Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of enhancing your website to increase its visibility when people search for products or services related to your business in Google, Bing, and other search engines.
To determine how well a website or page can provide information for what the user is searching for, search engines utilize bots to crawl pages on the web, going from site to site, collecting information about those pages and indexing them. Then, using hundreds of ranking criteria or signals, algorithms analyze pages in the index to determine the order pages should appear in the search results for a given query.
SEO is complicated and is a long-term strategy that has to be constantly worked on. You cannot just set it and be done. Most importantly, there is no quick fix, it takes work. This article will give you some simple tips and tools to improve your SEO or at least have a better understanding. To have a well-rounded SEO strategy, I would still encourage you to utilize an expert or conduct in-depth research yourself to have a well-rounded SEO strategy.
Google’s SEO Starter Guide can take you further in your SEO journey after you read this article on easy tips to improve your search engine optimization.
1. Keyword Research
Keywords are used by internet users to find what they’re looking for. Any digital marketing effort should begin with keyword research, but it should be a continuous activity. You should review your keywords on a regular basis to see how you rank compared to your competitors. Pay attention to Google search trends to make sure you have relevant keywords in your content creation and overall SEO strategy.
Use the following keyword research tools:
2. Content Research
Customize content to popular phrases and search terms. Before you develop content, ensure that it will receive a high volume of traffic by researching keyword phrases and trending subjects people are searching for to implement in your SEO strategy. Keeping your website up to date and adding new content at least once a month can help you stay unique and relevant.
You can use the following tools to find trending topics related to your business:
- Pay attention to the “people also ask” section on the Google search engine results page.
- YouTube Autocomplete
- Answer the Public
3. Google Business Profile
The number one ranking factor for Google is a Google Business Profile. It’s completely free and simple to set up. By making your business profile a rich listing, you can ensure that it is fully functional. Make sure to include high-resolution photos and videos, a detailed business description, staff bios (if applicable), store hours, accurate NAP (name, address, phone number), links to your website and social media pages, and more. The most crucial step is to validate your business profile by providing an address (even if it is private) so that you can obtain a post card with a verification code to claim your company. Create your business profile and discover more here.
Google’s top three ranking factors are reviews. Obtaining reviews is an important tactic to include in your marketing strategy. When a person searches on Google for a local product or service, listings with more and favorable customer reviews appear to be more trustworthy and, as a result, receive more clicks. When there is social proof that a product or service is worth buying, humans are more inclined to convert. Always respond to reviews in real time to give customers a personalized touch and show that you care.
There are several ways to generate reviews from customers:
- Simply ask your customers in a tactful way.
- Put a sign with a QR code link to leave a review on your Google Business Profile, Facebook and Yelp in a visible place in your store.
- Send automated emails to your customers with links to evaluate your business when a service or product is purchased.
- Send automated text messages to your customers with links to evaluate your business when a service or product is purchased.
- Put a review link or QR code in your monthly newsletters.
- Send out a batch email to past/current customers every quarter with links to review your business on your Google Business Profile, Facebook, and Yelp.
The following websites are great for review generation:
5. Competitor Research
Pay attention to what your competitors are doing online, learn from them, and do it better. To keep current with industry trends, you can even look at competitors in larger markets.
In your competitor research ask yourself these questions:
What types of advertising are they doing?
What topics are they touching on?
What platforms are they on?
What keywords are they ranking for?
How is their website structured?
You can use the following tools to generate a competitive analysis:
6. SSL Certificate
Having an SSL certificate means that your website is secure and will be displayed as https:// with a padlock on the left-hand side or your URL. SSL certificates are required for websites in order to protect user data, validate website ownership, prevent attackers from creating a false version of the site, and transmit trust to users. Your website host provider can provide you with an SSL certificate, if you do not have one already.
7. Page Speed
Page speed, believe it or not, is a crucial part of a website’s overall user experience. Users will become frustrated and depart if your website takes too long to load. You can test your website and obtain a free report to help you improve your page speed on Think With Google.
8. Website Experience (Technical)
Technical SEO is more complicated and requires the assistance of a website or SEO specialist, but these are some tools you may use to gain a better understanding of your site’s health and search engine result page rankings.
9. Citations (Online Directory Listings)
Your NAP information (Name, Address, and Phone number) needs to be consistent and accurate online. This is not as weighted in the Google Algorithm but helps tremendously with customer first impression and overall experience with your brand.
You can use the following tools to improve citations:
Analytics is the most critical part of any digital marketing approach. Analytics provide information about the health of your website and online presence. Keeping track of crucial metrics will assist you in improving your site’s overall user experience and ensuring that your SEO approach is effectively optimized.
Some insights to pay attention to are:
Overall link profile
Search impression data
Use the following tools for analytics:
We have the experience and tools at Ascent Digital to help you increase your search engine optimization. Call us or visit our website if you need assistance from an SEO and website professional or simply don’t have the time to learn on your own.