Search engine optimization (SEO) is a huge component of driving traffic to your website, especially for small businesses. SEO increases the amount of organic traffic to your website. Using relevant keywords and other tactics will boost your website on the search engines, ensuring you land on the first page of results when a potential customer conducts a search.
SEO and all the technical jargon around it can sound like a foreign language to many people. But don’t despair! You don’t have to be a technological whiz kid to learn the ins and outs of SEO and make it work for your business.
Today, I will talk about my top eight actionable tips you can put into play right now to start increasing the traffic to your website, converting leads into sales.
1. Evaluate Where Your Current Website Traffic is Coming From
Before you get started on your SEO strategy and begin making changes to your website, you need to know how your customers are currently finding your website. A handy tool you can use is Google Analytics. By evaluating your website using the online tool, you’ll learn a few things:
- The keywords people are searching to find your website
- What pages on your website have the highest views
- What websites they’re clicking from that lead them to your website
You’ll be able to build a complete picture of your website to evaluate its current performance better. You can use the data you discover to inform your future SEO strategies.
2. Research and Carefully Choose Relevant Keywords
Researching relevant keywords is one of the main components of SEO. You want to identify keywords that will lead customers to you. Connecting potential leads to your website with relevant keywords will help ensure that they purchase on your website. You don’t want to use keywords throughout your website that have nothing to do with what you offer.
As you discover what keywords and phrases your potential customers search for, you’ll be able to create content that they’ll find useful. With your strategy, you’ll want to regularly monitor and update your keywords due to the fact that how and what people search for change often.
Once you’ve selected your list of keywords, you’ll want to use them naturally throughout your website. You want to avoid keyword stuffing and placing too many keywords in your website’s copy. One way to ensure you avoid this is by reading your content out loud. If it sounds like a robot wrote it, you likely have too many keywords in there. Your website visitors will get turned off, and search engines don’t look highly on websites that keyword stuff.
3. Use Meta Descriptions and Titles
For every page on your website, you should fill out the meta description and titles. That’s what’ll show up in search results when customers search. The title and meta description help potential customers make a fast choice on whether or not they’re going to click on your website.
Below is some more information about what you should fill out for each web page:
- Title Tags: This tells search engines what the web page is about. They should be unique for each of your web pages.
- Meta Descriptions: These short descriptions show up below the title on search engines. It tells the reader what the web page is about and if the content is relevant to them.
- Image ALT Tags: Don’t forget about your ALT tags for your images. They work like targeted keywords for your page, telling the search engine what the image is about.
4. Incorporate SEO Into Your Blog Posts
Your web pages aren’t the only place that needs a little SEO TLC. Blog posts are an easy place to optimize for SEO. You’re creating a constant stream of content centered around a single concept (i.e., a specific keyword or phrase). You can use a primary keyword and secondary keywords throughout the blog post. But remember, don’t overload the post with too many keywords. You want your blog to flow naturally.
Don’t forget the title tags and meta descriptions for your blog posts as well. Each post you make should include all of that data.
5. Continually Monitor and Tweak Your Copy
Even after you’ve implemented SEO into your website, you should continue to monitor your site’s performance with Google Analytics. If you see a certain web page getting less traffic than others, look at what’s happening. Then, compare that page to other ones on your site. Maybe you have a large block of text that’s unappealing to readers. Perhaps your keywords aren’t relevant to what’s being offered on the web page.
Rewrite the copy on the web page using more appropriate keywords (if that’s the problem) and measure your website’s traffic again after a period of time. If the traffic has increased, leave the page alone. If it hasn’t, then you’ll want to try another tactic.
6. Pay Attention to Local SEO
A lot of internet searches are based on a certain location, like “delis near me.” Even if a person doesn’t add the “near me” to their search, a search engine’s algorithm will automatically put local options at the top even if someone simply searches “delis.” The search engine results pages are trying to push small businesses to the top, so they’re successful with local SEO. As a small business, you need to capitalize on this opportunity.
7. Make the Most of your Call to Action
For every piece of content on your website, from product descriptions to blog posts, you should include a clear call to action. This goes beyond being an SEO tip to just being smart at web copy. You want your website visitors to understand what you want them to do when they get to your website. This can include making a purchase, reading another article, subscribing to your newsletter, or scheduling a phone call.
SEO can only do so much. While SEO will bring potential customers to your website, if you don’t clearly show them where to go and what to do, they might go back to the search engine results. Make your call to action prominent, so they have no reason not to follow through with what you want them to do.
8. Build Your Website’s Authority With Links
Like I mentioned before, SEO is so much more than including keywords on your website. Link building takes a lot of work and sweat equity. You want other websites to link back to your website in their content. This will improve your website’s position in the search engines. Google looks at the quality and quantity of backlinks, and the higher the quality, the more the algorithm will believe that your website is worth looking at.
Building local links takes an outreach strategy. First, create a spreadsheet with websites, names, and emails of businesses you want to reach out to. This can include:
- Local newspapers
- Event pages
- Non-competitive businesses
Media mentions that reflect positively on your business help you exponentially in this area. Issuing a press release and having other websites post your news will help you with this. They’ll include links to your website when they post about your news, leading people to your website. You can also look for relevant blogging websites and inquire about guest posting on their website. You should also review where your competitors are getting their links so you can target the same websites.
Stay Sharp in the Everchanging SEO World
The world of SEO changes rapidly—Google’s algorithm changes as customers’ behavior changes. You want to stay on top of your industry and your target audience, so you ensure they find our website in search engines. Don’t put off SEO because it seems intimidating. While it takes a bit of time and effort to build up, the results will pay off as your website traffic increases, and so will your sales.
Do you have any other tips you’ve learned on your SEO journey? Drop them in the comments below!