Search engine optimization, or SEO, is one foundation of controlling your brand’s performance online. Yet, it can seem overwhelming– there is a lot to learn.
But everyone has to start somewhere right?
So, just for you, we put together 10 key things you need to know and apply if you want your website to rank well that you can learn in under 10 minutes.
#1: Know your keywords
The heart of SEO has to do with keywords. These are the words people type into search engines like Google to find the products or services they need.
First, it’s important to know what people type into those search boxes to get to the products and services you sell.
For example, if your company is event planning, you will not use keywords related to grocery stores, makeup, food, etc. Instead some keywords might be:
event planning, planners, plan, events, event management, parties, party planning
You get the idea. All these words relate and stay relevant to your service of event planning and what your company does. So when creating your website, blogging or putting any content out online, think of your keywords, descriptions and titles. Search engines use these terms to rank your site and determine where it appears when people search.
#2: Create optimized pages
Optimization means showing the search engines what you offer. You’ll do this by using the keywords you have researched throughout your page along with a variety of other steps.
One way to optimize your page is to speed it up! Google and search engines punish slow websites that run down speed and take a long time to load because most readers lose interest and bounce.
One way to test your sites speed is Google Speed Insights. These sites will tell you how fast or slow your website is by ranking it on a scale and how to improve your speed rate.
According to Stone Temple in 2018, 58% of site visits came from mobile devices. These mobile devices also made up %43 of total time users spent online.
That is more than half of your views coming from a mobile device meaning your site better be optimized and go mobile friendly. To confirm your site is mobile-friendly you can take Google’s Mobile Friendly Test to make sure it is fully optimized and ready for Google.
#3: Analyze Google searches
It’s important to know how people are searching for your business’s products or services. It’s not always as simple as using your product’s name. It may include location data– especially if they need a service within a specific area.
Google Analytics is a great place to start when looking for how people were directed to your site; organically, direct links or referrals, social, etc. It also has complete session breakdowns, bounce rates, pages views, everything you will need to see your site's activity.
Entrepreneur suggests using SEO Monitor to gather data from Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools) and Google Analytics. Up to 120,000 keywords can be pulled in and analyzed, giving a pretty accurate idea of how people are finding your site, and where you should budget your time and effort in order to increase traffic.
#4: Engage topics related to your niche
Learn more about what people are talking about in your industry. Your goal is not to rehash the information that’s already out there. Instead, you want to ensure you are offering something new and interesting.
Give people a reason to click!
Similar to keyword optimization, you want to talk about topics close to your services or products, creating content that answers questions and provide solutions.
For example, if you are a ticketing company these are a few topics you might want to address:
- Step by step guide for planning an event
- Do you really need a POS system?
- 10 types of equipment you will need for selling tickets.
- 12 reasons why you should use a ticketing software
#5: Build your links
Search engines want to provide their users with the sites that include the most information on the topic they are searching.
To accomplish this, they place a value on the links pointing into the website. If there are links on other websites directing readers to your site, that shows you’re valuable and your information is relevant.
Ways you can increase your link counts across the board are:
- Guest posting
- Content creation
- Social media shares
- Posting on sites similar to Medium and Reddit
- LinkedIn articles
- Sharing links on social groups and forums
#6: Consistency is key!
Consistency is crucial to get recognized by search engines, so never stop putting content online. That means posting on social media, updating your website, bogging, etc.
But how often is enough?
Most experts recommend posting new content three to five times a week, though you can ramp this up over time. It’s important to be active as that is going to help you rank well online.
Everyone has their own routine and what works for them; there is never a set amount or a perfect schedule for when you should be posting online. If you want to build a stronger writing habit we suggest posting at least once every day to start.
If you want to stay relevant and create buzz, posting once a week or monthly isn’t going to cut it and get you the attention you want.
For SEO purposes, the more you have out there the more opportunities for readers to find your content through search engines. However, one high-ranking post will bring you more traffic than 5 or 6 different posts that are just “meh”.
#7: Give your images a name
It’s the little things that count when it comes to SEO. Another way to enhance your online presence is to rename your images.
Go through your website and add details such as descriptions and tags to each image. Incorporate keywords when you can for each image title. Adding descriptive text is a simple way to get a boost to your rankings without having to do much work.
#8: Share on social media
Social media is one of the most valuable tools for you. Once you have a blog and a website, you’ll want to build out social media platforms. These pages help you connect with your audience, share content and build your brand’s personality.
It’s not about the hard sell here. Instead, you want to provide good quality content and help people learn more about your company and the topics surrounding it.
It’s about creating relationships and engagement opportunities for those people you want to be your customer. Sharing on social media is by far the most effective way to build your brand.
#9: Write compelling titles readers can’t resist
Everyone from time to time feels the need to click.
You just have to know what the title is teasing you about. That is one way you can build traffic to your website; create enticing titles. There is no need to be deceptive, but you have to be interesting and stand out. The more compelling your titles are, the more people get to your website.
That boosts your SEO, but it also helps you to get customers to check out your business.
Tips for writing effective descriptions and titles:
Descriptions describe what people are about to read and show below your title on the search engine. This section should be straight to the point and summarize everything that will be addressed, all between 130 - 170 characters.
Titles are a different story.
I would say titles are the most important step in creating content that will be reachable online. The title is a quick way to tell readers what the page/article is all about.
When creating the title you want to think about what the users will search or type in when looking for the information you are addressing.
- Your title should be short and easy to read and digest. The worst thing is having a search engine cut off your title because it is too long.
- Your title should include the main keywords you are using for that page. With that in mind, keep your main keyword in the beginning or close to the beginning of the title. For example, if you are writing an article on your event planning business and how cheap your services are your title might be, “An Affordable Party Planning Service”; short and to the point.
- Understand your audience and what they would type in to search for something. “An Affordable Party Planning Service” is a great idea for a title that is easily searchable. If you are looking for a cheaper party planner, what would you type in to search that? Ask yourself what they would type in to search a specific topic and try to match a title close to that.
#10: Stay relevant
Work hard to ensure the content you post is relevant. It needs to be new and interesting information of value to your website’s most likely readers and market. Stay ahead of the trend.
You don’t want to focus on sales here, but you want to offer industry information. Keep your content interesting enough that industry leaders want to read it.
Stay relevant with your content. Meaning keep up with the latest trends, what people are searching and how you can be their solution. A great place to start is through Reddit. Reddit is the hub for mass discussions, content ratings, and top news.
Throughout this platform you can search keywords relevant to your services and see all the latest topics regarding that subject.
Doing so will show you questions, concerns or trends people are talking about that you might want to address in an article to make that subject more searchable and known online.