SEO may be a long term process, but there are actually a number of simple things you can do right now to get that process working in the right direction. Here are 7 easy ways to make your website more search engine-friendly and thus easier to find by your potential customers.
1. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes when they’re searching for you on the web.
SEO is not the place to try and put across some unique way of referring to a product or service. Perhaps you think of yourself as a provider of beverage container opening solutions. But if your potential customers think they’re looking for bottle openers, you’d better have the phrase “bottle opener” all over your website-even if that verbiage doesn’t fully reflect your company’s branding aspirations. The first order of business is to get people to find you.
2. Make the words you need to “own” ubiquitous on your website.
If you’re selling bottle openers, the phrase “bottle opener” should appear on every single page of your website, from the “Contact Us” page to the “Terms and Conditions.” Surprisingly, companies often forget this and end up with only a few instances of words or phrases that are absolutely crucial to their business. You can easily check how often key words and phrases appear on your website by doing a keyword search within your own website domain on Google.
3. Pay attention to title tags.
They’re the part of the HTML that tells your browser which words to display along the top of your browser window or your browser tabs. Search engines pay attention to them too. If the title tag for your “About” page is simply “About,” it’s not going to help your SEO. Instead preface the “About” with a short description of what you’re selling and then your company name, like “Easy to use bottle openers – Acme Beverage Container Opening Solutions, Inc. – About.” After all, nobody’s going to look for you by searching on the word “About.”
4. Get your website mentioned on other websites.
Nothing makes your website look important to the search engines like seeing it referred to on other websites. These days, getting these “backward links” is one of the key reasons for sending press releases over newswire services. It’s not just the possibility of someone reading coverage about your Series 8000 bottle opener in Beverage Container Times that matters. Even more important is the inevitable link to your website that such coverage provides. Eventually the Series 8000 will be succeeded by the Series 9000, but the link will live on and boost the significance of your website in the eyes of the search engine long afterwards. Besides sending press releases over the newswire, you can ask your resellers, partners, distributors, and other stakeholders to mention you on their websites prominently and often in exchange for doing the same for them.
5. If you issue press releases, put important words in the headline and the first paragraph.
Which of these headlines do you think is more SEO friendly?
A. Acme to Showcase New Compact Nickel-Plated Series 8000 at 2016 Beverage Container World in Anaheim, California
B. New Bottle Openers from Acme Feature Compact Design, Ease of Use; Nickel Plated Series 8000 on View at Beverage Container World
OK, you may think we’re joking but every day scores of companies send out press releases where it’s difficult to tell from the headline what they’re selling. Maybe that’s because they think that vagueness will make people curious to read on. Possibly, but search engines aren’t people. They are much more impatient, and they favor communications that come quickly and obviously to the point.
6. Consider bribing the search engine to bring up your company for a small consideration.
In other words, try pay per click (PPC) search engine advertising, like Google Adwords. Rumors to the contrary, PPC isn’t cheap, but it can be effective, particularly if there’s something distinctive about your product or service that people are consciously looking for. The cost and results will depend on how many other companies you’re bidding against for the same clicks. If what you’re selling is something people don’t know that they need yet, then PPC may not yield the hoped for results.
7. Update content on existing pages rather replacing old pages altogether.
Search engines tend to prefer new wine in old bottles. A page that’s been around for years that gets updated regularly will do better in SEO results than a brand new page that needs to be discovered and crawled before it can start climbing up the results. This is especially important to keep in mind if you ever do your website over completely. Roll out a great new website without a transition plan in place and POOF! All references to your website on Google can become dead links overnight.
We hope you’ve found these tips a useful tool you can apply at once to your company’s website and media outreach. No time even to think about SEO? Redpines can help. Ask us about our $299 SEO Diagnostic Package that scores your company on the above metrics and gives you a game plan for getting your SEO on the upswing starting immediately.