Your website is where you should spend the most time doing SEO. The good news is that if you haven’t done any of this, it’s never too late to do it.
Site and page titles
Starting with your URL, you can add a title that shows up in the tab of your browser. The title is what follows the URL. In the example here you can see that the company name does not appear, but instead what we provide appears: Funeral Programs & Memorial Products. Google reads that as well as the titles of my pages and helps determine a ranking for them.
As you’re building your site, in the back end there is a section called Meta Tags. This is where you put keywords and phrases that people search for related to your business.
This section is where you put a brief description of the web page; it’s what shows up in search results. Someone will read that meta description to determine if your site has what they’re looking at. They will either click or move on. Adding a 2-3 sentence description of the site (bonus: use keywords in the description) will also help Google isolate your site as the best choice. Having nothing there encourages potential clients to move on rather than dig deeper by clicking onto your site.
Image file names and descriptions
Creating imagery for your site is a killer way to do SEO because it works multiple ways. For one, images are appealing to look at on your site. Also, if you name your images properly, they’ll show up in searches. Here are a couple of tricks:
Hack 1: Name the file using your keywords instead of something generic. In the case of Cherished Keepsakes, don’t name a file this way: “program1.jpg” and instead name it this way: “funeral-program-memorial-folder-1.jpg”. Now, if someone does an image search for funeral programs, my image will show up in the rankings.
Hack 2: Vary the file names based on different search terms to see which are being shown the most and clicked on.
This is where SEO is the most important because Google wants to see the keywords in the content of your website. Use a tool like Google Trends https://trends.google.com/trends/?geo=US, which I’ll describe in the following article, to see what people are searching for related to your business. Then, start incorporating those terms in your website.
Updating your site
A site that’s regularly updated is viewed as reliable. Google sees that site is trying to stay relevant and rewards it by ranking it higher because it’s providing more value. The easiest way to do that is through a blog. Again, use Google Trends to learn what people are looking for. You can create articles based on that knowledge. Google will see it and start giving you higher rankings. This is the long game of SEO because the longer the content is out there, the more people will see it, click it, provide links to it, and boost your rankings. As people see you solving their problems, they’ll trust you and prefer to buy your products over others.
Having links to other sites and having your site and blog posts linked and shared by others will boost your rankings as well. Having links going in and out of your site tells Google, “hey, this place is a hub of information I need to share with others.”
Caution: you don’t want to post the exact same content on your site that’s somewhere else. Translation: don’t copy and paste the content from one site directly into yours. Google sees the duplicate content and then drops BOTH of your rankings because it views the content as questionable. Instead, provide a synopsis and include a link.
In the next article in this series, I’ll talk about SEO tools. Until next time, I wish you success transforming your business into an amazing brand. (Editor note: This is the 3rd article in the 6-part series, Taming the SEO Monster.)
Images courtesy of George Paul III.
George Paul III is a branding expert and award-winning designer. He’s the Founder of Seize the Brand, an education platform designed to empower business owners by leveraging the power of branding to realize business and life goals.
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