Making it a point to brush up on your search engine optimization (SEO) knowledge is key, especially in today's highly competitive world. I'd like to share a few easy tactics that can help you get started, or restarted, optimizing your small business website blog and page content.
Write Page Titles Like A Boss
Your page titles are an extension of the content on your website and your brand. There are a thousand ways to write page titles but unless you're a billion-dollar brand I recommend keeping it simple and effective. Start by reviewing the content on the page and determine what was, or is, your keyword strategy. After that, compose your page title in under 80 characters to include several important keywords. Be sure to leave room for your company name.
Don't Let Page (Meta) Descriptions Get Left In The Dark
It's easy to come up with a great page title but a little more difficult to add a well-written page description. Often, marketers will leave it to Google to compose the description of your page by automatically pulling text from the page content. Though page descriptions are less important when it comes to search engine algorithms, they can greatly affect your click through rate (CTR). Why? Think about the way search engine results (SERPs) are displayed:
When you search for something, the page title is followed by the page description and those are what are displayed in the SERPs. Keywords used in the search are displayed in bold if they match keywords in your page title and/or description, see example above. However, it isn't the bold titles that help you, it's the quality of the description that helps those searching decide if your content is most relevant to their query. Try to compose your page description in under 160 characters and make it as relevant to your content as you can. Don't go overboard on keywords and think about what information might make you want to click on your content to read more.
Pay Close Attention to Those <H1> and <H2> Tags
Every great page has headings within the content to match, does yours? Headings should be used to break up the content on your page and help visitors navigate their way through your information. By now I'm sure you've caught on - keywords and great content are everything. This applies to your content headings too. Search engines crawl your pages and give special attention to headings, H1 being the highest priority followed by H2 and then H3. Carefully craft the headings on your pages to match your keyword and content strategy. Use caution though, if you repeat items too many times or stuff too many keywords into your page your rankings can and probably will be penalized by the search engines.
Add and Name Images With SEO In Mind
While images aren't necessarily the first place you'd think to incorporate keywords, it's an important one. Everything on your page is crawled by search engines, everything. This includes image names and image alt tags, these too will help search engines prioritize content in the SERPs. Most marketers are quick to include images with their content but quite often they forget to rename the file so that it's search engine ready. Right click on the image above and look at the final name: "5-easy-seo-tactics-for-small-businesses.jpg". I've included keywords in the file name and image alt tag that are directly related to the content in this particular blog post. If you haven't started doing this on your website or in your blog yet, it is worth the time to go back through your content and ensure file names and alt tags for your images match your content. Note: Include hyphens/dashes between words in file names.
Links Need Titles Too
Links can help you guide visitors to more information deeper within your site or point them to content elsewhere that is related and helpful. You should already know how links can benefit your rankings but setting them up correctly is key. It's an easy thing to forget and we all do it once in awhile, but the point is that every link on your website should include a keyword-enriched title.
These 5 SEO tactics are the very basics to search engine optimization and if you've been doing it for awhile it's likely a second language by now. However, many business owners get pulled in a million different directions daily and remembering to do the basics will not come as naturally as it does for those who have more time to concentrate on optimization. If you're just getting started my advice would be to concentrate heavily on these 5 things first so that you don't get distracted or overwhelmed. Finally, don't limit these tactics to just your blog, every page on your site needs the same amount of love - so get to work!
Need SEO assistance? Thinking about having your website redesigned? Check out some of our services and send us a note, we can't wait to meet you!