The toughest part of marketing your business isn’t the time and the effort it takes as much as it is the daunting nature of having to compete with older, more established companies. You might think that if you can’t compete with their marketing budgets, you can’t beat them in the SEO game.
It’s time to get that thought out of your head.
SEO Is A Loyal Friend
It may seem hard to believe, but being a multibillion-dollar corporation doesn’t make the search engines “respect” your competition any more than they do you. What sets apart websites that have strong page rankings and are found quickly in a search is their ability to work within current SEO trends. The game does change from time to time, and those changes can be drastic at times. Staying ahead of the wave is the best way to make sure your customers find you, not your competition.
Simply put, it doesn’t have to take a huge investment of either time or money to get your website optimized for success. All it takes is paying attention to key details. Here are a few that we think you should consider if you want to increase your rankings in the SERPS.
- Use Optimized Visuals
Pictures are a vital part of any marketing equation. They get the most (and swiftest) attention and help people make lasting connections to your brand.
If you want to give your site an SEO boost, always use images that are relevant to the written content and optimize them for both file size and optimal dimension for the pages on which they will appear. There are lots of free tools that can optimize your images, apply fixed dimensions, and compress to a fast-loading, all-browser-friendly file. Load time of your page directly affects SEO so this is an important factor. Don’t skip it.
Here are a couple image compression tools we like:
Compressor.io makes optimizing photos fun because of their slick design but the important thing is that I barely notice any loss in quality when compressing images with tool.
Tinypng is probably one of the oldest sites on the web for compressing images. Don’t let the name fool you though, they support both png and jpegs.
You can further optimize images by always including keyword-rich ALT tags that accurately describe the content of the image. That’s all you want to do here though, don’t keyword stuff this tag. Simply focus on a description of the image.
- Blog Well and Blog Often
The search engines like to see fresh content on your site, and blogging can help increase your rankings in a number of ways.
For starters, they’re the best place to seed keywords. Remember, though, not to oversaturate with them. 1.5 percent per page is more than enough.
Second, they provide you with a means of positioning yourself as an expert. If the quality of your blog is high, it will help you build trust and maintain the reader’s interest. The more people read and the longer they spend on your site, the better your rankings will become.
Finally, your blog is the perfect place to make focused calls to action. Help people find you with good keyword research and placement, position yourself as an authority, and ask for the sale or click-through. It’s a winning formula.
- Make Your Blog Interesting
It’s kind of a no-brainer, but it bears mention. Don’t use your blog merely as a storehouse for keywords. Make time spent there valuable for your readers. It goes back to building trust. Well-written, well-formatted blogs with tons of visuals entice people to stick around and explore. This is how great rankings are built.
- Choose a Relevant URL
Alignment and consistency are key factors in how high your site will rank. Part of that is selecting a URL that reflects your brand message as well as any other kind of content. If you are having trouble deciding between cutesy and practical, always opt for practical. You can be exciting while still offering an accurate description of your site through its URL.
Also, try to include your top keyword in your URL, but don’t fuss over making square pegs fit round holes. It’s not a vital part of the equation.
- Make Your Site Secure
Instead of the standard HTTP://URL, opt instead for HTTPS. The “s” stands for “secure,” and if there’s anything that online buyers worry about, it’s security. If you intend to handle credit card processing on your site, not taking this one simple step is careless from both business and SEO angles. However, at this point we highly suggest getting an SSL certificate regardless if you have a shopping cart or not. Just do it!
- Link to Authoritative Sites and Sources
A bonus benefit of your blog is that it allows you to set up backlinks to reputable outside webpages (in the form of hyperlinked citations within the text). This helps in a number of ways, as well, most notably in the credibility arena. For SEO purposes, linking to reputable sites also gets the attention of the search engines. If you play your cards right here, you can improve rankings merely by association.
- Ask for Backlinks
Don’t be ashamed to approach other relevant sources and solicit backlinks. It’s a common practice even among your strongest competitors. The more backlinks you get from trusted sites, the better your pages will rank. Plain and simple. Google continues to say, again and again, that two of the top 3 factors are content and links. Take the time to research top-ranking sites in your industry and set up a dialog. The more you build on the relationship, the more likely they are to remember you when a mention warrants. Here at PROCESS we have a great strategy for giving Google exactly what they want in terms of link building. It takes a ton of manual outreach and work but we’re happy to roll up our digital sleeves and knock out the labor for our clients. Shoot us an email or schedule a quick consultation if you’re interested in hearing more. We promise that your site will thank you for it.
- Track Your Analytics
If you want to not only see how your pages are ranking but also explore traffic numbers and get a concise picture of areas you need to improve, you have to stay current with your analytics. Crunch your daily, weekly, and monthly engagement and be willing to make changes where needed.
There are a number of helpful resources out there for analytics.
Here are a few that we recommend:
Google Analytics is easily one of the most important tools a website owner can use to analyze their website data. You can drill down to the keyword level in terms of which phrases are bringing you the most traffic. You can also get a great idea of where your users are bouncing as they interact with your site.
Kissmetrics is another great tool that enables you to dive into user behavior and track how things change over time. We also really like the easy to follow “Timeline View” feature.
Crazy Egg leverages heat mag technology to give you an idea of what happens as users click through your site. If you’re a visual person I highly recommend this one.
- Focus on Top-Performing Pages
Take note of pages that have the best engagement based on analytics and develop more content around those. PRO TIP: Add value and build trust by providing “content upgrades”. This is a great way to build your email list. Incentivizing users with a bonus in exchange for their email address is a win win for all parties involved. They get added benefit and now you have an avenue to build the relationship.
- Recycle and Revise
Remember that blog post that did so well for you this time last year? Chances are it’ll get the same attention again now. Take a look at the content and decide if it’s still relevant. Tweak the bits that aren’t, then just publish, promote, and profit! It’s likely to boost sales as well as SEO!
Always bear in mind that increasing rankings isn’t an overnight thing. It takes time to elevate your brand to the top search result but we promise it is well worth it. While all of this may seem a bit time-consuming and overwhelming, it is well worth the effort.
Most businesses find it both extremely beneficial and economical to work with an SEO pro to get the job done. If you find you need help stepping up your SEO game, we’re here to help. If you’re reading this post then you know SEO is our cup of tea – well, besides ping pong. Reach out and we’d be happy to get you ranking for all your most valuable keywords; it’s what we do.
Contact us with your questions or to inquire on how we can help your site get to page 1!