Search engine optimization (SEO) is an integral part of your digital marketing strategy. Your existing website, along with every piece of content you publish moving forward, needs to be optimized for search engines to make sure you have maximum visibility. Beginning your SEO strategy doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking, but without any prior knowledge it can be difficult to know where to start. Take a look at your website content and consider the following criteria outlined below. Once you have these all figured out, you can think about advanced SEO.
These are the little snippets of text that show up on the search engine results page (SERP). The metadata that you input for each web page influences what will show up on the SERP. It is an opportunity to provide short, descriptive text that clearly explains what is on the page. It is also a place to include keywords and keyword phrases that match what your prospective buyers/target audiences are searching for.
The metadata is split into two main categories - the title and the description. Keep the title to around 50 - 60 characters and the description to around 150 characters. This text can usually be inputted easily into your CMS.
As we mentioned above, keywords are important to include in your metadata. They are also important to include throughout your content. The keywords should be discovered through keyword research so you can determine if they are worth pursuing. Keyword research can be done by using various paid tools online.
Once you have your keywords and keyword phrases, make sure that they are all on theme with your brand or product. Focus the individual pages around keywords and keyword themes, but do not try to just stuff the keywords in as much as possible. Your priority is to make sure the content matches whatever the user is searching for without sacrificing readability and quality.
Format & Layout
This is a bit more subjective than some of the other SEO tactics, but basically exists to satisfy the overall user experience of your website. If your audience is having trouble reading your content or is exiting the page immediately because they are confused or they don’t like the layout, that will punish you in the search rankings.
Use headers and subheaders to help your audience understand how the page is broken up and what falls under what. Also, break up blocks of text with bullet points or lists whenever you can. Readers prefer easily digestible snippets to overwhelming blocks, and value being able to scan a page and getting an idea of the content.
You should also be strategic in font and style choices. You’ll want to stick with basic fonts to start with, and if your brand has anything specific or custom make sure to always use that. Stylistically, features like bold or italics can emphasize important points or distinctions within the content. Use style to your advantage to create a fluid user experience for the reader.
Focus on Quality
One of the most important things you can do for your SEO is to make sure each and every page you create is high quality. If nothing else, you can ensure that there are no grammatical errors, the text is as engaging and compelling as it can be and each page serves a distinct purpose. SEO is all about creating content that matches what the user wants. The user wants quality first and foremost. Once you have that down, then check off the rest of the boxes outlined above. Now you’re ready for the next step in your comprehensive SEO strategy.
Christian Larsen is a Penn State Grad, pugilist, musician, and all around renaissance man who makes his living from the written word. When he is not engaged in content marketing strategy and search engine optimization he is plotting his next bocce ball move.
Are you struggling to get your head around SEO optimization for your website? To help, here are the top 5 simple SEO solutions that you never knew existed.
There are 4.1 billion people using the internet today and a whole lot of them are leveraging search engines like Google to help guide their activities online.
Google fields almost 5 billion search queries every day and helps connect prospective users to businesses like yours.
In order to be one of the premier places Google directs traffic to, you need to leverage SEO.
SEO (or search engine optimization) is conventionally associated with optimizing your web content around keywords. Being successful with SEO in 2018, however, is so much more than that.
To get the results you're looking for, you have to take a multifaceted approach to optimizing your content, interfacing with consumers, and leveraging the best digital practices.
Below, we offer a few lesser-known SEO solutions that will enable you to do exactly that.
1. Get Social and Be Additive Within Your Niche's Community
This is our favorite unconventional SEO solution because so few people have it on their to-do list. Becoming an authority in search engine results isn't about trying to game the system. It's about truly being additive within your community and organically building a name for yourself.
To that end, find blogs that are related to your products or services and be active in comment sections. Don't just post things on social media but share things your audience is posting.
Be helpful. Be genuine.
If you do that you'll start to see more people becoming aware of your brand and that awareness translating into more momentum in search engines.
2. Start Taking Video as Seriously as Blogging
If you're not blogging to drive traffic to your products and services we suggest you try. Creating a blog is one of the best ways to dominate keywords and build a good rapport with search engines.
With that said, video is the future. People are consuming billions of hours of video per day and if you want to engage those people and reap SEO benefits, you'll need to create workflows that enable you to produce high-quality video fast.
3. Improve Page Speed
Is your website slow? If yes, here's a simple SEO solution for you: speed it up.
Google and other search engines penalize websites that load slowly because they frustrate users.
There are a lot of reasons why your website might be slow.
A bad host. Outdated plugins. Poorly made templates... The list goes on.
Work with an IT professional or use Google's page speed tool to diagnose and fix your speed problems.
4. Make Your Content Easy to Share
If you're leveraging content creation as a means of boosting your SEO, you're doing the right thing. If you're like most content marketers though, chances are your content isn't as easy to share as it should be.
Did you know that adding "share" or "social" buttons to the content pages on your website can increase the chances of viewers pushing your content to their friends substantially?
That sharing will lead to more impressions which can snowball key SEO metrics leading to your dominating search engine results pages.
Get started making your content easy to share with awesome tools like Social Warfare or Monarch.
5. Sign Up for Webmaster Tools
Wrapping up our top SEO solutions is signing up for Google's Webmaster tools. Webmaster tools offer site owners a wide range of opportunities to optimize their content with just a few clicks!
In addition to boosting your SEO, you can also get a lot of great insight via webmaster tools. Sign up here.
Wrapping Up on Simple SEO Solutions You Never Knew Existed
If you're looking for simple, unconventional SEO solutions, look no further than our suggestions above. Each has the ability to reinforce and level up your organization's SEO strategy and grow your leads.
If you're looking for a team of world-class professionals to help you implement the above tips and more to skyrocket your online presence, look no further than River Avenue Digital.
Learn more about how our team can make your company more successful today by scheduling your free breakthrough strategy session!
Local SEO - Your Small Business Needs It!
Local SEO gets confusing for most of us, which is why many businesses leave it in the hands of local SEO experts.
If your business relies on local traffic, local search optimization is vital to your success. Here are five ways local SEO services can help your company thrive.
1. Online Directories
Gone are the days of looking up local businesses in the Yellow Pages.
Even the way word-of-mouth recommendations spread has changed. Did you know that 88% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation?
This is one reason why it's vital to get your business listed in all the major online directories. This might include Yelp, Google+, Angie's List, and Citysearch.
2. Mobile Optimization
Here's another statistic to consider: 55% of mobile conversions occur in less than an hour!
This means you have a narrow window to make that sale at the time the customer is looking for your product or service. The question is: Will they find your local business when they search for it?
Local SEO experts will ensure that your business ranks high in search results. This greatly improves your chances of making conversions.
3. Schema Markup
If you've never heard of a schema markup, don't worry. It's one of the most closely guarded secrets in digital advertising.
In simple terms, schema markup is a specific tag attached to your business website's code. It might also include schema "snippets" like business hours or images. Each of these tags works to improve your site's local SEO.
Most business owners don't know how to add these tags themselves--if they even know the tags exist. This is where local SEO experts can give you a leg up on the competition.
4. Managing Reviews
How regularly do you read and respond to your reviews?
As we touched on earlier, your online reputation will make or break your business. Customers who see honest reviews about your product or service are much more likely to buy from you.
It takes a lot of effort to get reviews in the first place. It takes more time to respond to them across various sites where your business is listed. This is one more task best left to the experts.
5. Building Backlinks
A final way local SEO services can help you is by building backlinks.
As the name suggests, backlinks are links back to your business website from a different (reputable site). Google favors businesses that have built a good network of backlinks.
Every backlink you get is like a digital thumbs up. The more you have, the more Google will reward you with higher rankings.
Call the Local SEO Experts Today
As you can see, there's a lot that goes into local search optimization.
How does local SEO work? The good news is you don't have to spend your valuable time figuring it out.
By hiring local SEO experts to manage your online strategy, you'll have more time to do what you do best--run your business.
Click here to learn more about our services or request a free website audit.
With so many channels nowadays to promote your business online, it can be very easy for a small business owner to get lost in the clutter and distractions of online marketing. How do you decide on which one to choose? Which platform do you spend the most time on to get the word out about your products and services? It can be very overwhelming with so much noise in the online world that picking the right social media website can have you feeling drained before the marketing has even begun.
Well, I am here to share with you what has worked best for me for my marketing efforts. As the CEO and founder of SmallBizPhilly.com, what I have relied on first and foremost for all my marketing efforts has been none other than Twitter. This social network, in my opinion at least, is what I believe is the best platform for the budget-conscience business owner and I will share with you why.
First of all, not only is it free like all the other platforms out there, but unlike Facebook, when you send out a tweet, the tweet shows up on all your follower's timelines. This is very important for a small business owner, especially those with not many funds available for marketing (such as myself) because now you know that everyone that is following will have your message show up on their timeline. Try doing that on Facebook where the company dictates who will see your post out of all your followers. You have to pay to play on Facebook, but not is the case with Twitter. Of course, you can always do a promoted tweet to reach those not following you based on their interests (target marketing), but it’s always great to know that all of your followers are getting the message, not a selected few that the social network you are using has any kind of control over.
The reason above would be the main reason why I love this social network so much. There’s also the matter of engagement. Again, based upon my own personal experience, Twitter is the perfect platform for dialogue since tweeting is about communicating in real time. Often, when a customer has a bad experience with a business, they will go on a rant on Twitter to broadcast to the world. This is the perfect opportunity to engage with these unsatisfied customers in real time and consult with them on their needs in the heat of the moment. Twitter was the original social network that created the hashtag, so this is a great way to find out what your customers are talking about and adhere to their needs.
So is Twitter still a viable marketing tool for small business in 2018? Absolutely! So long as the President keeps tweeting as well as other celebrities, this will always be the go-to place for engaging interaction for small business owners and beyond. I have been using this platform for the past six years and have grown my following to over 7,100 just by retweeting and staying engaged with my community. It’s my number one platform of choice for getting my brand out there, and once you start using it as a small business owner, I am sure you will feel the same!
Nathan Aponte is a River Avenue Contributor and freelance writer based in the Philadelphia region. He is available for ghost-writing gigs to help you market your small business. You can follow him on Twitter: @SmallBizPhilly