So, you just invested in a website that contains all of the bells and whistles needed to set your company apart from the competition – cutting edge design to capture your audience’s attention, plenty of content to keep them engaged, and compelling calls-to-action that drive conversions. However, having those key elements in place does not automatically mean that your website will be a successful part of your marketing strategy. If you do not have your site optimized for search engines, your investment will get buried in the never-ending pile of search results on Google, never to be seen by your intended audience.
How do you keep that from happening?
Well, there is a lot that goes into developing a sound search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, but there are some easy steps you can take to make your website more visible on search engines.
1. Assign relevant keywords and meta descriptions to each page
In order for Google and other search engines to include your website in search results, they have to know what it is all about. The way they do that is by “reading” each page’s keywords and meta description, both components that are not necessarily visible to the average web user, but are instead in the back end to guide search engines in correctly categorizing the page.
During the content development phase of building a website, research should be conducted to choose the right keywords for each page. In addition to selecting keywords that accurately represent that page’s content, there are a few other aspects to consider, including the competition for each keyword and how often the keyword is searched.
Meta descriptions are typically one sentence in length, detail what the page’s content is about, and contain all of the keywords from the corresponding page. It is a good idea to look up current recommended guidelines for constructing meta descriptions, including maximum length, as best practices are constantly evolving.
2. Decrease load time by optimizing images
Today’s busy world has not only made fast load speeds a convenient aspect of a website – it has also made them a very necessary one. In fact, studies show that page loads that take longer than three seconds can cause around 53% of visitors to immediately click the dreaded exit button.
Having a lot of photos on your website, especially unoptimized ones, is a common reason for lagging load speeds, and is also a relatively easy problem to fix. First, audit your website to make sure that each image adds to your overall message and fits your branding, and make deletions as needed. Compress the remaining photo files, which makes the images easier to load without sacrificing quality. Completing these easy tasks are crucial in retaining potential customers and maximizing conversions.
3. Link to Relevant Websites with Authority
You may think linking to another website is counterproductive for your SEO strategy, but doing so actually allows you to be a more comprehensive resource for the person visiting your website, which boosts your SEO rankings. Of course, linking to any old website is not a good idea; instead, find credible sources within your industry to occasionally link to throughout your website content.
Another plus of adding external links to your website is that it can lead to the authoritative site linking back to you, which goes far when you want to improve organic rankings.
4. Write Engaging Content that Connects with Your Audience
During the process of making your website search engine-friendly, it is easy to lose some of the human-friendliness. Having relatable and, most importantly, helpful content for your audience should be your #1 priority, as they are going to be the ones actually purchasing your products or services. Things like trying to stuff as many keywords into your content as possible will lead users to leave your website to find a more helpful solution, driving down the average time spent on your site, and, thus, your rankings.
5. Monitor your website’s rankings on a regular basis
“Set it and forget it” does not work for SEO. Keywords that once brought in tons of traffic may turn into ones that are rarely searched. Local competition may start bidding on your keywords, rendering your organic efforts useless. An effective SEO strategy must include consistent monitoring and be adaptable to keep up with the ever-changing world. There are many resources available, some free, that allow you to easily see how your website ranks and that offer tools that help you perfect your SEO game plan.
Need help getting your website in front of your customers during that critical moment that they are searching for your products or services? Turn to the SEO experts at Midwest Marketing! We are here to make sure all of the components are in place to get you to the top, and keep you there!