When it comes to getting found online, the first thing most people think about is search engine optimization, or SEO. That is a big one, but it’s not the only thing that leads to online search credibility.
Here are seven things to consider that relate to SEO and why you need to know them for your company.
- What is SEO and why it’s important? SEO is website optimization with no dough. Technically, however, it’s not free. It takes time, energy, and resources to make it work well for any brand. It happens behind the scenes on your website, in social media, and digital marketing and often takes a consistent, well-planned effort to make it work.
- Conducting research to find the right keywords for your business is key. Without research, how are you certain you’re using the right keywords phrases to get on your target markets’ radar? There are a lot of tools to help you find the right terms, such as Google and Bing Keyword tools, KeywordTool.io, iSpionage, and more. Knowing the right terms can make all the difference between buying customers and information searchers.
- Implementing keywords on your website and in keyword-rich content is a big step. Crucial to any SEO effort are the meta tags that sit on the site’s “backend” or coding area. They are the <title>, <description>, <keywords>, and <alt> tags. Heading tags are also important, but not as important as those four. Remember the information that’s placed in the <title> and <descriptions> tags are what searchers see on the engine’s search results. It’s really important to include a main keyword phrase in meta tags. For example, in this post, the keyword phrase will be “SEO Tips,” which is in the title. The description tag will say “Here are seven SEO tips to consider and why you need to know them for your company.” Keyword phrase might include “7 SEO Tips for small business owners,” “SEO Tips for CPAs,” “SEO Tips your boss wants you to know,” “SEO Tips for beginners,” and more. An alt tag goes on the image used with this piece of content. In this case, I’d use the headline as the image’s alt tag.
- Use one or two WordPress SEO plugins, such as All In One SEO, Yoast, SEO Ultimate, SEO Image Optimizer, or Premium SEO, to help with SEO placement throughout the site. If you’re not using WordPress, be sure to use the four meta tags in #3 to help increase online visibility. Research how those tags are implemented in your website platform. Once the site is developed, add Google’s XML Sitemap plugin to get your site indexed (recorded) by the search engine.
- Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificates have been around for a while, but most people have not implemented them because their site was not collecting information from visitors. However, that changed in December when Google announced that the Chrome platform was going to identify unsecure websites in its search results to alert searchers to potential risk. Since then, the SSL certificate is paramount if you want your site to continue in good standing on Google’s platform. According to Verisign, “It serves two purposes. First, it authenticates the identity of the website (removes the concern it’s a bogus site). Second, it encrypts the data being transmitted.” Contact your domain provider about getting an SSL Certificate for your site.
- Local SEO is a free way to tell people in your geographic area that you have a physical location. It’s free from Google and Bing, which makes it even better. Search for Bing or Google’s local business listing and complete the fields and verification process. What’s important here is when you complete the profile, use keyword phrases that mirror what you do and want to be found for. For example, if you have a tax practice that specializes in construction companies, use the phrase “tax services for construction companies” in your description. If you own a bakery, add something unique about your goods; maybe they are gluten free, for example. The best thing about this service besides being free, is it provides a map people can use to find the physical location and appears at the top of search rankings.
- Social media and hashtags used to promote your business are also a big piece of SEO. Here’s why. The social media platforms you choose should correspond only with your target market. If your people are younger, say, teens to mid-twenties, avoid Facebook. Use Instagram and YouTube instead. Research the platform’s demographics to find out where your buyers are and use those platforms for your starting point. Then leverage hashtags to help you connect with them. Hashtagify.me, Rite Tag, and Tagboard are great tools to help you find the top hashtags for just about any phrase or word. If the terms you search for do not have any results, it means people do not use that hashtag, which makes it good for a new stream of conversation, but harder to attract an already-engaged audience. There are a lot of hashtag-search tools available. Find the right one for your brand and use it to help build online, search credibility.
Once you have the keywords identified, begin writing content around those terms. Add the keyword in the content and share it on social media. Developing a schedule to help you with the process will ensure you stay on track and implement what needs to be done for SEO to be successful.
Now that you have the tips, what are some of the keywords you’ll use to attract new leads?