Search engine optimization can be like a game or a competition. You are playing a game of strategy with other competitors in a competition on who can gain the most credibility to make it to the first page of search results. It’s not very often that anyone looks beyond the front page of their favorite search engine site to find what they’re looking for, so it’s important to have what it takes to get on the front page. You could be losing potential customers to your competitors that outrank you. Here are some SEO tips to stay ahead of the competition!
Research your keywords. What words and phrases are users searching that are relevant to your business? To get the right visitors to your site, you need to make sure your SEO strategy is based on what users are searching in order to find your services or offerings online. Think from the customer’s perspective. What are users searching for and is what they are looking for on your site? Will they find the information they need to answer their questions or find the product they need to solve the problem they have? When thinking about the keywords you want to rank for, also consider speech-to-text searches as well.
Optimize your site. This sounds like a no-brainer, right? Once you’ve found the keywords you’re going to use, make sure those keywords are used thoughtfully on the pages that they’re relevant to. For example, if you have a page selling pink scarves, you wouldn’t want to optimize it for purple boots. You should have informative content that features the keywords in an unobtrusive way. Always remember to write for people and not search engines! However, it is important to make sure the search engine and the user are going to understand the content on your site. Keywords should also be used in title tags, meta descriptions, headers, and URLs if possible.
Maximize your backlinks. Internal links are important for your site, but what you may not know is that a very important step for your SEO strategy should be to get links from other credible sources. The more your website is connected from other credible sources on the web, the more credible it looks to search engines like Google. Consider reaching out to other site owners with similar content to ask if they will link to your site. Make sure your backlinks are of good quality as well; a few very credible links will get you much farther than many low-quality links. Lastly, if you create enough engaging content, people may want to link to your site from theirs all on their own.
Minimize your load time. Having a quick load time for your site is important for many reasons. Slow loading times diminish your SEO, and usability, in every way. It may also increase your bounce rate, which does even more to hurt your search engine rankings. In order to keep your load times down and your site speed up, consider getting rid of excessive multimedia, widgets, and plugins. Make sure that the images on your site are properly sized and not slowing everything down. Remove all unnecessary scripts from your site, and lastly, if your site is still slow, consider upgrading your webhost.
Measure your progress. After implementing these tips, regularly check how your website is ranking for your keywords. There are many tools you can use to track your progress, such as SEMRush, which allows you to see your position ranking in the search engine results pages. Another is MozBar, a tool for seeing a site’s (yours or a competitor’s) domain authority.
SEO can be a slow process. If you are not seeing your results in the time frame you had set for yourself, reevaluate your strategy. Are your chosen keywords too competitive? Is your strategy aggressive enough? Once you get the ranking you’re looking for, you are still in for a lot of effort in keeping your high position. SEO is a work in progress and takes a consistent investment to show Google you are a credible source of information. To continue to improve your rankings or maintain them, you must stay on top of the trends and keep up with your competitors.
Consider outsourcing your SEO. Because SEO is such a constantly changing, fickle field, it can be hard to keep up with the best tips and practices. Many companies (like us!) dedicate full-time work to keep up with the changes for your competitors. Hiring another company to take care of your SEO can seem like an unnecessary expense at first, but a professional SEO strategy can end up saving you money by getting more traffic to your site and, in turn, more leads and conversions.
If you feel like staying on top of your SEO is too much of a challenge for you, contact us today to see what we can do to take the load off your business’s shoulders!