Search engine optimization (SEO) is a lot like a relationship—they can be complicated, they’re often changing, and if you try and cheat the system you will find all your belongings on your front lawn, probably on fire. But also like relationships, if you work on your SEO, you can have results everyone else envies (just don’t be that person who’s always bragging about it). Marketing agencies also offer search engine optimization services, and if you don’t have time, they will likely be your best bet for improving your search results ranking. However, you can also work on SEO yourself without getting too technical, but how do you set yourself up for success while avoiding the pitfalls? Read on to learn five tips and techniques you can use to set yourself apart from other businesses.
This will save you a ton of time in the long run trying to find the best metrics to monitor for your site. Google Analytics is free and offers a ton of measurables for you to keep track of your SEO results. Google even offers free training and certifications for getting acquainted with the platform so you can dive in right away.
One of the most satisfying feelings browsing the internet is when a website loads almost instantaneously, and Google loves it too. So much so it’s one of the bigger factors when it ranks websites on a search results page. So how do you make your website faster, and do you even need to? To find out, head to Google’s PageSpeed Insights and plug in your website. You’ll get a rating between one and one hundred with one hundred being the best; if your website is below fifty, that’s bad news. You should look into fixing your speed by applying some of the suggestions provided with your score to see what’s bringing you down.
This one will likely be more challenging and potentially require a developer or coder to fix depending on how your site was set up. However, making your site mobile-friendly can produce huge rewards once fixed. While mobile hasn’t quite overtaken desktop as the primary way to search the web, it’s definitely on the rise and Google places a high value on mobile-friendly sites. You can check if your site is mobile-friendly using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
Google wants to keep results for any search as relevant as possible and that means local SEO has become hugely important. You know, the local searches like “cheap sushi near me”, “antacid Kelowna”, and “medical clinic open today” (totally unrelated searches). You’ve probably noticed, when you search for a specific service, you’re sometimes given a specific business that appears on the right-hand side of the page on desktop, or directly below your search on mobile—these are Google My Business (GMB) listings.
If you haven’t already set up your GMB you should do so, and as soon as possible. This also means “claiming” your site so Google knows it’s you. Plus, while you’re tweaking it, make sure to set it up with all the relevant info about your company. You’ll also see reviews for your business under GMB, be able to set up a link to your website, display hours of operation, pictures of your business, promotions, and more. Optimizing all of this will boost the SEO for your website and make your business more visible online.
Quality is one of the most important factors when getting the attention of your audience in 2019 (as we mention in our 2019 marketing trends blog), and it will also help with your SEO. However, Google also loves “newness” or “freshness” of content, so updating your content regularly will also help you rank higher. Some of the most important parts when crafting content that can help you improve your search results ranking include research, writing clear headlines and descriptions, and not shying away from the technical sections.
Composing well-crafted, thoroughly-researched content proves you understand your industry. Good content can help in driving more traffic to your site and contribute to boosting your ranking.
Writing cryptic headlines meant more for Google than your audience is only going to confuse people. Don’t forget it’s people that are the ones clicking on your links, not Google. While it’s important to incorporate keywords into your content, it’s also just as important to keep people in mind when you write.
In terms of the technical side of it all, at the very minimum, you should make sure all your meta-titles and meta-descriptions are coherent and make sense. These are the titles and descriptions that appear to Google describing the page and content, and what you see when browsing a search engine results page. Adding alt text (text describing the image if it doesn’t load) to images to improve how Google sees them can also help your SEO.
Search engine optimization can quickly get complicated, but using our tips above to improve your own score should get you on your way to ranking higher in search engine results. If you don’t have the time or are still feeling lost, we can help you improve your SEO. Head to our contact page and get in touch with us to learn more.