Search Engine Optimization is often considered to be a difficult and mundane task that requires a lot of attention, resources, and knowledge. To a degree, that is true; however, you can improve the rankings of your website with just a few minor tweaks that you can do yourself.
These tips are often the starting point of a typical SEO agency. If you find that you can complete them yourself and obtain the rankings you are looking for, you can end up saving yourself a lot of time and money.
Tip #1 – Register
Before getting into the technical aspect behind the scenes, you should perform the most basic of tasks. The first thing you want to do is register your site with Google Webmaster Tools. Registering your site with Google lets them know that you are here, you are interested in what they have to offer, and you want to follow the rules they have laid out in front of you. Some SEO “experts” will have you believing that registering your site allows Google to see too much of your site and may result in penalties; however, if your SEO agency is concerned about penalties for standard business practices, you may want to move on.
The benefits of registering your site are numerous. Utilizing Webmaster Tools will allow you to keep your finger on the pulse of your site. You can find out how many of your pages are indexed, search terms your site appears for, crawling errors on the site, and links pointing at your site. There are far more configurations and statistics available, but you can play around with the tools to find out the information that is most important to you. Having this knowledge will leave you set and ready to take action if any issues arise.
Tip #2 – Content
The next task is also simple to implement. Offer your visitors new and engaging content on a regular basis.
It’s no secret that Google loves fresh content. Often, if you perform a search in Google, you may find a section that says “In the news”. This is Google giving preferential treatment to the news articles that are freshly published and offering the information relevant to the search. While your site may not appear in that section, offering new content keeps Google aware of your site and constantly coming back for more.
Another benefit of adding fresh content is that it keeps your visitors engaged. The better-crafted and relevant your content is, the more likely that your visitors will spend more time on your site and reading other articles. This improves your site’s metrics and helps it rank higher as Google sees your site as an authority figure.
Your content does not have to be 1,000-word blog articles. You can include videos, reviews, info-graphics, and more. You also don’t have to post every day. You’re more than welcome to do so; however, consistency is more important to Google. Continue to post and engage your audience, and you will see an improvement in your rankings.
Tip #3 – Optimization
This is a bit more on the technical side, and if you are uncomfortable performing this task on your own, you should allow a professional to do so.
Optimization of your site can be a long and tedious process; however, if you start at the beginning with your page titles, descriptions, and URLs, you can give yourself an advantage.
Let’s start with the title tag of your pages. Each page should have a unique title that let’s searchers know what they will find when they click on your link. The title should have the main keyword of that page, but it should also give a very brief description of the page. For instance, “Best Family Dentist in Boise – All Smiles” is a much better title than “Home Page”. It has a main keyword and gives a brief description of what the page is about.
Descriptions are the one or two lines of text under the title in the search results. You can utilize this are to filter in some of your secondary keywords (as long as they are relevant) and give a slightly longer description of your page. For instance, “All Smiles offers a wide variety of dental services for adults and children.” is a great description for this fictitious dental office.
The URL structure is the page address that you see in your address bar or between the title and description in the search results. It’s important to make sure that your domain makes sense to your business. It should often be a reflection of the name of your business. The next part of the URL structure is the inner pages. Represented as “www.domain.com/inner-page”, these pages can be used to help boost your rankings. You want your inner pages to reflect the keywords you want that page to rank for. For instance, “www.allsmilesdental.com/cosmetic-dentistry” would be a great URL for an inner page that pertains specifically to cosmetic dentistry.
Of course, there is a lot more involved when it comes to optimizing your pages including: heading tags, keyword density, alt tags, and more. The one thing you do need to be careful of, though, is to not over-optimize your page. Over optimization is when a keyword you want to rank for is used too often or unnaturally throughout your title, description, URL, and content. Again, if you are uncomfortable with optimizing your site, it is recommended to reach out to an expert.
There you have it. These are three tasks you could complete today to help get your site on the right path and ranking for the terms you need.