When clients ask me if I can build them a website, I always ask them why they want a website. This...
How to Start Integrating SEO on Your Website
You’ve spent weeks putting your website together. Everything looks and works great, and now what? Nobody shows up. That’s the worst feeling in the world — spending tons of time on something that simply doesn’t translate to much of a result. That’s where SEO comes in. It’s the key to getting your website noticed on search engines and is the make or break of organic website traffic. It’s all the rage in the world of content, but most people don’t know to integrate it into their website. We’re here to fix that. Here are a few tips to start integration SEO into your website.
Find Your Keywords
At the end of the day, the very backbone of SEO is based on keywords. It’s exactly how your current and future customers will likely find you. Without keywords, SEO wouldn’t exist, and neither would search engines. With that said, the very first step to the process would be determining a list of keywords that are most connected and relevant to what your business does.
One way to this is by putting yourself into the shoes of your customer personas — what would your customers likely be searching on Google in order to find you? If you’re Amazon, and your most common customer persona is a college student, you’d probably be using a lot of words like “House”, “Dorm”, “Apartment”, and “Move-In” throughout your website. There’s also plenty of other resources on keyword searches for SEO.
Create Valuable Content
Provide value for the people who visit your website. In addition to information on your product, often times this comes in the form of a hosting a blog. In fact, the best way to bring a bunch of traffic to your website through SEO efforts is a blog post—offering information to problems related to your website’s solutions. Of course, these posts would include dozens of keywords that are especially important to your business.
Don’t Keyword Stuff
This also doesn’t mean that having hundreds of keywords on a blog post without any meaning will bring your website to the top of Google’s search results. Google’s smarter than that. On factors that include overall traffic, engagement metrics, FB likes, shares, and many others, Google’s search algorithm sifts through websites that don’t distribute valuable content. There’s no getting around this one.
Of course, simultaneously, these blogs need to be optimized to certain keywords as well, so it is incredibly important to identify the target audience you are offering a solution to. Well-implemented SEO/blog posts tend to look a lot like this.
Remember, you are looking to establish yourself as a thought leader and an industry authority while also gaining traffic by having your hands in a wide variety of related keywords that your target audience would be searching for. The best part of this process is that it’s cumulative. Most content will stay relevant for quite awhile, so the more that you create, the more it builds upon itself and increases relevant traffic.
Other Best Practices
Use Proper HTML Tags
When you’re building your website, be sure to use accurate and unique titles for every page of your website’s content. The same goes for the description meta tag, which you have a lot more elbow room for including keywords in. This is super important because when you actually show up on Google, these are the first two things that people will see about you.
Make URLs Simple
This tip sounds super elementary but goes a really long way. If website’s URL’s are simple they’re easier for search engines to data crawl and get you to the top of search results. This is best done by creating clear, simple, and thorough descriptions of the documents used on your website. On the other hand, don’t attempt to throw as many SEO buzzwords on your URLs as possible. Again, search engines are smart. Just do it the right way.
One of the biggest off-site ranking factors is backlinks — links that point to your site from other websites. In the past, it was all about quantity. However, Google has quickly caught on to this strategy and modified their algorithm so that it can now differentiate a reliable link from a questionable link. Brands need to make sure their backlinks come from high-quality sources.
Make Your Site Run Faster
Doing things like developing sites in AMP, using HTTP/2 (vs. the age old HTTP/1.1), transitioning over to https:// and other small iterations of your website will greatly improve how quickly your website runs. A fast website with few functional issues is a huge plus when it comes to SEO. Orphaned pages, Error 404s, etc. slow down the website speed and make it an overall poor experience for the user as well as ruin your SEO. A 100% functional website is a killer move towards becoming SEO integrated — it’s top priority. Here are 5 ways to speed up your website
Test and Repeat
SEO is a very slow process so it can be difficult to observe changes in traffic without keeping a record. Make sure to keep track of traffic changes and performance of specific keywords and respond accordingly.
With SEO becoming increasingly popular and difficult to get into during the midst of the storm, it’s a challenge to get noticed on search engines. Just keep in mind that everything doesn’t happen overnight. It tends to be a long process that takes time to build up.
Try your best to be patient with results, and at least give it a little attention. If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound? If you launch a website and nobody hears about it, did you really launch it? Think about that every time you question if SEO has an ROI.