First, let’s address the question what is SEO? SEO, or Search Engine Optimization is a strategy in which you try to rank your website high in the search engine results pages (or SERPs). There are over 1 billion websites published though, so how do you ensure yours stands out?
Let’s take a high-level look at 5 areas you can improve upon right now!
Is your content routinely being updated and kept current? Search engines, such as Google, like fresh and relevant content, just as people do. People don’t like to read the same stale news over and over again, nor do they like to visit websites that don’t grab their attention and answer their questions and then some.
Your goal should be to always provide your visitor with unique content that they can only receive from visiting your website. Google likes it when you can give your visitors something valuable (and relevant…they keyword is always relevant).
What are your competitors posting? Are you able to top that? Try to post consistent high quality topic such as blog posts, videos or podcasts.
Google loves when other authority sites (aka well-known and reputable websites) link to your website. It shows that your site must have great content if other people are linking to it.
Links that are linking TO your website are known as backlinks.
There are various ways to obtain backlinks including guest blog posting, getting featured in publications and creating awesome content that your audience won’t be able to help but link to.
Another way (that some people unfortunately resort to) is by buying backlinks. Google and search engines will not tolerate websites who purchase backlinks. They (search engines) will actually penalize your website if it considers your backlinks to be too spammy and bought.
You want to make sure your backlinks are coming from websites that provide unique and valuable content, and that they are appropriately linking your site into their content.
What kind of searches are your customers using to find your business on search engines (or what kind of searches you would you LIKE your customers to be finding you for)?
If you don’t know the answer to this question or aren’t sure, you will need to find out. It’s as easy as asking a customer “hey, what did you search for to try and find ____ (the products or services you offer)?” You’ll hopefully begin to notice a pattern of keywords they are searching for.
You’ll want to craft your website so that these searchable keywords appear in your content. If you are a clothing store, it will be hard to rank for “clothes”, but if you’re a clothing store in Calgary, Alberta and you’re selling dance clothes, it will be easier to rank for “Calgary dance clothes” or even more specific, “calgary dance clothes for adults”. These more specific keywords are referred to as “long tail keywords” (link: https://www.wordtracker.com/academy/keyword-research/guides/long-tail-keywords) and can help you appear within search results.
You can also execute a keyword research strategy (link: https://www.dananicoledesigns.com/execute-keyword-research/) in order to find out what your website should be ranking for.
Tip: Make sure each page on your website is optimized for different keywords. Don’t use the same keywords throughout your entire website as search engines will get confused as to which page they should send traffic to for which keyword.
Search engines want to make sure that they aren’t promoting spammy and irrelevant websites, but how do you make sure you aren’t classified as spammy or irrelevant? By having a sense of authority in your niche.
This one can be a little bit more work than just changing the content around your site in order to optimize for keywords, but it is definitely worth the payout in the end.
There are many methods in order to improve your authoritative domain ranking. Backlinking, as mentioned before, is one of them. Other options include making sure your site is user friendly; are pages easily accessible through one static link, or are your visitors needing to go on a wild goose chase to try and find the page they want (hint: nobody is going to waste their time clicking around to find something, so make sure everything is clearly laid out and easily accessible!).
Optimizing your website’s images is a great and simple way to boost your SEO! Big and bulky images can slow your website down incredibly and Google does not like slow websites.
Before uploading any images to your website, run them through Tiny PNG (link: www.tinypng.com) to compress them.
Dana is a brand stylist and online educator over at Dana Nicole Designs (link: https://www.dananicoledesigns.com), where she helps businesses and bloggers with their branding and teaches SEO and online marketing.
Originally from Calgary, Dana currently lives in a cozy town in Denmark with her husband who plays hockey for a living, and their loveable pup!