That’s a lot of leads and revenue potentially going to your competition. So what can you do in house to improve your search engine rankings?
It’s a constantly shifting landscape, quite technical and often very time consuming. But here are 9 steps you can take to start boosting your rankings today:
1 – Know Your Keywords
Targeting the right people is absolutely key for before you start.
Quite simply, the words you want to dominate are the words your ideal clients and prospects are using right now, to search for you. If you are a dentist who specialises in orthodentics, then stick with ‘orthodentic’ related words rather than attracting people looking for a check up or a filling!
What geographical area (if any) does your business cover? Include that city or region as a keyword eg ‘business consultant london’
Having decided your ideal search terms, you need to check whether anyone actually uses them to search online. You want terms which have reasonable search volume as it is this volume (or a good part of it) that you want to come to your website. Google Adwords has a great keyword tool that shows you current volumes.
2. Check Your Site Structure & Navigation.
Your site structure should organize your content and group it into sections so it is logical for visitors and search engines. Inter-linking your content from
one page to another helps rankings as well. Be careful to hyperlink a keyword phrase rather than a generic ‘click here’
3. URL Patterns
Each page on your website should have a unique URL. Each URL should describe the content of that page concisely and include important keywords
4. Check Your Tags
There are many tags we work on during SEO, but two of the most important are the Title and Meta. Search engines use the title tag text to determine what the page is about in 65 characters or less (engines don’t display more). Meta description tags summarize what your page content is about and they are displayed as part of the information people see on a search engine results page. Keep them brief, informative and include the keyword used in the title tag.
5. Have a Site Map
An XML site map has a list of all your pages and when they were updated. You can find site map generators online that will create the .xml file for you. Then upload it to the root directory of your website (e.g. www.website.com/sitemap.xml). Ideally, you should update your xml file at least once a month so search engines have the freshest data.
6.How Fast Does Your Site Load?
Loading time is a factor in rankings, and slow loading speeds can turn people away from your site. Running a lot of video can slow speeds (embedding from YouTube can assist), or check your cache, which can be optimized using plug ins like W3 Total Cache.
7. Content is King
Include your keywords in the body content but don’t use them out of context. If you oversaturate a page with keywords, you’ll won’t do yourself any favours in the rankings. A good rule of thumb is to always prepare your content for your audience and include keywords naturally. What feels good to people also works well for the search engines.
8. Build Links
One of the major indicators to a search engine that your site is an authority in your field is the quality and number of incoming links.
Comment on blogs, trade links with relevant companies who work in your field, but most of all – produce and distribute fresh, relevant content. A weekly blog is a great way to add value to your field and to create interest in your site, and links back. General articles about your products or skill sets, and press releases also work well.
9. Social Media
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube are all relevant for businesses, and highly regarded by the search engines. So try to create a timetable of social media that is built around events in your business – product launches, news or just a great idea you may have.
It takes time and effort to do your own SEO and Social Media. But if you start with the 9 steps above, you’ll be on your way. Good luck and see you on Google!
About Hanan and EBS Digital
A lifelong entrepreneur Hanan Kattan, whose previous businesses included creating her own hair care brand Te Tao, co-founded EBS Digital as an online marketing company that gives small businesses the tools for outstanding growth.
Her aim with EBS Digital was to address the crucial ‘third step’ in online marketing – converting the extra traffic from higher rankings into actual sales and profits.
It is the latest addition to her Enlightenment group of companies, which include film production, film sales, a record label and publishing arm.
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