Using SEO to increase your website's rankings
Do you ever feel like SEO is just too complicated to ever work for you?
Well, I know how you feel. I felt the same way for the longest time.
In this post I will break down SEO and hopefully take some of the confusion out of the way so that you can use SEO to increase your website’s visibility and ranking with Google and other search engines.
Let’s start with this. SEO is simply telling a computer search engine what your content is about. In this sense SEO is very simple. It’s like you are explaining to a child what your website or post is all about.
The complicated metrics of, time spent on your site and where your traffic came from, we will leave for another time. For now, let’s just talk basics.
- Organization of content and keywords
What is your content about? You can go about this several different ways. One is to figure out what to write about first (choose your keywords first). The other is to narrow down your keywords after you have chosen your topic. A lot of this depends on whether we are talking about an entire website, or a page on a website.
Pick two or three keywords and a longtail keyword phrase. A longtail keyword phrase is a specific phrase. Obviously less general and easy to target. “Lawn maintenance”, for example would be hard to rank for because it is so general. Something more specific like “How to maintain grass in the direct sunlight” would be easier to rank for.
Here are some suggestions for finding awesome keywords.
- Take your main topic and enter it into answerthepublic.com. It will give you several questions in which you can pick to better narrow down your keywords.
- log on to reddit and read through the topic you are researching. If you see the same question come up a couple times that probably would make a decent keyword or keyword phrase.
- Google your main keyword, then scroll to the bottom of the page. The suggested search items in bold are good search terms according to Google. Google ought to know, right?
So now that you have some ideas on what to write about let’s talk content.
Content is king. If your content is not amazing people won’t share it, or link to it.
Here are some ways to make your content shine a little brighter.
- Don’t skimp on content. Be thorough. Long form content out ranks short posts by a large margin. People are actually interested in reading what you have to say as long as what you are telling them something that will be of benefit to them. I will get into that later.
- Layout your content in a pleasing manner. Use proper headers. Not only visually, but topically as well.
- Don’t bore them with a long intro into your content. Get right to the point.
- Break up your content so it is easier to read.
- Use unique images here and there to help explain topics and break up the monotony.
Before you start writing, consider the fact that no one really cares what you do or who you are. They only really care about what you can do for them. Think about it. People go online and search topics for information, a product, or a service. They never go to read about your day, what you are wearing or what you had to drink last night. Save all that for social media. 🙂
If you are curious about your content and wonder if it is benefit based or not, look to see how many times you say I or we. Your focus is not on you or your team. It is on the customer. Them.
In addition your content should not be too highly featured based. It should be benefit based. What is the difference?
Features: What the item is.
Benefits: What the customer gets out of it.
For example. Coffee. You can describe where the coffee comes from. Who grows it. The entire process. OR….
You can speak to the benefit: “Unwind after a hectic day with this light blend bursting with flavor as it soothes your daily stresses away. “
As you can see the difference is pretty dramatic. Which would you rather have?
remember those keywords you spent so much time dialing in? Now we are going to use them on the page in such a way as to let Google know what your content is all about.
There are several places you should mention your keywords. Don’t stuff your page with them. Never stuff your page. What you will do is use them in specific areas.
- Image alt tags.
- h1, h2, and h3 tags
- In the first and last 100 words on the page.
I will go over titles in another post. For now, just mention clearly what your topic is. Keep it simple. You can go into more detail in the body of your content.
Links back to your content will help with your SEO and page rank immensely. You want to go about getting your links organically. Never pay for links. Paid links can sink your page rank and even get your site reported.
A good way to get links is to find blogs that write about your topic. Email the content admin and suggest your page as a source they can use on their website. Since you will be doing this a few times it helps to write up a little template that you can use to save you time.
Social links are valuable as well. Keep your Facebook page active and continue to share content with your audience. Each social media source has it’s own algorithm so it is wise to do some research on what type of post works best and so on. I have some tips I plan on sharing regarding Instagram, so stay tuned.
Using these SEO tips will help you to increase your rankings with Google, Bing and any other search engine you use. These are awesome tips to get you started and in some cases it will be all you need. If you find you are still struggling after a couple of months of fine tuning your SEO, message me. I will take a look at your site and let you know what I think is going on.
If you have any comments or thoughts. Feel free to head over to my Fakebook page and bring it up there. Let’s chat.