The 5 Things you need to know about SEO
As a small business owner, you have a laundry list of tasks that you are constantly trying to balance. SEO is one of the most important aspects of digital marketing, it’s usually the preferred method over the more expensive pay per click alternative.
SEO has many advantages that will help you grow your business exponentially, first it is the most cost effective form of inbound marketing… Instead of paying for every click, you rank your website on the first page of Google’s organic searches this way you’re not paying per leads.
Second, it allows you to make your website content rich and informative so your clients feel more informed about your services.
SEO is definitely a must for any small business trying to grow using digital marketing, but it can be time consuming and many business owners frankly don’t have the time to run an effective SEO campaign.
Use these 5 tips to get your SEO started and make sure you give yourself the best shot at ranking.
1. A Great SEO Campaign Starts With Great Keywords
Pick a solid list of keywords that you know people in your industry are searching. Try to stay away from broad keywords, these will be incredibly difficult to rank and you will waste a lot of resources trying.
Instead, opt for more ‘long tail keywords’ these are more specific and will be easier to rank down the line. A broad keyword would be “Teeth Whitening” while a long tail version looks more like “Teeth whitening in the Upper East Side”, be aware the long tail keywords will yield slightly less volume in terms of searches per month, but it will allow you to earn a greater piece of the pie.
Eventually, after you have ranked for your long tail keywords, it will be less of a task to rank for broader terms.
2. On-Page Optimization
Once you have chosen a good set of keywords, now you’re ready for the fun part. On-page optimization should be your first order of business.
When considering on-page optimization there are really 3 key components that come to mind.
Meta Description– This is the description that is displayed whenever you see your listing on Google. Try to keep your description under 160 characters, and always try to include the keyword you are trying to rank on that page.
ALT Text– Google’s spiders can only crawl text, meaning if there is an image on your page, Google’s spiders don’t know to crawl that image unless there is an ALT text. ALT text lets Google know that the image should be crawled. Including your keyword in the ALT text, is a simple way to gain some extra rank juice.
H1, H2, H3s– Google looks at your headlines as a way to determine what the content on that page is about. Make sure your headline is some variation of your keyword, since Google puts a lot of emphasize on your title tags.
If your site is on WordPress, you can find hundreds of tools that will help you organize all of your SEO tasks so you can be sure that your on-page optimization is done right.
3. Content is King
Now your web page has been completely optimized because you are an SEO rock star! Now what?
Now, you take your talents off-site, you want to create content and not just any content, but the content your target audience will find helpful and informative.
Content is SEO gold, it is one of the most influential factors when it comes to your SEO rankings. The type of content you choose to create matters, Pictures, infographics, stories, blog articles all of these forms of content get tons of shares on social media.
Google needs to see that your website as well as all the content that it produces is relevant and useful to the people in your industry. It does this by measuring the shares any specific content receives, the time people spend on your page, and how many people are linking back to your content.
These are some of the key metrics in deciding whether your content is rank worthy.
4. The Art of Back Links
Backlinks like everything else on this list is key to achieving successful rankings.
Google feels that if people are constantly linking back to your page then there must be something there worth reading. Back links are great for your rankings, but if done in excess it can actually harm your rankings, Google penalizes websites that have too many “spammy” links, so always air on the side of caution to make sure you are receiving quality back links instead of spam.
There are a lot of SEO tools that allow you to check your competitors backlinks, this is the perfect way to grab some of the same high authority back links your competitors are using.
Just reach out to the webmaster and try to find out how you can go about getting a link on their page, you’d be surprised how simple it can be at times.
5. Become a Social Media Master
One of the ways to guarantee yourself great rankings is to master the art of social media.
Learning how to use social media to aid your SEO efforts takes time, and some serious content creation but it’s not impossible.
Start by deciding who you want to target, and what platforms give you the greatest access to these people.
Once you have this information start publishing content your target market wants to see, and share. Also remember your profiles get indexed by Google, so feel free to include your keyword in some of your social media descriptions and post.
Including links to your website in your post will help you attract social signals, these are crucial to rankings as Google sees this as a direct reflection of how relevant your content is.
Be sure to give value in your social media post, don’t constantly drown your followers with sales offers because you will slowly start to lose people.
SEO is a key part of any digital marketing campaign, It is a key part of having a successful business online. SEO is slightly complicated, but the best part is that it can be learned.
These 5 tips should be used to get a basic understanding of what are some of the ranking factors within SEO. The fact of the matter is that no one can be 100% sure of how Google’s algorithms affect rankings, but you can be sure that you are doing everything you can to give yourself the best shot at edging your competition.
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