and readability: You can break up long blocks of text, add styling headers and line breaks, and use paragraphs to improve the flow of posts. You can also emphasize text by using italics and bold.
Images. Are your images optimized for the web? If your images do not load quickly, Google will not give them priority. High resolution images can hurt your SEO. You should always add ‘alt’ tags with keywords for every photo you upload onto your website.
Outbound Links. What are outbound links? They are hyperlinks that you create within your content. Two types of outbound links are links that drive traffic back to your own site and outbound links that drive traffic to other sites. Why would you want to include a link to another website? Linking to other websites is a good way to increase SEO. Note: Make sure you are linking to another high-ranking website and that the link opens in a new window – that way your website is still open and keeps your visitors on your website.
Anchor Your Text. Anchor Text is the word or phrase that people click on, in order to follow any Links you add into your written text. Once you have made your Anchor Text into a click-able Link, it usually shows up as Blue Underlined text – like the one we created for “how to format a blog”
Incorporate Your Blog. Does your blog have the same URL as your website? If not, you are not benefitting from the SEO your blog posts are creating. If you have a blog, it should ALWAYS live on the same URL as your website.
Social Sharing. With all the different social media sites now available to business owners, you should have social sharing options for each of your pages and posts. There are many social sharing plugins that work with WordPress. Remember, every time someone shares your page, it creates a backlink and increases your SEO.
Google Analytics. Every page should have Google Analytics tracking code – WordPress has a plugin for this! By adding analytics to your website, you can study how your website is rising in the search engines. If you’re not seeing any improvement, then make a few tweaks.
SEO Plugins. The best way to add quality SEO to your WordPress website is by adding one of their plugins. Personally, I love All in One SEO but there are others out there as well – Platinum SEO and SEO by Yoast are just a few.
Sounds simple right? Just dive in – get your feet wet and try submitting your website to the directories. Take it one page at a time…
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