How to Improve Your SEO Even if You’re a Beginner
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is important. You know that, but if you’ve been blogging for your business and still aren’t sure if you’re moving the needle, this post will help point you in the right direction. (For more info on what WE can do for your SEO, head over here!)
A few simple actions can drastically improve your SEO and increase organic traffic to your site. For those who aren’t familiar with the term, organic traffic is the opposite of paid traffic, which you get by paying for ads that when clicked send visitors to your site. Not only is organic traffic free, it automatically attracts a higher level of customer who’s more engaged to solve their problem. On average, organic traffic will visit more pages, have a longer session duration and engage more with your call-to-actions.
SEO doesn’t have to be as hard as it seems
Search Engine Optimization is creating your online content in a way that allows search engines to find you more easily. This way, when one of your ideal customers types something in a search engine, like Google, they’ll be directed to your website more often.
This makes knowing your audience one of the foundations of successful SEO. When you know your audience and you’ve done research, you can create content with a higher degree of certainty. You can use common words and phrases they use when searching— keywords—throughout your site.
When search engines see that your content closely aligns with what people are searching for, you rank higher in the search results. Because a search engine, like Google, wants to provide searchers the best information it can. And people are more likely to click on those first few results that Google presents them with. So, bottom line— you want to rank higher.
Now let’s do it!
Find a way to stand out
Start by researching keywords you can rank for. A good tool to use is SEMRush. This allows you to see what keywords you’re already ranking for so that you could build content around those since you have a bit of a head start. Provided, they are ones you WANT to use to generate traffic. Because if they aren’t… then you need to look at the existing content on your page and determine if it’s attracting the right people to your site.
Now, you don’t want to go too broad with your keywords because the competition would be so stiff that you wouldn’t have much of a chance of ranking for them. So, choose narrow topics for keywords or long-tail keywords, which are just phrases that contain a keyword. An example might be “AgTech marketing agencies in Des Moines, Iowa”. AgTech would be a keyword as is marketing and this phrase also includes a location-specific one— Des Moines.
Once you’ve narrowed down the keywords you could rank for, explore which sites are on the first page of the search results. Read through their content, and see how you might write something along the same lines but make it better. Since Google rewards longer content, you could write a 2,500 word blog post and incorporate more images and examples to make the content more thorough than your competitors.
I know we just said Google rewards longer content, but when creating content for your site, remember that quality is more important than quantity. Many companies are not aware of this and pump out tons of content that isn’t all that helpful and that doesn’t serve much purpose.
After you’ve written valuable content around the keyword you want to rank for, ask others to share it. BuzzSumo is a great tool for insight on what type of content gets shared the most and who’s sharing it. Some of the most-shared content on social are List Posts and Ultimate Guides. It will help your SEO to take advantage of this because Google rewards content that gets shared often.
You can also go back and rewrite old content incorporating your keywords (or synonyms) and update headlines to include them as well. Utilize the H1, H2, etc., heading tags appropriately. H1 tells search engines that this is the most important information on the page and H2 and so forth are what each section is about and decrease in importance as you go.
What if there were tools that could help you optimize?
Actually, there is! You can add plug-ins to your site that help you improve your SEO. For example, a “related content” plug-in will keep visitors on your site by offering other content for visitor to access. And the WordPress SEO by Yoast plug-in looks for keywords that show up in your content, how often they show up, and it provides suggestions on how to improve your SEO.
A common tip the plug-in will give you is a reminder to add title tags and meta descriptions. A title tag is up to 72 characters and is statement of what your site is about. It’s best to be specific with these as something generic like “Welcome Page”, doesn’t differentiate your site.
A meta description is a 150-160 character summary describing the content of a web page in more detail and it, along with the title tag, is one of the first things people will read about your site. The meta description should include keywords and entice someone to click on your content rather than someone else’s. Although this doesn’t directly impact your search engine ranking, it can help people who do advanced searches to narrow their selection down to your content, if it’s the best fit based on your description. This improve your click-through rate.
You should also add image alt tags, basically a description of the images you’ve used. This helps Google identify what they are for the visually impaired and also in instances where the image does not display.
Keep people on your site longer by providing more value
Internal links are hyperlinks that direct a reader to other content within your site. This is a great way to keep visitors on your site longer and provide the most value you can. Like for instance, want to know more about whether a website redesign is right for you? Of course you do!
If you link to reputable external sites, this builds your site’s credibility too. And speaking of credibility, it helps to prominently display your trust seals, symbols, and badges. Also, make your contact info easy to find. Showcase your site security as well.
Make sure your website design is up-to-date
Think about this. If Google sends a visitor to your site and they quickly click away, you have a high bounce rate and Google concludes that you must not have provided valuable info. Otherwise, the visitor would have stayed. Therefore, they wouldn’t continue to send someone to your site.
Why do visitors click away? Because they can’t find what they’re looking for or they don’t like what they see. There are two key reasons for this. One, your website design is outdated and unappealing. And two, there is no attention to UX, or user experience. For example, if your website isn’t responsive and easily viewed on mobile, a lot of visitors will leave the page.
It’s important to make sure your website isn’t turning visitors off.
Before you apply these SEO tactics, create goals for your business
Before you tackle any of these tips, make sure you create goals to measure your improvement. The whole point of optimizing for search engines isn’t just to get traffic. It’s to increase traffic so that you have a better chance of hitting your business goals.
Here are some goals you can track:
- Email sign-ups
- Contact form submissions
Small tweaks to your website can greatly improve your SEO
If you don’t have an expert that handles your SEO, these tips will help you level-up and improve traffic flow to your site quickly and easily.
However, if you’d like to have an SEO expert to run an analysis on your site and provide suggestions, contact DWebware today.