March 22, 2017
Every website absolutely needs SEO to be successful. Without it, a website can hang out on the fourth page of Google and never be seen by potential customers who might be looking for your exact offering. The first step in getting involved with your website’s SEO is preparing a strategy tailored to your business. According to, HubSpot, an inbound marketing and sales platform, there are five steps to creating a SEO strategy.
Do Keyword Research
Keywords are the words typed into search engines, and they are the words your customers use to describe what they are looking for. Once you know who those customers are, you can start to figure out what kind of words they would use when describing your company or product in a search engine. For a more detailed step-by-step on how to brainstorm a list of these keywords, check out our blog, How to Create Long-tail Keywords. Once you’ve created your list, you’ll want to figure out which keywords people are using to find your site and which ones among those you’ll have the best opportunity to rank for. The best way to do this is to find a tool that will allow you to see which keywords your site is currently ranking for along with ranking difficulty ratings, if available. Two of the tools we like to use are HubSpot’s Keywords tool or Google Search Console. Once you have solidified your keywords list, you’ll be ready to create your website content!
Create Content Around Your Keywords
Mimic the language that you come up with to build the content of your website around. Using language similar to that of your customer is what makes your keywords identifiable to the search engines and pushes your site to the top of the list. Content built around your keywords is important because search engines not only look for keywords but they try to determine the searcher’s intent, and they will judge your content against that intent. If you only put keywords on your page but your site content is about a different topic, the search engine will deem your site irrelevant because they know the user will not find more information about what they are searching for on your page. Craft descriptive content around your keywords to help the user better understand your offering. According to Adweek, 81% percent of shoppers conduct online research before they make a purchase, and 60% of shoppers begin by using a search engine. That’s a huge number of people who know what they want but they haven’t decided whom to buy from! Users want as much information about products and services as they can find so they can make decisions before they ever step into a store.
Optimize Content Around A Primary Keyword
Don’t be afraid of change. Changing elements of your website to improve traffic is a good thing and will only help your business in the long run. Once you determine your keywords and write your content, there are four things to consider when optimizing your page.
- Optimize the page around a primary keyword. You should consider adding your keyword to the URL, page title, alt-text, and headers so that search engines will recognize it. You should also include the keyword in the meta description, which shows up in the search result listings. Although this is not tracked by search engines, it’s meant for users and can be the determining factor for why someone chooses your site over your competitor’s site.
- Include relevant internal and external links. Links are an important tool for building domain authority on the web. Domain authority, developed by Moz, is described as a metric for determining how likely a domain is to rank in Google’s search results. If you have the opportunity to link to another page on your site and/or an external page that provides important resources, do it!
- Promote good user experience. Let’s face it, no one likes navigating through a difficult and hard to understand site. Make sure your website is intuitive and logically constructed along with being easy to navigate.
- Optimize your website for mobile. If your website is not mobile friendly, you are digging yourself into a hole. Over 80% of internet users own a smartphone, and it is very likely that they are pulling up your website on that phone. So, optimize your website to look great on any size device.
Promote Your Content
Social media, emails, newsletters. Do what it takes to get the word out there that yes, you have a website, and yes, it is incredible. If you’ve got it, flaunt it. Sometimes all it takes for someone to check out your website is a nudge in that direction, so never pass up an opportunity to promote your own website.
Earn Links To Your Content
Along with adding links to internal and external sources within your content, you can earn “inbound links” from the content of other sites. This is another way to build authority and help raise your potential ranking opportunity within search results. The best way to do this is to connect with authoritative sites and build relationships with industry thought leaders. Industry thought leaders are great resources because once you include them in your content, they can share your content and attract new visitors and links to your site!
Everyone talks about SEO, but it can be hard to find practical advice for how to rank higher. We’ve provided you with a list that will enable you to begin crafting your strategy today! Remember, SEO is a slow-moving process, and results won’t happen overnight. After following the steps above, it may still take 18 to 24 months to see the results you’re looking for. Don’t get discouraged! Every site has to start somewhere. With our helpful steps and the use of powerful tools, you’ll be that much closer to attracting more visitors to your site.