Marketing Mythbuster: You Don’t Need Expensive Software to Improve Your Website’s SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a fickle, ever-changing part of websites and search engines like Google. Yes, using SEO software can boost you to the first page of search results, but there are some easy SEO basics that will always be relevant and easy to implement (tedious, but easy) on your website.
If you’re an SEO beginner and bootstrapping your digital strategy, this is a great place to start. You’ll find that in addition to SEO, these suggestions contribute to the overall well-being of your website.
Publish and update content regularly.
Having an active website is great for many reasons, one being SEO. Google constantly “crawls” the web, indexing each new URL it finds to include in search results. Create and stick to a cadence for your blog and website updates.
Monthly newsletters, weekly blog posts, quarterly event calendar updates, and updating old content on an annual basis will tell search engines that your website is active and up-to-date.
Research and update keywords every quarter.
Keeping up with popular search terms and blog topics in your industry will help you create attractive content, but a little keyword research can take you even further. Keywords are the words and phrases searchers type into Google and other search engines to find relevant webpages. Selecting the right keywords and using them in your content will make it more likely Google will show your site in the search results for those keywords.
Google AdWords Keyword Planner is a free tool that will help you research and decide which keywords to use by evaluating how keywords might perform based on historical statistics and traffic forecasts. Learn more about how to use Google’s Keyword Planner here.
After determining your top 10-20 keywords, use those keywords to drive your marketing and digital content, from your blog posts and website URLs to social media hashtags and Facebook ads. Use the keywords in page titles, page headings, link text and body copy. (Tip: Using keywords to create search-friendly URLs is recommended.)
Every 3 months, go back to the Keyword Planner for an update, and implement the updated keywords on your website wherever possible
Add a “Contact” page to your website.
Sharing your company contact information openly on your website shows Google that your website represents a legitimate company. It’s also the only way for online visitors to know how to reach you, so responding is a priority.
After setting up a contact form, you can add a Google Analytics goal to document which visitors complete the contact form. This will help you determine which traffic sources and content are driving visitors to become leads.
Be sure your company contact information is accurate in Google Maps search results, as well. You can create your Google business profile and update it here.
Include inbound and outbound links to other content.
Search engines like what websites include quality inbound and outbound links to resourceful content inside its own content. You’ll get positive link karma for sharing outbound content, and you’ll be perceived as a more credible source.
These links will need to be monitored and updated as necessary, especially the outbound links. Broken links are not a positive reflection of your expertise.
Optimize media file sizes.
The quicker your website loads, the higher it will rank in search engines. Many users upload large photo or graphic files to websites thinking that bigger is better, but if the images cause your site to load slowly, you are likely to lose visitors.
Ask your web designer or developer the optimal image and video sizes for all images, and resize media to be slightly larger than that size. Learn how to speed up website load time by optimizing images.
BONUS: Yoast SEO for WordPress users
If your website is built on WordPress, SEO just got easier for you. Yoast SEO measures and grades the SEO quality of each page and post on your WordPress site and allows you to edit metadata to improve SEO on those pages. WordPress also automatically creates search-friendly URLs for each page and post based on the page title. It’s a reminder that SEO doesn’t have to be difficult.
Overall, SEO is more complex than just these components, but don’t miss the forest for the trees. Each and every simple improvement matters, and small measures will add up over time.
Would you rather have us do it for you? Contact us today!