Improving your search engine rankings on search engines like Google and Bing involves very specific Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies — and there are a lot of SEO strategies that can be utilized on a website to help a site rank higher on the search engines.
The great thing about Search Engine Optimization is that it delivers long-term results by improving your rankings but doesn’t require you to pay for every single click like Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads — like Google Ads or Facebook Ads — would.
1. Research Your Keywords
An important part of Search Engine Optimization is using the right keywords so the know what each web page is about. One of the best ways to discover the best keywords is to figure out what your potential customers or clients use to search for your products or services. That involves doing keyword research.
Start by typing a few words into Google’s search bar and then look at the suggestions from Google’s autocomplete. You should also use keyword research tools to help you find the best keywords to target. There are both free and paid SEO tool options available, so you can easily find an SEO tool or keyword research tool that meets your budget.
2. Consider Long-tail Keywords
As you try to find the right keywords, don’t forget to think about long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords will have a higher possibility of conversion because they are more specific. This helps increase the chances of selling the product that the searcher searched for and (hopefully) wants to buy. As a bonus, it is much easier to rank for long-tail keywords because there is less competition for long-tail keywords due to their specificity. When thinking about long-tail keywords, don’t forget to consider the search intent of the user. What are they looking to do? What answers are they trying to find?
3. Optimize On-Page SEO
Your on-page SEO efforts focus on ensuring that all of the headings and titles on your website have been optimized. You basically want to structure your individual page’s content to have a better chance of appearing in search engine result pages (SERPs).
Think about the following suggestions as starting points:
- Create catchy titles that also include keywords that are about 60 characters
- Create meta descriptions
- Use header tags
- Use keywords in the file names of pictures you upload
4. Look at Technical SEO
While you need to absolutely create great content for your website, you don’t want to do that while neglecting technical SEO. Technical SEO refers to optimizing your website’s structure to make sure that Google’s crawlers index your website properly.
Essentially, you want your website to load quickly, be well-organized and secure, and have working links.
Some of the ways you can incorporate technical SEO include the following:
- Update encryption and security protocols.
- Optimize the page speed.
- Structure your website data.
- Create a sitemap and submit it to Google and Bing.
- Optimize images to include “alt text.”
- Prune down old pages that don’t get much traffic
- Check for broken or old links and fix them.
- Make sure the site is optimized for mobile.
5. Prioritize Local SEO
As a small business, you likely don’t have the resources to compete on a national or international level. That’s fine because nearly a third of mobile searches include the keyword phrase ” near me” or something else to make it local. By concentrating on local searches, you will have less competition and are better able to target the people who are most likely to become your customers.
Set Up Your Google Business Profile
Your first step for local SEO should be to set up your Google Business Profile if you haven’t already. You want to fill out as much information as possible and ensure it is accurate. When you get alerts for online reviews, respond to those reviews. You can also fill out the Question and Answer section ahead of time and then add to it when customers have more questions.
Look at Other Online Business Listings and Citations
While Google Business Profile should be the first and most important local business listing you have, it should not be the last. You want to get your company information on as many relevant online business directories as possible. This lets Google know that your information is accurate because it matches on several websites.
Encourage Customers To Leave Online Reviews For Your Business
Online reviews directly impact rankings, in addition to helping with your overall brand name image. Be sure to ask happy customers for reviews|evaluations.
6. Create More Quality Content
Content marketing is the process of creating quality content for a blog or adding pages to your website to attract more people to your site. It is your chance to easily include keywords on your website while also helping customers by providing useful content and showing your credibility and authority.
If the idea of writing enough content is overwhelming, create a template that you can follow or hire a digital marketing agency to help with your content marketing. For example, you might do an extensive look at various products and follow the same format for each piece of content. Or you could do a buying guide for products and follow a specific format that you can duplicate.
Think About Creating Videos
Many small business owners find it quicker and easier to create videos instead of writing blog posts or creating content for their websites. Try to create a mix of the two because this will attract customers with a variety of choices. Even if you don’t think videos are easier than writing content, you should create at least a few videos — consumers (and Google) love videos!
7. Create Landing Pages
Landing pages can be an extremely helpful part of an SEO strategy for companies of any size. You can use landing pages in various ways. More popular options include making landing pages for specific cities or towns in your local area or for certain products or item categories.
8. Share Your Content
As a bonus, landing pages give you a great chance to include keywords, especially geo-focused ones.
After you produce content, make sure to promote it without being too pushy. Some great options that don’t require any upfront costs include sharing on social media or question and answer online forums — just don’t be spammy about it.
9. Get Backlinks And Create a Link Building Strategy
Your SEO strategy should also include getting links back to your website. Google views sites with more relevant and high authority backlinks as having greater quality. Make sure that any backlinks you get are on websites that are relevant to your business and industry. Do NOT get links on PBNs (Private Blog Networks). They are worthless and Google sees them as spammy.
So if you have an “SEO” that’s getting you links monthly and they are on websites that have NO relevance to your company or industry, those backlinks are most likely HURTING your rankings more than they are helping.
Combine this with local SEO and talk with other local companies, bloggers, newspapers, and local event websites to see if they will give you with a backlink. One excellent option is to write a guest blog post on another local website.
It’s much better to have fewer more relevant quality backlinks than a higher volume of crappy, irrelevant backlinks.
NOTE: Getting backlinks is important, but don’t forget to add internal links to other pages on your site as well on each of your individual pages.
Contact Us — We Can Help With Your SEO Success
Whew! Now you have NINE great SEO strategies you can use to help the SEO on your website. You can try and manage a few of these SEO strategies yourself, but in most cases, it’s better to hire an SEO professional or digital marketing agency to help you. (After all, you’re an expert in your industry — that’s why people hire you.) SEO is an intricate and complicated skill that literally takes years to develop. Leave this very important task to the experts — especially when Googles algorithm is always changing. (It’s virtually impossible for the average business owner or even a marketer at a company to keep up with all of the changes with Google’s algorithm, ranking factors, Google Business Profile updates and changes as well as all of the other updates and changes that occur in the Search Engine Optimization industry. It’s best to leave it up to the SEO pros so you and your marketing team can spend your time managing your business and doing other marketing efforts.)
Our team has 23+ years of experience in SEO and digital marketing. And our owner, Sherry Bonelli, is a Google Business Profile Gold Product Expert (one of a handful in the world!) No, we are not inexpensive, but the quality you receive when you hire a real SEO agency is worth it! And if you’re nervous about paying for SEO services, check out our Pay-For-Performance Local SEO Services where you don’t pay unless we get you on the first page for the keywords we’re targeting!