If you’ve been in Clubhouse you may have heard of people discussing the topic of SEO or search engine optimization. Is it a buzzword? Yes. Should you care about it if you have a website? Yes.
What is SEO after all? Just think of it as getting your website in the best shape for visitors and search engines.
Understanding how your customers search can go a long way in getting your website in front of the right people.
Keep reading to find out how to optimize your site and understand how SEO works.
Why Does SEO Matter?
SEO matters because it’s all about helping your potential customers find you. Think about it, you have a website and all of this amazing content. But what’s the point of all this work, if you’re not getting the traffic?
Let’s look at the stats:
84% of people use Google 3+ times a day. (Oberlo)
46% of product searches begin on Google(Oberlo)
90% of people said they are more likely to click on the first set of search results(Oberlo)
Optimizing your site for SEO gives your website the potential to get more traffic, leads, and sales!
By working on your SEO, your website can rank at the top of search results, which means more leads for your business.
Let’s take a step back though.
What is SEO all about?
SEO has three main areas that allow your website to pull up on the first page of search results:
1. On-page SEO – This is the front-facing content your visitors can see. Examples include blog articles, images, charts, etc.
2. Technical SEO – The backend optimization of your website. Examples include sitemaps, backlinks, etc.
3. Off-page SEO – This can be guest blogging, content marketing campaigns, public relation efforts, etc. This is pretty much anything taking place off your site.
To keep things simple, I will discuss only on-page SEO.
Step 1: Create Great Content
This portion of SEO refers to optimizing the front-facing content of your website. Ask yourself these questions? Is your site answering your potential client’s questions? Are you serving high-quality content to your audience?
One way to accomplish this is to make sure all of your website pages have focused keywords. Think about the questions your potential clients may be typing in Google. Use these phrases and keywords in your content.
You can do market research, offer surveys and visit forums where your target audience is located to get a better understanding of these keywords. If you work with a marketing consultant, they often have paid tools such as SEMRush which can help find even more specific keywords.
Similar to your social media strategy, your website also needs to have core topic pillars. Content pillars help your audience better understand what your niche is.
Keep Content Organized
Content organization is important for SEO. The simple layout of your content helps people better engage with your audience and helps Google crawl it as well.
For example, if you have a blog post that’s just one whole page of text, consider adding white space to your paragraphs. People don’t like to read a ton of text and Google may not understand the topic of your page.
Break up the content with appropriate headers by order of their importance starting with H1s and H2s (known as headlines) and include high-quality images. These headlines are crawled by Google so be thoughtful on how you’re writing these.
If you have a blog or e-commerce site, content taxonomy is a must. Essentially, it’s a structured way for Google and your clients to crawl your website. How you organize your content with appropriate tags, schema, and metadata are ways to keep users on your site for longer periods (we call this ‘sticky’). This is getting into the technical side of SEO, so let’s take a break.
Another way to optimize your site for SEO is to make sure all of your pages have user-focused metadata. Metadata is the content that helps people click on your website. It’s also the content that search engines use to crawl and index your site.
H1 tags – These are the primary headers of your content. All pages should have at least one of these. Don’t have more than one per page.
Meta descriptions – Two sentences that work as a summary of your page. The more engaging this is, the more likely people will click on your link in search. A great description can help with your site’s click-through rate.
Alt text – The descriptions of your images. Read by screen readers, these are important for accessibility and help people better understand the content of your page. It’s best to not type ‘image of’ when writing the alt text.
Title tags – The titles of each of your pages. Make sure to incorporate keywords into this content. Don’t stuff keywords in there, instead think about the search intent of your audience.
Consider your customers first– Use phrases or keywords they would use. There are free tools you can use such as, AskthePublic.com or you can simply type in Google’s search bar using similar phrases to get more ideas.
Write with your niche-specific keywords. For example, if you are a women’s clothing boutique and you have a product page on skinny jeans, an example of a long-tail keyword would be “distressed black skinny jeans for petite woman.”
Keep these descriptions short and simple. Write for your audience in a way that is easy to understand.
Here’s a quick cheat sheet or the character limits:
· Ideal title page length: 50 – 60 characters
· Ideal meta description length: 50-160 characters
· Ideal alt text length: 125 characters
If you need help with writing your content for SEO, hire a marketing consultant who specializes in this. As a new business owner, you may not have the time to learn all of this.
At the end of the day, your content should provide value. One way to let search engines know this is the case is when other websites point links to your website.
The more links pointing in and out to your site, the more search engines will trust it. This link juice trust factor will help rank your website rank higher on the search results pages.
Make sure you’re pointing links to reputable websites with good domain authority. Also, make sure you’re getting high-quality backlinks from other websites. Low-quality sites can hurt your overall website performance.
How Can I Get Links to My Site?
Use Your Current Community – If you have a business bestie that has a connection to your business, be a guest author on her blog.
Leverage Your Social Media Channels – Add links to your bio, IG Story (make sure you have at least 10k followers), and YouTube channel. These can be great ways to get more organic traffic to your site.
Podcasts – If you happen to be on a podcast, mention your site. This is another way to increase organic traffic to your site. The host can add your website or any relevant links to your business in the show notes.
Newsletters – An email list, no matter the size, is a great way to bring traffic to your site. Your emails should include relevant content for your audience. Don’t be afraid to mention current promotions you offer. Include a call to action that brings your readers to your product, blog, or company pages.
Virtual/Live Events – Host an event regarding a subject area you’re an expert in and have the audience go to your website to learn more! Add to your email list and keep the conversation going!
SEO doesn’t need to be another dreaded marketing task you do for your business. Instead, think of it as regular maintenance for your website. Just like taking your car to get oil changes! It never ends but it’s important to do.
If you’re effectively serving your audience and you have a healthy website, then Google and other search engines will recognize that.
Remember love, you don’t have to do it all alone. You already have a lot on your plate. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help.
I’m a marketing consultant who is passionate about helping women business owners, such as yourself, rock their marketing efforts. SEO writing and strategy are services I offer. Let me take these marketing tasks off your plate!
Feel free to send me an email and we can chat further!