The idea behind Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a fairly easy concept to grasp, but the steps needed to implement good SEO practices can take some time.
SEO is a way to help search engines crawl, index, and understand your content; in other words, to optimize your search results. When users type something into a search bar, the most relevant unpaid results rank higher in the organic search results list—which is where you want to be! But how do you get your website and content to rank higher? By building SEO directly into your owned media! Believe us, it is easier than it sounds.
We’ve included some simple things you can do to easily build SEO into one of your greatest owned media assets: your website.
Make a plan for the keywords that are relevant to your content. Keywords are the words and phrases users type into a search engine to access information related to your business. You don’t need to get too crazy with long phrases but choose the words that best describe what you are writing about and stick with them. Once you have chosen your keywords for your site or content, you can double-check that the keywords are relevant by utilizing Keyword Planner (a free Google tool) or a similar program. This will ensure that you are heading in the right direction when it comes to reaching your target audience. “Marketing firm Wyoming” will yield different results than “Wyoming marketing firm.” Do research, play and track keywords to see which perform the best.
Add SEO into Content
Depending on your content management system (CMS) and the website features you have, you can fill out information to improve your SEO These fields can include meta tags, hashtags, alt text, focus keywords, and categories. While it is not mandatory that you fill out every field, it makes a huge difference when you do because it enables search engines to better identify the content subject.
Like an outline of a paper, the outline of your website is important and helpful to know where information can be located. While it is important to make your website unique, it is more important to make it user friendly. If a user cannot navigate through your website because it does not flow well from one page to the next or the navigation buttons are not clear, chances are slim that they’ll refer your site to others or even return. Periodically check each link on your website to ensure they’re not broken and that all of your pages are found without error. There are many tools including MozBar to help you accomplish this. Additionally, providing a site map to the search engines that show what your navigation looks like will help to validate your pages and content, and improve search results.
Inserting precise and descriptive links is another piece of the SEO puzzle. Both internal and external links are important, but the more internal links you provide, the more likely your target audience will remain on your website to seek out your information. Instead of using a link with the words “click here,” try to use words that are descriptive. When you use the words to describe the link in your owned content, then your users will have an idea about what they are clicking on. Search engines will pick up on the linked, descriptive text more often because it is describing your content and not just the words “click here.”
User accessibility is a huge deal for search engines. If your site is not accessible to all, then your SEO ranking will not be as high, making it more difficult for users to find your content. When loading your photos, upload a manageable size so they won’t bog down your website speed. The longer your content takes to load, the less likely a user is to stay on your page. Studies have shown that users spend 70% more time on your site if it loads within 5 seconds. These numbers matter when it comes to search engines, too. Website crawlers will determine if your site is in good health and if they recommend it to searchers.
Additionally, adding in “alt text” on photos or videos and using your keywords in the headers, URL, and window title all contribute to positive accessibility.
Make responsive design a priority when designing your site. Nearly 59% of search engine visits come from mobile users. In order to capture this growing audience, it is imperative to create a site that will showcase your content in an organized, readable manner. Failing to take this step can cost potential clients. As Google has moved to mobile-first indexing, this can also cause your search results to rank lower.
Don’t let your hard work in creating owned media go to waste. The goal is to get users to your website and implementing SEO is an easy, free, and worthwhile investment.