Ah, September is upon us. The air is crisp, football consumes our weekends, and we’re asking ourselves if it’s okay to still wear white.
It also means that it’s time for school. Whether you’re sending off your youngster to his/her first day of kindergarten or whether you’ve been an empty nester for years – this time of year is always special.
Normally, schoolteachers and college professors are lax the first few weeks. Students enjoy seeing their friends again while coasting through “syllabus week.” So, we’ll do the same. It’s time to get back to school – SEO style!
First off, we’ll start with a definition of SEO: search engine optimization is “the art and science of getting pages to rank higher in search engines such as Google.” There are many factors that go into SEO, but the overarching goal is to drive quality visitors to your website.
Think of Google and other major search engines as businesses – which they are. If someone searches for “car dealerships near me,” they can safely assume the search engines’ results will direct them to the right place. Since the search engines want as many users as possible to continue using their site instead of others, their algorithms are built to provide the most accurate results possible.
Below are high-level, easy-to-execute SEO strategies that will help bring your website more valuable visitors. Visitors who are more likely to convert.
Yep, content is still king when it comes to SEO. Creating enticing, informative, and relevant content is the best way to ensure search engines will send the right people to your site. However, search engines pick up a lot more content than just what’s on the front-end of your website. They analyze everything from backlinks, images and their corresponding text, SEO tags, and more.
Keyword research is where this class begins. You must understand the top keywords and phrases that your target audience is using. Each page and product/service should yield unique keywords designed specifically for that page.
Those keywords can then be applied to the SEO tags for each page. SEO headlines should be no longer than 60 characters while description tags can range anywhere from 160-300 characters. Now, rather than just cramming these tags with as many keywords as possible, try and accurately describe the page while sprinkling in those ever-important keywords.
Guess what? You get to use those keywords again when it comes to images. Be sure to have alt text for every image on site! Search engines can’t “see” the images when they scan your site – instead, they rely on this alt text.
There could be full college majors based on improving your website’s speed. Since it’s syllabus week, we’ll keep it simple. One of the easiest changes you can make to your site is to compress large images. The larger the image’s file size, the longer it will take a visitor’s computer to “download” and view the page. A simple rule of thumb is to ensure none of your images are larger than 200 MB. Obviously, there are exceptions like high quality portfolio pieces that need to be larger. But for the most part, there is no reason for images to be any bigger. There are free-to-use compression tools online. Find one and get compressing!
Another easy way to ramp up your site speed is with plugins. Whether your content management system (CMS) of choice is WordPress, Wix, Squarespace or something else, chances are that there are free plugins designed to help with site speed. Do your research and find one that works best for you. Be sure to check with your development team to ensure it works with your site build and/or theme first!
User Experience (UX)
Well done, you’ve successfully managed to get potential customers to your site. However, showing up to class doesn’t mean you automatically get a passing grade. That depends on performance.
The same goes with UX. Speed definitely plays a part in user experience, but we already covered that above – you were paying attention, weren’t you? Instead, we’ll focus on:
Navigation – how easily can people find the information they’re looking for? Make sure your menus and subsequent tabs are accessible and easy to use.
Mobile friendly – unfortunately, we still have to cover this… Yes, your website should be mobile friendly and no, this isn’t negotiable.
CRO – also known as Conversion Rate Optimization. In other words, make it as easy as possible for your visitors to convert. Your forms should not take 15 minutes to fill out. Your phone number should not be impossible to find anywhere on your site.
Are these SEO strategies too elementary for your liking? Looking for more of a master’s-type program to continue driving quality visitors to your site? Contact us here at Jay Advertising. We’ll help you develop a comprehensive marketing and advertising strategy that will have your site visitors graduate (see what we did there?) into customers.