If you want to get the most out of your website, you need to invest in search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is absolutely necessary if you want to generate leads through your website, even if you’re investing in digital advertising and you’re not trying to put a content marketing strategy in place.
Your ads need a place to send your customers to, and those pages need to be optimized for keywords.
But keywords and landing pages are only one piece of SEO. There’s also the technical side. There are a ton of actions you need to take to make sure your site is optimized from a technical standpoint to meet Google and other search engine’s specifications.
If you’re serious about SEO, then you need to remember that SEO is all about the long haul, and there are some basics that you need to understand if you want to make the most of it.
Wondering how to improve SEO for your website? I’ve got you covered.
I’ve put together a list of ten steps you can take to improve your website’s rankings right away and make it more likely that you’ll rank higher on search:
Let’s get started.
1. Start with a website audit
If you want to know where you’re going, you need a deep understanding of where you are. A website audit is the first place to start. I recommend you get an experienced SEO company on board for this. Unless you have years of experience as an SEO, you’re just not going to know what to look for.
2. Identify the main keywords and phrases
If you’ve done your branding work, and I’m going to assume you have, then you probably have a really good idea of your target audience. That’s critical to keyword research. You have to understand what phrases they would actually be typing into search engines. You can use tools for this like Semrush or Ahrefs, but again, I recommend working with an experienced SEO company who will know how to put together a detailed SEO plan to get the best possible content for the most valuable keywords.
3. Optimize website content for keywords
Once you have your keywords, you then have to go through the long process of optimizing the content on your website for those keywords. It’s almost a certainty that you’re going to have to write a lot of new content. To be successful, not only does most content need to be useful to the reader, but it needs to have keywords in the appropriate places. A good SEO company can often provide this service for you. Or at the very least, they can recommend a good content writer to take care of your content. Believe it or not, I’ve gone through over 200+ content writers myself to find the ones we work with at CJAM Marketing.
4. Generate high-quality backlinks
Right up there with high-quality content is your backlink profile. Backlinks are like upvotes. They tell Google, Bing, and other search engines that other people find your content to be so good that they’re willing to link to it from their website. Generating backlinks is usually done through outreach, and it can take a long time. Some marketing companies specialize in generating backlinks but don’t expect results right away.
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5. Publish fresh content regularly
You might not want to hear it, but if you want to do well in SEO, you need to be generating content regularly, and it needs to be good content. You can’t just pump out short, uninteresting pieces of news. You need to be putting out blog posts that compete for keywords and satisfy the searcher’s intent when they land on the content. That just means the searcher finds what they’re looking for and doesn’t need to look at other websites because you’ve answered their question.
6. Optimize website for mobile devices
Responsive design is the name of the game in modern web design. Websites today simply cannot be designed for desktop only. The majority of your visitors are going to come to your website on a mobile device. You need to ensure that your website looks great no matter what device they’re on. Any good website design company is going to bake that right into their process, so this is likely something that you already have implemented.
7. Use social media to promote content
Though there is a debate on whether or not social content has an effect on rankings on Google, other search engines have said that they do consider social signals, which are just social media posts that point back to your website.
That being said, social content is low-priority as far as SEO is concerned, so focus on the above items before you start pouring time and money into social media.
8. Use Google analytics to track progress
If you don’t track it, you won’t improve it. Google Analytics isn’t the most important SEO tool in your toolbox, but it’s a good starting point and can help you understand traffic patterns, where you’re falling short, and where you can improve.
Other tools like Semrush and Ahrefs are going to be more important for keyword/backlink tracking, so an investment in them is going to be critical if you’re going to take SEO seriously.
9. Conduct keyword research regularly
Keywords change over time. There’s no getting around it. What’s ranking one day can drop to nothing the next, especially if there’s an algorithm change. You’ve gotta stay on top of keyword rankings over time, which means conducting thorough research on a regular basis.
10. Stay up to date with Google’s algorithm changes
Google has said that they update their algorithms a few times a day, but there are still major changes that they implement every now and then. Big algorithm changes can lead to major gains or losses in traffic and conversion rates. Follow Google on social media and through their blog to stay on top of what’s happening.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is just a set of actions you need to take to make your website rank higher on Google and other search engines. There are three sides to the SEO triangle — technical, on-page, and off-page. By focusing on all three, you’re going to make your website more likely to rank on search.
I say more likely because there are no guarantees with SEO. You have to just do the best you can, which is why working with SEO specialists is so incredibly important. They have the skills they need to ensure your product and service pages have a chance of ranking. The higher you rank, the more leads and sales you’re going to get.
SEO isn’t cheap, and it isn’t something you should DIY unless you’re an experienced SEO. It’s also a marketing strategy that can pay massive dividends over time, so consider it seriously as a marketing option and as a part of your overall marketing strategy.
What are the best SEO practices to keep in mind?
Design your website
Believe it or not, a beautifully designed website plays a critical role in SEO for a simple reason: if people come to your website and it looks like a spammy website, they’re not going to look at what you have to offer.
Pay a professional website designer and developer to build you a website that will look and feel professional to your potential customers. Put high-quality images and videos on your website. These can also potentially be indexed individually by a search engine, leading to more traffic.
Also, make sure all of your website’s content is easy to find and navigate. This includes using clear and concise titles, headings, subheadings, and anchor text.
Update website regularly
Keeping your website up to date helps build trust between you and users. Crawlers will regularly crawl your website (a few times a day even), but if you’re worried about new content not showing up quickly, you can always submit your sitemap to search engines using tools like Google Search Console.
Promote website in social media
Though social media is probably one of the least important aspects of SEO, it can definitely be a source of website traffic, which in turn can help to boost rankings. If people go to your pages and spend a lot of time on them, search engines will notice. They’ll see the content as potentially valuable to some searchers.
Looking to build a powerful SEO strategy? Let’s talk
I work with dozens of marketing and SEO agencies that I’ve vetted extensively for quality. I work alongside you to make sure I find a partner that fits your business goals.
I’ll connect you with the right agency for your needs to ensure your SEO strategy is implemented successfully.
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