When creating a brand website, there are many moving parts behind the scenes that can help improve sales. Search engine optimization, or SEO for short, is a way to make your website more findable for users by improving your ranking on the search engine results page.
Billions of individuals, likely including yourself, use search engines like Google on a daily basis.
Think of the last time you searched for a good or service on Google; you likely don’t scroll through pages and pages to find a suitable choice. Instead, you likely browse through the top few options to find what you need.
The higher your website ranks on Google or other search engines, the higher the chances that a customer will find your company. The process of SEO involves Google crawling each website page and indexing it in its database to determine how websites should rank.
Google uses ranking factors such as security, mobile-friendliness, on-page optimizations, domain authority, page speed, links, social profiles, and so much more to help determine the hierarchy on the search engine results page, or SERP for short.
As you can imagine, SEO-friendly websites have a significantly higher chance of ranking well on Google which results in more traffic and more conversions.
Ideally, SEO is a factor that’s considered before your website is built. This approach can help you customize your site in a way that is SEO-friendly so you don’t have to back-track and make changes once your URL is live.
If you already have a functional website, don’t stress! There are plenty of tactics that you can weave into your digital marketing strategy to help improve your rankings. We will describe some helpful approaches below.
A URL, or your custom website address, should be simplified as much as possible so users can easily navigate your site and find the information they need. Although your website’s URL structure may not be the most important part of your SEO strategy, it is an important part in how Google ranks your website pages following a query.
There should be a purpose behind each URL so that both Google and searchers can easily sort through different website pages. Consider adding a keyword to your URLs as well.
As a general rule of thumb, users should be able to understand what will be on the page simply by looking at the URL. For example, the blog section of a company website might be located at a URL such as “www.[company].com/blog/” as it is easy for consumers to understand and remember.
An XML sitemap helps point Google to the most important pages on your website so they can be crawled. You can think of it as a road map to help find pages that may not have otherwise been found. Having one can help improve your rankings over time.
XML sitemaps are limited to 50,000 URLs. If your website contains more than that, you will need to have more than one XML sitemap.
Google notes that XML sitemaps are beneficial for large websites, websites with large archives, new websites that only have a few external links, and websites that utilize rich media content.
In the case that you don’t have root access to your server and you want to control your site access one page at a time, you can block Google from indexing your site.
You can go about this one of two ways: putting a ‘noindex’ meta tag in the HTML code of the page that you want to block, or by returning a ‘no index’ header in the HTTP request.
When Google comes across a page and sees the tag or the header, it will completely drop the page from any search engine results pages.
Your work doesn’t end when the desktop version of your website is ready to launch. It’s important that you ensure that your site works seamlessly on a mobile device as well.
Your mobile website can help draw even more attention to your brand and reach a wide audience of consumers. Skimping on the mobile version of your website in turn gives your competitors a chance to capture the attention of these consumers.
Your mobile website should be simple and easy to navigate. It should also have fast loading times or your consumers may quickly become impatient and turn to a competitor. Don’t forget to make it easy for customers to contact you, after all, they are already on their phones.
Website content, just as you’re reading right now, plays a significant role in helping improve your SEO rankings. Without having a variety of quality content pages associated with your website, you provide Google with something to crawl.
Creating content such as service pages, blog posts, social media posts, infographics, videos, and many more can help increase engagement and prove your worth to your consumers. They are looking to you as a trusted source in the industry and well-written, factual content can bring them peace of mind that you are truly an expert.
In order to know what type of content to produce and what it should cover, you need to know what keywords and search terms your users are using. For example, if you had a camping equipment company, you may consider keywords such as “camping equipment near me.”
To be sure that you are tracking the right keywords, you’ll need to conduct keyword research. Keyword research is the process of finding the right relevant phrases to your business and utilizing them throughout your website in a strategic way to help Google find it.
Long-tail keywords are especially helpful for understanding how users search online, as they are three words or more. Because they are more specific, they can help improve your results and drive website traffic.
After selecting the phrases that you think are the most relevant to your business, you need to begin tracking them. This will help you determine if your approach is successful or if you need to slightly pivot to establish a better list of keywords.
Your keyword research should help determine the type of content to make. From infographics to blogs to ebooks, you can get creative and tap into new avenues to appeal to your consumer.
One thing to be wary of is duplicate content as it will negatively impact your SEO results. When a search engine crawls your page and they already find it somewhere else on the internet, it can have a negative impact on how well your site ranks.
Search engines don’t want to provide users with multiple copies of the same content. Thus, they are forced to choose which piece of content is better for the searcher.
It is estimated that up to 29 percent of the internet is duplicate content. Make sure your site isn’t part of this statistic by creating original content unique to your business.
Meta tags are used to provide more information about a webpage and can be read by both Google and internet browsers. Information from meta tags is referred to as “metadata” and it can help Google better understand what your page is about.
Both <title> and <description> elements on your site are referred to as metadata.
For example, when you search “how to sew a face mask” on Google, you’ll see the following result on the first page of results:
“A Sewing Pattern for Fabric Face Mask – The New York Times” is the meta title and the explanatory information below is the meta description.
This description should be helpful to searchers and allow them to better understand the type of information you would see if you clicked on the full article. You only have about 150 characters for your meta description so do your best to pack a punch within that limit.
Having effective meta tags set up throughout your site can help earn your site more traffic and clicks.
Without focusing on SEO, your website likely won’t receive the traffic that you expect. In reality, SEO is likely a huge part of your competitors’ approach to their site and you’re making it easy for them to capitalize on your mistakes.
SEO is an integral digital marketing technique that is difficult to avoid if you’re trying to drive traffic and sales. The sooner you start focusing on creating an SEO-friendly website, the sooner you can begin reaping the benefits.
Making your site appeal to both search engines and potential customers is a no-brainer when setting up your website. SEO is an increasingly important factor in how well your website attracts new customers.
If you aren’t sure where to begin, consider turning to our team at Comrade Web Agency for assistance. Our work revolves around improving SEO results for our clients and we have the skillset and passion to help bring your company to new heights.
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