The answer, of course, is no. Your approach to search engine optimization (SEO) makes a big difference in the struggle for high rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs). Luckily, with the right knowledge, it's possible to rank above the rest. Here are seven SEO tips you need to know – as well as how soon you can expect to see results!
1. Perform a Site Audit
You're probably biased toward your site, but that doesn't mean your customers see your page the same way you do. In order to take off the rose-tinted glasses and truly, objectively evaluate quality, a little outside assistance can help. Tools like QuickSprout and others can perform a high-level audit of your site, examining what works and what doesn't. These tools will give your site a grade, highlight areas that need improvement, and show you how to fix pain points. Over time, you can drive changes in your rankings.
2. Research Keywords
At the dawn of search engines, cramming a site full of keywords used to be enough to watch your ranking soar. Today, Google is a little more discerning, filtering out content it deems as spam. Instead of using every keyword possible, focus on the ones that add value, like terms that describe your business. Your selection should be diverse, incorporating all of the things customers might use to search for your product or service category. These can be simple (such as "Italian restaurant" to more complex, such as "Five-star Italian restaurant in New York". Do some research to see what relevant words and phrases rank best and incorporate them organically throughout your page. Results won't be immediate, but you should see steady improvement over the next several months.
3. Optimize ‘Meta Titles’
“Meta titles” refer to the text visible above the URL on any search engine results page. These titles determine a lot about your prominence on Google, including how customers evaluate what information is on your page. The right meta titles can attract visitors. The wrong ones can send them right to your competitors. Take the time to properly customize your titles, using a primary keyword, secondary keyword, and brand name to draw maximum attention. Google doesn't use meta titles for ranking, but the information visible to customers will make a big difference.
4. Enhance ‘Meta Descriptions’
When you search on Google, what makes you click on one link over another? For most web users, “meta descriptions” are a big part of what shows up on a search engine results page. Meta descriptions refer to the text below a title or URL, giving prospective visitors a 155-character summary of what your page has in store.
To optimize your meta descriptions, instead of allowing the first text available on a page to auto-populate, custom write the descriptions for every page on your site. Focus on highlighting where you add value, like any special sales propositions or unique facets of your business. Be sure to keep an eye on length. As with meta titles, strong meta descriptions can put more eyes on you.
5. Publish Great Content
It's no secret: Google values quality content on a website. While content marketing and SEO don't exactly go hand in hand, they overlap significantly. Content marketing, through items such as blog posts and in-depth articles, can be a great opportunity to highlight your ability to craft strong, relevant, and professional content. This type of content can help make you more visible. Focus on proper keyword technique, quality writing, and an organic flow to keep content on track. While this is one of the strategies that takes the longest, its value is well worth it.
6. Go Local
As a small business, local SEO techniques that put emphasis on your geographical area are important. With local searches leading 50% of mobile visitors to stores within one day, putting your attention here can pay off. While a lot of factors (such as social media involvement, listing in local directories, and create location-specific content) drive local SEO results, connecting with your target audience is key. Instead of reaching too far, focus on the people who are most loyal to you: your community. Results aren't instant, but within a few months, you can be a contender in results pages for your geographic area.
7. Use Landing Pages
Your site's homepage is vital, of course. But when you want to see conversions soar, you’ll need to focus on landing pages too. A platform between web traffic and a homepage that provides information, these simple pages are aimed to call a visitor to action. You can use landing pages to focus on building relationships through special offers, curated information and promotional material. It may take time for Google to index your new pages, but in time, you can see growth across your site.