So, this is win-win for everyone. As a website owner, the more useful and relevant you make the pages on your website, the better the chances that Google will list it at the top of the results page. How do you achieve this? Good search engine optimization (SEO). You can always be doing something to increase your search engine results page (SERPs) position.
What can you do, exactly? Glad you asked!
On-page SEO best practices:
On-page SEO refers to your website itself – what’s on it, how it’s coded, etc…
1. Great content: Create relevant content on your pages that is unique, easy to read, helpful and grammatically correct. Your content should be so helpful that your target audience will want to stay on your site and other websites will want to link to it.
2. Relevant keywords: What do you think people actually type into Google search when you believe your site should be shown? Not sure? A keyword tool can help you determine which words will help attract the most visitors to your site. Use the most relevant, popular keywords for your business and try to rank for different keywords on your website’s pages.
3. Short, catchy and original title tags: Title tags describe what the pages of your website are all about while attracting the user’s attention enough to (hopefully) click through to your pages. Limit the title tag description to 55 characters so it will display well on Google’s results page. Keep title tags descriptive yet short and sweet to help crawlers and users determine the relevancy of your page. Also, use your keywords at the beginning of page title tags. Google puts more weight on the start of the title tag, so try to keep the keywords at the beginning.
4. Keyword-focused meta descriptions: The meta description appears under the title tag on SERPs and gives users a chance to learn more about your company before clicking into your site. Aim for a meta-description length of 150-160 characters.
5. Good sitemap and site navigation: Make sure your website’s structure is up-to-date and easy to navigate. The better the site structure, the easier Google’s crawlers can find and index your pages.
6. Internal links with anchor text: Linking internally to your other web pages on your site creates keyword-rich internal links. Internal linking helps search engines crawl and index your site, provides readers with more reading options and improves ranking for some of your keywords.
7. Outbound links: Linking to reputable, authoritative sources shows you are all about getting the user the information that they want, no matter where it may be – and that you’re willing to share pagerank. Helpful sharing is caring on the internet. (As an example of an outbound link– you can read more about this here!)
8. Fast load time: Google does not like slow-loading pages and knows that users will not wait long for a website to load. Does your page take longer than three seconds? If so, you have work to do.
Off-page SEO best practices:
Off-page SEO are actions taken outside of your own website to impact your rankings within search engine results pages. (Thanks, MOZ)
1. Search engine submission: It can take a while for Bing and Google to find and crawl your site. You can help speed up the process by submitting your website directly to them.
2. Local Search Optimization: Your business listing information should be submitted to the top business directories and niche directories for your industry. This creates more places where users can find your site and crawlers can confirm your business information. Be sure to submit, at a minimum, a consistent NAP (name, address, phone number) for all of them. Also, fill out the categories and fill out a business description. A high percentage of searches are by keyword rather than business name, so strive to use category information wherever possible.
3. Social Media Marketing: You should be on all relevant social channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc…) Strive to get likes, shares and links by being 80% helpful/informational and 20% promotional.
4. Online Reputation Management (ORM): Managing your reviews online has quickly become a key component of good SEO. Although Google doesn’t release details about their algorithm for SEO, most SEO experts agree that having positive reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp, etc…and on your website – can help you to move up the search results.
These are only the top 12, there’s a lot more that goes into getting to the top of Google’s search page.
And if all of this seems a bit much for you to tackle on your own – rest at ease. That’s what we’re here for…Contact us today and let’s get started.