Yep, there it is, the big, bad, scary word: SEO. If you’re unfamiliar with SEO, it stands for Search Engine Optimization. Basically, it’s the techniques that you employ on your website to be seen in search engines by your potential clients. You want to optimize your website content so that your website appears before competitors that target the same search terms as you do.
SEO can be daunting to everyone, including me – and I’m a professional who is able to stay on top of the changes and trends. There is SO much information out there on SEO and which techniques to use on your website and companies who claim (empty) promises for pennies on the dollar (Ever heard from a random company who guarantees that you’ll be on the first page of Google within 30 days)?
Google and other search engine algorithms change ALL. THE. TIME. Pair that with other factors that affect your SEO and how can a small business owner expect to compete against the big guys who have hundreds of thousands of dollars to invest in Google AdWords and similar programs to appear at the top of every search?
Phew. That’s a lot to keep up with. So, today, I’m sharing three SEO tips for your website.
Three SEO Tips for Your Website
- Page Speed
Have you ever checked how quickly your website loads? (If not, pause here and do this. There are a variety of tools out there like Google Page Speed Insights and GTMetrix). Okay, welcome back. How did your page speed rank? If it wasn’t very high, you’re not alone. Page speed is a critical component to your SEO. Think about if you were searching for a business or product and you had to wait minutes for the site to load. You’re definitely not going to stick around and see what they have to offer – you’ll move on. The same applies to users of your website. This means you’ll end up losing conversions which equals lost sales. In 2010, Google announced page speed as one of the all-time important SEO ranking factors. When your page loads slowly, users will either leave your site, not spend much time on your site, or not return to it at all. Check your site speed via one of the above websites and they’ll give you a list of what is bogging down your site and how to fix it.
- People-Friendly Writing
In the past, search engines ranked sites based on the keywords in them. This meant that a lot of people would “keyword stuff.” This means that they would just throw a bunch of keywords on their website in order to rank higher in searches. But, when users would go to the site, there would be no useful information and it would be a bunch of keyword mumbo jumbo. Search engines caught on and now focus on quality over quantity. When you write, write for people first – your customers should be your focus, not search engines. Provide them with helpful and relevant content. Search engines follow the users, not the other way around. This will also enhance users’ experience on your website and build trust around your brand.
- Image Keywords
Images are really important for your SEO. Practically every search engine has a section dedicated to images. How do you typically search for an image? With keywords, of course. One problem though – a search engine can’t read images. That’s where alt text comes in. Alt text is alternative text for an image. You can input keywords, descriptions, and captions for each image on your site to help Google and other search engines find and rank your website. But you also have to make sure you are using relevant keywords to your site (and, be sure not to keyword stuff!).
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day and you’re not going to be a top-ranked site overnight. While SEO may be overwhelming, these three tips will get you started in the right direction. If you have any questions about your website SEO, let me know – I am happy to help!