Your website rocks! Your content sounds great, your colors are perfectly matched, your layout is easy on the eyes, so why aren’t you getting visitors? It could be that you have an SEO issue. You’ve heard SEO before, but what IS it?
SEO stands for search engine optimization…that didn’t help you either? The short version of it is this: SEO is the process to improve upon your site to rise to the top of the SERP’s (search engine results page) when related terms are searched. SEO is a tool used on your website to increase the external visibility of your work.
I know, it’s a huge process, and it’s confusing and tedious. But isn’t everything worth doing a bit of an undertaking? Before you can DO the work, you have to UNDERSTAND the work.
Optimization. What does it mean?
As previously stated, the goal of SEO is to improve search results. The search engine will pull pages related to a search phrase and rank them to show results. When was the last time you searched for a business or a service? How far did you scroll before you stopped thinking “I passed all the good ones”? It’s not always true that the best services come to the top of your search results, but it IS true that the best optimized websites appear at the top. If your business is a reupholstering service, you need a dedicated page telling people how you offer this service.
Did you know that Google automatically creates listings for most businesses? If you go to Google My Business, you’ll be able to search for and “claim” your business pages. This way you can keep all of your internet presence in your control. You can use this dashboard to keep your ever changing data up to date.
Keywords and how to use them.
So SEO means to optimize your website in order to improve your search results and drive website traffic; how do I do that? One of the biggest things you need to work on is keywords. Your “target keywords” should be paired with their natural content. It’s advised that your target number of keywords should align with the number of pages on your website. Each page should be individually optimized for the best results.
Don’t try to add quantity. One page, one search phrase. Plain keywords on the other hand, can include as many phrases or words as are relevant. If your business is a publisher, you can add; publisher, publishing, editing, editor, books, novels. You can include all of the genres that you work with as well. Do make sure to research the keywords, no matter what your company or service is, as there are bound to be some negative keywords. For example, publishing brought up minimal returns for “best” and “bestselling”. You’d research your content, make sure you research the keywords that get people to the content.
Are keywords the only tools for SEO?
Not at all! Another major tool at your disposal is ‘internal links’. You can link your own content, within your own content. Now you don’t want to do this so much that people are getting lost going in circles through your pages. But internal links are extremely important. It’s one of the easiest ways to boost your results as each page (or post) has been individually optimized, and therefore will give you a double target page for one search. “Fantasy Publisher” will bring up the original content, and the page that contains that link.
You can also use tags, titles, and image captions to your benefit. These are just as important, as these things are often overlooked. If you are sure to add your tags for your images, you could rank higher in an image search than you do in a regular search. As it’s overlooked, there’s less competition. Driving traffic is driving traffic right?
How are ranks given on the results page?
Google actually uses a scale that you should live by when it comes to SEO. EAT. No, not food. Expert, Authoritative, and Trustworthy.
Expert is the level at which Google compiles a list of connections between things like authors of content, brands, and topics to compare the level of expertise.
Authority is a little more heavy lifting. This is the research portion of your content and web build. Look into your niche and find the important community sites. Make sure you’re adding value to these places as it will drive traffic right back to your own page. Put yourself out there to bring a wider audience to you.
Trust is just that, trust. With the internet being such a useful tool for businesses, it’s sadly become a useful tool for scammers. How is your online reputation? Do you have followers? A steady flow of likes and comments? Are you active on your social media pages? All of this will affect your trust score in the EAT scale.
There are so many things we could continue to talk about when it comes to SEO, but this will work for a general overview. One thing to be aware of it the rising reliance on mobile traffic. Mobile devices are always at our fingertips no matter where we are, and the percentages of mobile traffic is well over the halfway mark. The exact percentage depends on where you look, but over half is a safe bet across most result pages. So you definitely want to use something like Browserstack to make sure you know how your website shrinks to fit different screen sizes.
The last thing I have to say on the matter is this; SEO is a constant. The process is always changing, the more you have to alter what you search for, the more you as a business need to alter how you’re found. SEO specialists stick the minimum amount of updates for your website at twice a month, but suggest weekly if you’re able. If you’re new to SEO, feel free to start at once a month until you get the hang of it.
Good luck! If you have questions, I will do all I can to answer them in the comments below.