You’ve had a website expert create a beautiful new website for your company, and you’re told it has been “optimized,” meaning search engine optimization (commonly known as SEO). But how do you know if it really has been totally and properly optimized?
You’ve had a website for a year or two, and you’re fairly happy with it, but you think perhaps it could be attracting more of your ideal clients.
Google uses many tools and algorithms that are updated regularly to determine the order that websites are displayed in search results. But here are some proven ways to boost your website’s Google search results.
1. Create a quality site with quality content.Content is still king in the search engine optimization world, and an overall high quality website is critically important. Google likes to see lots of relevant content, with key words used in context. Select keywords (including geographical keywords) that will be relevant to your customers. For example, if you are a residential and commercial electrician in Mt. Airy, MD, but you served customers throughout a larger region, you may say:
Full service electrical contractor located in Mount Airy and also serving Carroll County, Frederick, Hagerstown Maryland.
Use your key words wisely, but don’t “stuff” your page with too many keywords used in spammy ways or Google will penalize you.
It goes without saying that you should have a professional designer create a site that mirrors today’s trends – this is not the time to hire your nephew whose day job has nothing to do with technology. Your website designer should be able to explain to you in layman’s terms how she will optimize your site “behind the scenes” with keywords, title tags, and Meta descriptions.
If you can’t hire a designer, we suggest using WordPress. They have basic and upgraded templates, lots of tutorials, and the Yoast SEO plugin.
2. Use Google Adwords to find what search terms people are looking for. Use the Keyword ideas tab, enter your possible keywords, and it will tell you how often people are searching your terms, what the competition is like, and suggest some alternatives that are also frequently searched. Find and use the most popular keywords that are relevant to your product or service.
3. Incorporate interesting and appropriate images. Find and/or create images that match your text and improve the user’s experience on your site. There are many stock photo sites where you can purchase inexpensive images – one of our favorites is fotolia.com. Also build up a file of your own photos of employees, customers (get permission), events, products and services that you can use on not only your website but your Facebook page, Twitter, etc.
When you upload a photo to a page, increase its SEO value by adding a Remove featured imagecaption that contains the keyword(s) for that page, as well as alt text with the key word(s).
4. If possible, make your most important keyword part of your domain name, and as the first word in the domain if possible. For example, the name of our agency is Marketing @ Work. That URL was not available, but we were able to use marketing in our URL by taking the name www.dianedemarcomarketing.com.
Also make use of descriptive and valid URLs for each page of your website. Use names that tell search engines and users what they are, such as: https://www.dianedemarcomarketing.com/case-studies-successful-projects/.
Headers Increase your Search Engine Optimization
Headers are another way you can increase your SEO – here’s an example: http://www.launchingcollegesuccess.com/about-dianne. Your web person can help with this.
5. Use your social media accounts to direct traffic to your website. Social media Likes and Shares are taken into consideration with
Google, particularly with relevant topics. One way of doing this is to occasionally reference an article or blog post on your website, and include a screenshot and link to take followers to that particular article or post.
You could also have a portion of a blog post on your Facebook or LinkedIn page, and then have a link for people to finish reading it on your website. But be careful not to do this too often – social media is about being social, not selling!
(Also be sure to check and respond to all of your social media reviews. If they’re poor, apologize and do what you can to right the wrong. If they’re good, thank the reviewer and then re-tweet and repost them!)
Bonus: If you create a new website, or update a current one with a new URL, be sure to set up 301 re-directs from all of your old pages to your new ones to maintain the search engine optimization “juice” you’ve built up through the years!
This blog post just “brushes the surface” of SEO! If you’d like to meet with us to discuss your website, call us at 301-696-8886 or email [email protected]
Watch for future posts and here’s a comprehensive guide from Google on getting started.
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