2018 is officially here! Whether you watched the ball drop in Time’s Square or enjoyed a local celebration at your hometown with friends and family, 2018 is finally here and we couldn’t be happier to see what this year has in store. Like many, you probably have several New Year’s resolutions you would like to stick to for a happier and healthier future.
One of the most important resolutions you might have forgotten about is improving your website’s SEO. Every year we see clients spend thousands of dollars to improve their marketing efforts without setting realistic goals for refining their SEO. To help, we’ve put together a few simple goals any company can use to develop a plan for achieving higher ranks on search engines and driving leads to their websites.
Tags, Titles, & Meta Data
Contrary to popular belief you don’t need to be an SEO guru to make improvements to your website’s SEO. One of the first areas we usually look at on a client’s website are page tags, keywords, and meta descriptions. These three areas of a website are the main components search engines use to determine how your content matches the search queries a user types into a search bar.
By making sure the pages of your website have appropriate title tags, meta descriptions, and candid keywords throughout the content, users searching for your related products/services will have an easier time finding your website. Periodically reviewing these aspects of your website and making changes according to current best practices is the best way to staying at the top of search engine results pages in the future.
Local Search Directories
One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to improve your website’s SEO is taking advantage of local search. What many companies don’t know about search engines is that they sometimes prefer local businesses. For example, if someone types in HVAC companies in York, PA, search engines like Google are going to reference their databases and return results of companies in the York area.
What this means is that having your name on local directories and lists will improve your chances of showing up in the top search results of a local query. These local directories and lists can include your local chamber of commerce, Yelp, a Google Business Listings, and organizations related to your specific industry. There are two main options you have for improving your local search.
If you live in a secluded market such as a small town or city, you could visit each directory’s website and submit your profile. This is cost effective and gives you complete control. If your business is in a large metropolitan area or if you do business across the country, you may want to look into a paid service like Advice Local.
Paid services like Advice Local will allow you to build your own profile and submit it to hundreds of directories of your choice. It’s a great way to get blanket coverage and ensure you’re not missing out on opportunities from undiscovered sources.
If you’ve ever researched SEO or were curious about how search engines operate, chances are you’ve come across the topic of keywords. Keywords are easily the most influential aspects of a website’s SEO and are also one of the easiest to research. From blogs to forums and online tools, keywords have been a hot topic among professionals for years.
As you know, whenever a user types a series of words into a search engine, the search is compared to a database of millions of pages of content to produce a result that is relevant to the user’s needs. One of the ways search engines determine a page’s relevancy is by its keywords. By refining the keywords of your website, you can adjust what searches your website ranks for and improve the quality of traffic to your domain.
Companies like Google and Moz offer free tools you can use to research different keywords related to your products or services. With these tools, you can see metrics like search volumes, ranking difficulty, and suggestions for similar keywords. With this, you can have a better understanding of the keywords you are trying to rank for and how you can tailor your website content around these keywords.
This will make you more competitive in search results and ensure you have the right people visiting your site for the right reason. Effective keyword management can improve website metrics like bounce rate, session duration, and even lead to higher sales in the future.
A Clear Plan & Goals
As rudimentary as it may sound, having a clear set of attainable goals supported by a strategy is one of the best ways you can improve the SEO of your site. Whenever we meet with clients for the first time and start talking SEO, many of them believe there is a quick fix that will solve all of their SEO issues. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Improving the organic search rankings of a website is an ongoing process that requires continual attention and refinement. If you’re just starting out, you should think about doing a site audit with Moz or SEM Rush to get a firm understanding of the current status of your site. With this, you can have a baseline of your current search rank and learn about certain areas you can improve.
Once you have an idea about where your website stands, putting together a clear plan of action with realistic goals will help guide your efforts. Done well, your plan can act as a blueprint and can be adjusted to meet your changing needs in the future.
2017 was a great year for the web development field as well as SEO. As best practices change and search engines refine their algorithms, we all need to make a conscious effort to improve our sites and improve our visitor’s search experience. So don’t forget to include improving your site’s SEO on this year’s New Year’s Resolutions.
Looking to make an impact on your site’s SEO? Contact our team today and try something VIG!