In your quest to build a successful online business, you’ll often find marketing experts recommend that you improve your website’s search engine optimization, also referred to as SEO. This is the process of improving your website’s visibility on major search engine results pages. Although there are several search engines, the holy grail of SEO is to rank at the top of Google for your chosen keyword because this will result in the greatest influx of traffic to your website.
If you find the task of improving the relevance of your website so that it’s indexed and ranked on the first page of major search engines overwhelming, you’re not alone. This, however, doesn’t mean that you’ll have to give up on the idea of doing well with SEO, just that you’ll have to decide whether to put in the time and effort to learn how to do it on your own or work with an agency like HigherVisibility to get the work done.
Whether you decide to find a way to do it right or hire a digital marketing firm to do it for you, the five critical areas to pay attention to when doing SEO are keywords, domain name, page title, meta tags, and headlines.
When you choose a keyword, you need to be specific, using long-tail keywords that describe your page contents. So, for example, if you’re selling protein supplements, don’t pick “protein supplements” but “organic protein supplements to build muscle and burn fat” or “fast absorbing protein supplements for hard-core bodybuilders.”
There are three reasons that you should prefer long-tail keywords over broader, more general keywords:
- First, you’ll target web surfers that intend to make a purchase.
- Second, the more specific your keyword or keyword phrase, the less competition you’ll face and the higher your chances of ranking well in the search engines.
- Third, you will still be able to get traffic from people who are doing a broad search.
When choosing a domain name, pick a name that includes your relevant keyword, that’s related to your business, and that’s easy to spell. It should also be memorable. Finally, if you have a choice, always select dot com, as most people default to using that when entering a domain name in their browser.
Your page title is part of the HTML of your website page, specifically, the tag.
Some basic rules of thumb to remember when it comes to page titles is to keep them short, accurate, and relevant. They should also be unique to each page of your website. If possible, include a call to action and make the page title as close to your headline as possible. One thing you should avoid doing is keyword stuffing.
When it comes to your meta tags, avoid repeating any keyword more than three times and use the same keywords in your keyword and description meta tags.
The headlines you write should serve two purposes: to entice readers to read your content and to give search engine spiders relevant information on how to index your page.
You serve readers by writing headlines that give a hint about your content. For instance, if you use a headline like, “Can’t Keep Up? 10 Ways to Simplify Your Grocery Shopping” you are attracting the attention of people who are always busy, who hate wasting time buying groceries, and who are looking for a way to simplify and speed up this necessary chore.
This headline will also work for SEO if your long-tail keyword is “simplify your grocery shopping.” In addition, you should use headline tags like H1 to suggest that the keyword phrase is a headline, not a subhead or regular text. Another thing that will help identify your headline as a headline is putting it at the top of your page before any images or any other text.
In closing, it’s important to realize that the rules of SEO change when search engines change their algorithms. While the basic ideas outlined here about long-tail keywords, headlines, and so on are evergreen, the weight of various SEO elements will shift in importance and new factors may come into play that will determine how well your websites rank in the search engines.