HOW TO MAKE YOUR WEBSITE RANK HIGHER!
At some point today (or tomorrow) you are going to want to know something. Maybe you are looking for a new restaurant to try or are looking for the best times to book a trip this summer or you just want to know which type of noodles go best with pesto chicken (it’s Fusilli…look it up!) Where do you go to find these answers? You guessed it, Google. It’s our go-to resource for just about everything! Now, imagine the tables are turned and, instead of the questions, you have all the answers that you want to give people. In reality, that’s what you do when you are in business. You provide answers and your customers ask the questions. A solid SEO marketing strategy will help the people that need your answers find you on major search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo!
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s the process of telling search engines who you are, what you do, and why they should show your business to people that are searching. Currently, over 60% of consumers start their buying journey on search engines like Google. Making sure your website (with all your answers) rise to the top is critical for you to increase visibility and make MORE sales. It doesn’t matter if you sell widgets in Washington, fix plumbing problems in Peoria, or are a life coach in Cali, being found online is vital.
So why is rising in search rankings so important? Think about what you do when you go online and Google something. If you are like most everyone else on the planet, the answer you are looking for is on page one or maybe the top of page two. At least that’s where you stop your search. Remember the old joke about the best place to hide a body…page 3 of Google because no one ever goes there! For most businesses to be successful, they need to be at the top of their game and at the top of search results and there are proven tactics to get you there.
If you really want to understand SEO and how to boost your rankings, here are 10 things that every business needs to know.
KEYWORDS...what’s so important about KEYWORDS?
Let’s start with what exactly is a keyword. Keywords are the words and phrases that people type in to find what they are looking for. If you want a new car, you don’t just type in new car, you search for NEW FORD ELECTRIC TRUCK (yes, please)
Add the keywords that people are going to use to find you throughout your website content is a KEY SEO marketing strategy. Put yourself in the shoes of your customer. If you were looking for your business, what would you search for? That’s one way to determine the best keywords BUT there is a much better and more data based way to do it.
SEO experts have access to some great keyword research tools like Google Ad Keyword Planner or SEMRush which are tools that allow them build lists of keywords and phrases that have high monthly search volume and (hopefully) limited competition. The great thing about these types of tools is not only can they provide lists of great keywords for you, they can also show you which keywords your competitors are ranking for.
Just a note here. A keyWORD may not be just a word. It can be a phrase. Going back to the example of the truck above, no one is going to just search TRUCK. They are going to search “New Ford Electric Truck near me”. These are called long-tail keywords which are much more specific and contain at least three words. They may not get as much search traffic, but if you can rank higher for these long-tail keywords, the people that are searching for you are probably going to convert much better.
KEYWORD PLACEMENT IS VERY IMPORTANT
Now that you have a great list of search terms (keywords), where do they need to go? The more places you can sprinkle in keywords that are critical to your search results on your website, the better. You can’t neglect things like page titles and image descriptions called meta tags. Things like FAQ pages and blog pages are great areas for you to keep your content keyword rich. So for instance, since we are a SEO & DIGITAL MARKETING AGENCY who also does AFFORDABLE WEBSITE DESIGN for both PROFESSIONAL SERVICES and E-COMMERCE WEBSITES on platforms like WORDPRESS, WIX, and SHOPIFY and we are located in JUPITER, FL which is near WEST PALM BEACH and MIAMI in SOUTH FLORIDA, and this is in a blog post, you can see how easily and quickly you can add relevant keywords. These are are great areas to boost your brand and visibility.
That type of content is known as front facing SEO meaning that is what your customer AND search engines see. There is a whole world on the developmental side of your website that customers never see but search engines watch closely. Every page should have a page title and description (called a meta description). This is the text that actually appears on search results. When you put keywords in these areas, you are informing a search engine like Google that your website and that specific page is relevant to the keywords people are searching for.
For instance, below is the meta description for J29 Marketing.
Get the idea. You should also optimize the URL of each page of your website using keywords and not just a bunch of random letters and numbers. For instance, the URL of this page is:
Pretty straightforward which is good because it tells search engines exactly what this page is about.
3 - RELEVANT AND QUALITY CONTENT HELPS TOO
You can’t just throw a bunch of keywords around and think that Google is going to love you. When a potential customer is searching for your business or organization, Google is trying to get them to the appropriate website with as few clicks as possible. They put a high priority on great content.
When you are writing copy for your website, you want to make sure you sure you maximize the readability on every page and give the search engine the clearest description of the page and relevant information. Making sure your page titles and header descriptions say exactly what that page is about and the type of content included. This will also help increase your click through rates and time visitors spend on your website. Those are both high ranking factors that searching engines love.
What search engines HATE is “keyword stuffing”. Google will actually score your site lower if you have a ton of keywords on a page that do not relate to your page content. Always choose quality over quantity. You want to Write in full, easy to read sentences and creatively use keywords in relevant content.
When you are writing copy, don’t forget to mention your company or brand name where appropriate. Our copywriters and J29 Marketing and Design are masters at including things like this in your copy.
Remember, quality content over quantity of keywords is always better. Google’s search algorithm will stand up and take notice.
DON'T NEGLECT YOUR VISUAL CONTENT
You’ve heard it said that an image is worth 1,000 words. It’s pretty important when it comes to SEO too. Even if your website can’t doesn’t rank on the first page of search results, your images can! The images on your website and in your social media (connected to your website) carry a lot of weight.
Just a note about your images. The highest ranking ones for SEO are high-quality and unique. Some stock images don’t perform as well. If you are taking photos of your business, your staff, or your products, that’s always a better choice.
But, beware, GREAT image quality can increase your load time…which is bad! Bad for SEO and bad for your user experience. As a general rule of thumb, shoot for images that are under 500 KB and really no larger than 3,000 pixels.
If you are creating graphic using images and text, the text overlays will not help your SEO. Search engines, as smart as they are, can’t read them. However, a great Alt-Image-Tag can definitely help. Yes, yet another area to put your all important keywords (see tip #1)
LET'S GET SOCIAL!
If you are looking to drive traffic to your website, what better way to do it than social media engagement? Traffic is a key factor in search engine algorithms. Putting your message out on social media with a link back to your website is a great way for people (traffic) to visit your website. All search engines look for several things when it comes to social media and your website.
1 - Do your social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LInkedIn, YouTube, Tik Tok) exist?
2- Do social media users like and share your posts?
3 - How many followers do you have on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram?
4 - Are other users mentioning you?
Adobe says The better the quality of your presence on each social network—and the more frequently you use SEO tactics within your social media pages—the more likely it is that you’ll rank higher on relevant SERPs. (Search Engine Result Pages)
6 - LINK BUILDING
You’ve probably noticed those ads for experts that can create 1,000 links back to your website for $10 to get your business #1 on Google! If you haven’t, you're lucky. If you have DON’T DO IT. Remember, if it’s too good to be true, it is and that’s definitely the case with these types of practices. Most search algorithms will actually penalize you for tons of non-relevant links.
So what is good back link building? It’s the process of having a high quality and trusted website link back to your website. When a search engine sees an industry leading website link back to your website, it tells the search engine that your site is pretty good too. It’s called authority and it is a primary building block of good SEO. You can use industry associations, business directories and networking groups to link back to your site. You can also reach out to others trying to do guest posts (with a link back to your site)
Don’t forget about outbound links. They are links from your website to other websites. A common misconception is that this will lead people off your website but they are actually really good for your SEO. Remember the world wide web is a WEB, not a stand alone address.
You can also increase your authority with internal links within your own website. For instance, put a link on your home page to your about page ,services and/or contact page. It makes for a good user experience and also helps increase time on-site which all search algorithms love.
SEO vs. PPC
Want to be on the first page of Google tomorrow? You can, but you are going to pay for it. Depending on your industry and area, you can pay A LOT. But, is it better than organic search results? That’s a question that just about every digital marketer has an opinion about. Here’s why. We are SLAMMED with ads all the time. Some people are turned off by content that is forced on them and they will actually avoid the paid search results (PPC) and opt for the listings below the ads.
Please don’t misunderstand. A lot of people click PPC ads and they are a key part of any marketing campaign. But, overtime, you can get more sustainable and usually less expensive results with SEO over PPC. SEO will last for the long haul. As soon as you stop paying for your PPC ads, traffic stops.
YOU NEED USERS TO LIKE YOU....REALLY LIKE YOU!
I’m betting that, at some point in the last 48 hours, you did a Google search, clicked on a website and realized very quickly that it’s not where you want to be. It’s like walking into a house that you are thinking about buying and it smells really bad. Not a great user experience.
You want to your website to be welcoming, easy to use, and make people want to stay. Search engines know a lot about the people that visit your website. For your website to rank high it really needs to:
Have really good page load times (we HATE to wait for a page to load)
Be mobile friendly. 60 percent of searches are not done on a computer.
Have a low bounce rate which is a single page visit
Keep users on your site for a long time. (known as dwell time)
We have talked about a lot of “technical” factors for SEO but for a good user experience, you need to consider the art of design. Does your site look good? Is the information easy to find? Are you providing an easy way for visitors to contact you? All of these (and a lot more) play into a great user experience and good SEO.
ARE YOU WATCHING?
Great SEO requires monitoring. You don’t put your prize winning pie in the oven, walk away, never check it and just hope it turns out great. No, you watch it baking and make sure the crust is nice and flaky. (now I’m hungry)
SEO is just the same. As users, we love that search engines like Google are constantly improving and making search results better. As digital marketers, we are constantly watching to adjust to those changes. Google made 4,500 changes to its algorithm in 2020. That’s over 12 changes per day! It takes adjusting target keywords and content (and a lot more) to keep your page ranking high.
A FINAL WORD
If you haven't guessed already, there is a LOT to SEO but, it's worth it. There are only 10 organic spots on any SERP and the competition to get there is fierce. You can certainly do most of it yourself but if you want help or just to even know how your are currently doing, let J29 Marketing help. We can send you a comprehensive SEO report. Just click here.