If you’re looking for tips to help you maximize your business’s search engine optimization (SEO) campaign, you probably already know how important your company’s online presence is. That’s a great start! This article will help you take the next step and make SEO work for you instead of the other way around with four easy tips that you can start implementing right now. Let’s get started!
1. Appeal to Your Local Market
Huge corporations such as McDonald’s and Walmart spend tons of money on global SEO campaigns, and smaller business owners may feel that they are priced out of the game. You probably can’t spend with the biggest names, but you don’t need to. Realistically, somebody in New York isn’t going to make reservations at your California restaurant no matter how good your SEO is. Focusing your SEO efforts on your specific city or region allows prospective customers to find you for a fraction of the cost of a national campaign.
Local SEO is why “near me” keywords are so popular, but there are other ways to tell search engine algorithms where you are. Make sure your company’s address is prominently displayed on your website, and make frequent references to landmarks that only locals know about. Many search engines also offer free tools to help business owners manage their online presence. For example, verifying your company’s account on Google My Business provides a quick regional boost to your SEO performance on Google.
2. Utilize Keywords Effectively
Keyword stuffing (or cramming as many keywords into your site as possible) was an effective strategy in the early days of SEO, but modern algorithms are far more sophisticated. If your content reads like a list of keywords, search engines will realize it and penalize you for using too many of them. Furthermore, site visitors will be turned off and quickly navigate away from your site, something that will adversely impact your SEO performance moving forward.
Keywords are still important, but they have to be worked into your content organically. For example, “SEO” is one of the keywords for this article and we mention it a lot, but it isn’t used in every sentence. One of the best ways to test for this is to simply read your content out loud before you publish it. If you feel like you are saying a specific term too often, you probably are. Likewise, every post you make should provide valuable information to your audience with a call to action at the end. If the entire post is salesy, leads will be turned off while search engines will dock your ranking.
3. Collect Backlinks
Search engine algorithms proactively look for authoritative sources of information, generally by referencing how many sites link to the site in question. Therefore, it’s important to collect backlinks on multiple sites. Your social media channels are obvious backlink candidates, and your Google My Business profile is another easy one. After that though, you might have to get more creative. For instance, writing a guest post for a trusted site in your industry allows your content to reach a wider audience while also creating an opportunity to establish a backlink. Some sites allow companies to purchase backlinks, but the algorithms are on to them and they’ll end up hurting your SEO performance.
Internal links between your site’s pages can also be beneficial, but it is possible to overdo it. For example, having a general overview page with links to articles covering each topic in-depth is a good idea, but creating dozens of pages with minimal content just so they can link to each other is not. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that users can access every part of your site within three clicks from your homepage.
4. Embrace Smaller Screens
Consumers are on the Internet more than ever before, but that doesn’t mean that they’re accessing your site on a desktop computer. Mobile platforms such as tablets and smartphones are far more prevalent, especially when people are on the go and looking for something to do. If your site isn’t optimized for mobile, you’re losing out on a ton of potential customers.
There is a myriad of ways to make your site more mobile-friendly. Choose a larger font to make content easier to read on small screens, and make important buttons and banners large enough to be noticed. Try to avoid pop-up ads that may prevent visitors from reading your content. Don’t overcomplicate your site’s design, and verify that your company site loads well on all of the devices you own. If a competitor’s site consistently loads faster than yours, poke around it and see if you can implement anything they’re doing yourself.
SEO can seem extremely complicated when you first begin learning about it, but you don’t have to be an expert to follow the tips above and improve your ranking. If you’re ready to try something more advanced, tools such as Google Analytics can help you identify top-performing keywords and discover leaks in your sales funnel so that you know how to improve. Good luck!
Jason Boyd from seo4melbourne.net.au is a leader in the search marketing space. With over 12 years of experience, Jason has helped hundreds of website owners with their marketing, via his insightful articles.