A business’s website will only be successful if people can find it. It doesn’t matter if the goal is to increase sales, build a mailing list of potential leads or better communicate what services your company provides, if people aren’t able to easily find your website, then not much else matters.
That’s where search engine optimization comes in. Your business or organization needs to be on the first page of search results on websites like Google for anyone to truly find it. A solid, well-planned strategy for search engine optimization, or SEO, is what allows that to happen.
If you want the right people to find your business’s website, then you need to invest in improving your website’s SEO and search engine rankings.
Why your business should invest in SEO
SEO drives results. As we mentioned above, those results could be better sales figures, more customers signing up for a newsletter or more new customers finding your website via Google or another search engine.
But there are many facets of a good SEO strategy, including auditing, keyword research, content marketing and more. With each facet working in sync, your website should begin to increase its search engine rankings and deliver the results and goals you desire.
How do you get from a website that’s lagging behind in SEO to one that gets in front of more potential customers? Well, here are a few strategies for how to take the next step with your website’s SEO and improve both search engine rankings and website visitor numbers.
1. Identify relevant keywords
Keywords are the backbone of any SEO strategy. Identify specific, targeted keywords that people may search for when looking for a business, product or service like the one you provide.
You want to put yourself in people’s minds a bit and think carefully about what someone might type into a search engine that could lead them to your website. Consider phrases or questions, too, not just individual words.
Once you have identified those keywords and phrases, use those in domain names, URLs, page titles and page headings. Beyond that, you will want to include the keywords and phrases in each piece of content on your website, which brings us to the next tip.
2. Publish regular, relevant content
If keywords are the backbone of SEO, then content is the body built on that foundation. In fact, one could make the argument that content is even more important than simply having keywords themselves present on a site.
Search engines will reward websites that employ keyword-rich content that is useful, relevant and updated regularly with better rankings in their search results.
Remember: When trying to determine content to put on your site, you want to include content that is relevant to your business or organization. Of course, this should also include the keywords and phrases you have identified.
Finally, quality matters. Don’t let sloppy writing or an ineffective marketing message turn off potential customers.
3. Start linking more often
Did you know that using outbound and inbound links to other credible websites can help boost the search rankings for both websites?
Outbound links to other websites can improve your credibility and help show readers that you have done the research and know what you are talking about. Inbound links, on the other hand, also build credibility by showing users (and search engines that crawl your site) that you have a bevvy of relevant, useful information located on your own site.
4. Use alt text with images
Many people used to use alt text primarily as an accessibility feature. Alt text is the invisible text that describes an image to blind users who are using screen readers.
But adding alt text, or alt tags, also serves as an easy SEO boost. Google looks favorably on accessible websites, but that text is another area of your website that can include your carefully researched keywords and phrases. Google, and other search engines, will read that alt text like all the other content found on your site and use that to help determine how relevant and useful the site or page itself is to searchers.
5. Get rid of broken links and duplicate content
While search engines have certain factors they want to see in a website, they also have factors that can be detrimental to search rankings. Chief among these are broken links, or 404 errors, and duplicate content.
A 404 error is what pops up when a user clicks on a link to a page or resource on a website and the server is unable to find it. This could be an old web page or blog post that, for whatever reason was deleted, or a link that has a typo in it. These errors should be cleaned up or search rankings could be harmed.
Search engines will also ding websites for duplicate content. While it may seem like a good idea to be repetitive in order to get more keywords on your site, Google – and anyone who finds your site – will actually see this needlessly redundant. As a result, you could see search rankings decrease due to too much of this problem on your site.
6. Commit to speed
Fast websites make for happier visitors. A happy visitor will spend more time on your website. This is why you should do your best to commit to ensuring your website loads as quickly as possible and page speeds allow visitors to browse headache-free.
What does this have to do with SEO? Well, it matters to Google. If your website’s pages load too slowly, Google may push your site down its rankings.
To improve website speed, research and choose carefully when considering a web host or platform for your site.
Our SEO experts deliver measurable results
The strategies we have outlined above can be done by just about anyone. To see results even faster, it may be a good idea to call in the experts.
At Emagine, our team is always keeping tabs on SEO best practices so that our clients can see better search engine rankings and more visitors to their websites. From there, the content we create for our clients delivers even more results in the areas of sales and lead generation.