SEO is an on-going marketing strategy that takes time to produce results. Small businesses shouldn’t expect substantial improvements right away.
SEO is an ever-changing landscape, so what’s best practice today might not be best practice in a few years. With that in mind, here are eight proven SEO tips that can elevate your service:
1. Optimize Your Content
Content is the lifeblood of your digital marketing strategy. It’s what search engines look for and it’s how they evaluate a website. But even if you follow SEO best practices, you’re not necessarily optimizing every piece of your content for the right reasons.
Getting your content right starts with understanding who your audience is and what their expectations are for the search query you’re targeting. This will guide you as you decide what type of content to write, what tone to use, and how long to make it.
You also need to consider your competition and the search engine results pages (SERPs) for that particular query. Do they prioritize blog posts over e-commerce product pages, for instance?
Once you have a clear picture of your audience and the search engine expectations for that particular keyword, it’s time to begin mapping out all of the content on your site. This will help you identify any underperforming content that could be improved through further optimization or even rewriting it completely. You should also check back in periodically to reassess your goals and make sure your content is still meeting them. This may mean adding new keywords, adjusting the title tag, or updating the meta description.
2. Optimize Your Images
Images are the second heaviest items on a web page (after videos). They can slow down your site’s load time and create a poor user experience for your visitors. Optimizing your images helps you avoid these issues and provides a better experience for your customers.
Image optimization is the process of decreasing an image’s file size without losing quality. You can do this in Photoshop before uploading to your website, by using a plugin, or automatically through your CMS. This reduces the amount of data your server needs to send out to users, which increases your website speed.
Adding alt text to your images is also important for SEO. This text explains what the image is when it’s not displayed and can help search engines understand the content of your pages.
Finally, image compression is another tool that can help you optimize your images for performance. This can reduce the size of your images, which can save you a lot of storage space on your server. You can use lossy or lossless compression to achieve this.
3. Optimize Your Links
While building backlinks is an important part of SEO, it’s also important to optimize your internal links. When done correctly, this can help improve your page’s ranking and user experience. Internal links are hyperlinks that link to other pages on your website. Ideally, you should use these to direct users toward relevant content and help search engines understand the relevance of your content.
In addition to making it easier for users to find the content they want on your site, optimizing your links can also help you rank higher in organic search results. However, it’s important to note that link optimization isn’t a magic bullet—it takes time and effort to see real results.
In order to improve your internal linking strategy, you should first make sure that your navigation menu is organized properly. Ideally, you should only include the most relevant pages in your top navigation, such as your homepage and contact page. This will help search engines prioritize the most important content on your site and will prevent you from over-linking, which can negatively impact your search engine rankings. Finally, when creating your internal links, be sure to use keyword-relevant anchor text that will help search engines understand the context of your content.
4. Optimize Your Metadata
Metadata are any pieces of data that describe your content. These are typically HTML elements that search engines use to understand your content better. They can include things like what keywords your content uses, who wrote the piece, or if it has reviews. There are many different types of metadata, but some of the most important ones are title tags, meta descriptions, and image alt text.
A good meta description is the first thing a user sees on an SERP and can make or break whether they click on your result. It should be clear and concise, and it’s a good idea to include your target keyword (if it makes sense) in the description. However, don’t try to stuff the description with keywords – this will only make it look spammy and could lead to Google lowering your ranking.
While the benefits of optimizing your metadata aren’t as significant as some other SEO strategies, it’s still worth putting in the work because it can have a big impact on your visibility. Plus, it’s one of the quickest ways to improve your SERP appearance. So start by performing an audit of your current metadata, and then work on improving it.
5. Optimize Your Schema Tags
A little-known secret in the SEO world is that schema markup can help you create eye-catching, detailed SERP listings that boost your click-through rates. These snippets give searchers valuable information directly in the results page – and they can include things like prices, photos, or reviews. In fact, according to a study by Searchmetrics, click-through rates can increase up to 30% when pages are enhanced with schema markup.
With this information, users can make an informed decision about which business to choose without even clicking through to a website. Additionally, schema markup can also improve your local SEO visibility by letting Google know that you offer the types of services that searchers are looking for.
There are a few different ways to implement schema markup on your site, including using an all-in-one SEO plugin or manually adding the code to each individual page. Just be sure to use the right type of markup for your specific needs and remember that adding schema doesn’t guarantee a ranking boost. However, it’s a great way to give your brand an edge over competitors who don’t implement it. You can also try experimenting with different types of schema to see which ones work best for you.
6. Optimize Your Site Speed
It’s no secret that a website’s speed is important. It impacts the user experience, and a slow website can lead to higher bounce rates and lower conversions. And, as a result, you could lose business to competitors who offer faster websites.
In addition, fast websites rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), so optimizing your site speed is critical to your SEO strategy. Fortunately, there are many ways you can improve your site speed.
One way to do this is by minimizing the number of HTTP requests that your site makes. Each request requires a round trip to and from the server hosting the resource, which can add up to a significant delay in your page load time. Another way to improve your site speed is by using a tool like GTmetrix to determine which resources are taking the most time to load. Then, you can prioritize those that are most important and omit those that are not.
Finally, you can also optimize your site speed by using a tool like Google Lighthouse to analyze your current performance and identify areas for improvement. This tool provides a detailed report that includes recommendations for improving your site speed.
7. Optimize Your Keywords
As mentioned, keyword optimization is the process of optimizing your content for certain keywords or phrases to rank higher in search engines. It’s a crucial part of SEO and can help you drive more targeted traffic to your site.
First, you’ll need to choose the right keywords for your content. You can use free online tools or paid platforms like Semrush to find the best ones for your needs. Make sure to keep your target audience in mind when choosing keywords; using those that are relevant to their queries will help you attract the right kind of visitors.
Once you have a list of keywords to work with, it’s time to optimize your content. Start by making sure your main keyword is included in the title tag and headings of your page. Then, use a tool to see the competition and difficulty level of each keyword so you can prioritize which ones to focus on.
You’ll also want to include a few supporting keywords throughout the page to ensure that the search engine understands the context of your content. For example, if you’re writing about training for a marathon, you may want to include words like “training,” “marathon,” and “running shoes.” This will help you reach users who are in the top of the funnel and are ready to take action.