You’ve finally invested in a website for your business that you can be proud of. It looks great and has all the information your customers need to make a purchasing decision, but you’re still not seeing the positive results or boost in leads that you expected. If your website is still deep in the trenches of Google’s results pages, it may appear that you have an SEO issue on your hands. But have no fear – with a few quick fixes and an SEO crash course, you can have your website on track for search engine success.
According to Hubspot, Google receives over 3.3 billion searches from people looking for answers to questions everyday. Of those searchers, 94% click on the first page of search results. So, how do you make sure your website is optimized for search engine success? Be sure to look out for these tell-tale signs that your website is not being found:
- Using the Wrong Keywords
Keywords are the search terms that your potential customers type into search engines. These inquiries can be problem-based, solution-based, or branded keywords. It’s important to do your research to determine what specific keywords people use to find your website. Once you know what your customers are searching for you’ll have to decide which keywords you have the best chance to rank for. Only ten websites make it to the first page of search results, so it’s important to choose the keywords that are most likely to get you there. Think about using some long-tail keywords. These are primary keywords that are 2 – 3 words long, but with additional context, such as “vegan restaurant beachside open for lunch” versus just “vegan restaurant”
- Not Optimizing Content Around Primary Keywords
Once you’ve chosen the best keywords to optimize your website for, you’ll have to bake your primary keyword into the the DNA of your content and website. While you’re always optimizing for your visitors first, you’ll want to make sure search engines can clearly understand the purpose of your page. To do that you’ll want to add your primary keyword to the page title and URL, page headers, alt text, the body of your content, and your meta-description. Always remember that you’re writing for real people not robots, so your keywords should naturally fit into your writing.
- Leaving Out Relevant Links
A great way to help your website be found is to include relevant links. To increase the trustworthiness of your website, you should have links to reliable sources sprinkled throughout your content. You can link to internal pages of your website to help drive traffic, and you can also link to outside sources to help build connections and provide your readers with more information.
- Having a Bad User Experience
Your website should be easy to navigate and available to users on whichever device they’re searching on. According to Hubspot, over 80% of internet users have a smartphone that they use to search online more than their computer. Optimize your site for mobile, and make it simple and intuitive for your customers to browse.
- Poorly Promoting Your Content
Creating content takes a lot of time and effort, so make sure that it doesn’t go to waste. Use various social media channels and email to connect consumers with your content and drive traffic to your site. As your site becomes more popular, your trust with search engines will grow.
- Not Being Present in Local Listings and Directories
Having your business listed on popular local directories such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, or local chambers of commerce website will boost the links and citations to your site. For location-specific businesses, it’s helpful to also have a page on Google+ Local Listings so Google can tie your site to a specific location. Each will help with your off-page SEO.
SEO is no new concept, but it’s one that is constantly and quickly changing. Google seems to modify their algorithms as soon as we’re able to get a grip on the previous update, which can make it challenging for marketers to keep up with the changing tides. At a basic level however, SEO maintains the same core idea – make your content easily available for the spiders of the interweb to crawl and read, therefore boosting your pagerank. When Google’s spiders see that you have several frequently updated pages, trusted information, and useful content for those searching for a specific subject, the higher you’ll rank in user search queries.