Six Simple Ways to Increase SEO

Did you know 75% of online searchers never get past the first page of search results? Ranking on the first page of search results isn’t just ideal, but essential. And search engine optimization is the way to do it.

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is vital to your business. It’s how users discover your website. SEO done right can increase visibility and search performance resulting in more organic website traffic. It’s important to understand what it is, how to implement it, and what it can do for you.

Here we break it down into seven simple steps to help your business develop an SEO strategy. Or these tactics can even serve as a quick refresher if you’ve already begun the process of making sure your website is optimized. Since the overwhelming majority of searchers begin their search on Google, we’ll start there.

Laying the SEO Groundwork
Before you begin researching keywords and developing a strategy, we recommend setting up Google Search Console and Google Analytics. With Search Console, you can start to understand your audience better, and Analytics helps gain insights on your site traffic.

SIX SIMPLE WAYS TO INCREASE SEO

1. RESEARCH KEY WORDS. Defining your keywords is a multistep process, and without a strategy in place, your conversion rate could suffer. Tools like Google Keyword Planner or Keywords Everywhere can help find keywords used when searching. The most important thing, though, is to find keywords that are relevant to your audience. It’s important to know what your customers are looking for and then give them what they need.

    • Define your audience.
    • Research competition
    • Utilize long-tail keywords (those that consist of three to five words), more on that here.
    • Finalize your list of keywords and start placing them throughout your site, paying close attention to titles, headers, subheads, and body text.

2. SUBMIT YOUR SITEMAP. A sitemap is just that – a map of your website that helps search engines navigate your content. This list of URLs makes sure your site’s main content gets crawled and indexed.

3.  CREATE GREAT CONTENT FOR YOUR WEBSITE. Not just content you think is great either. Create valuable, useful, quality content that meets the needs of your customers. Your keyword research will help you formulate your content which should be the cornerstone of your site.

4.  MAKE YOUR WEBSITE MOBILE-FRIENDLY. Your website needs to look and perform just as well on smartphones and tablets as it does on their desktop. The majority of searches happen from people’s phones, with a whopping 89% of people searching for a local business on their phones weekly.

5.  IMPROVE META TAGS. These are the parts of the webpage that tell search engines about a site. Page and post titles and descriptions show up on the results page when a user searches for a particular word or phrase. A good rule of thumb is to keep your meta titles between 50 to 60 characters and your meta descriptions between 150 to 160. Make sure to include your keywords to boost SEO. And don’t forget about your images! Optimize those as well by using alt text and descriptive file names.

6.  SPEED MATTERS. So speed up your site. If it takes too long to load, people will leave. Experts say that you’ll lose 40% of your visitors if your website takes more than three seconds to load. Don’t get caught up in a specific number though, just aim to make yours as fast as possible. Some quick ways to do this: compress images, delete unnecessary plugins, and reduce redirects.

Now what?
The best thing to do is simply start. Don’t get overwhelmed! Take what you’ve learned and implement just one thing at a time, knowing that you are on your way to increasing your website rankings. Then make sure to track and measure so you can see what’s working and what you should adjust. SEO isn’t a one and done type deal, but rather a vital part of your marketing plan that will evolve over time.