Winning the Search Engine Game, SEO Tips to Help Your Website Rank on Google
Author: Amber Bockman, Head of Digital Strategy
As a business owner, you likely spend a lot of time promoting your company, but there may be one critical area you are overlooking: your website. Unless you’ve optimized your web copy for search engines, a process often referred to as SEO, you could be missing opportunities to attract new business.
Here are some tips and strategies that SEO experts use to build website authority and ensure visibility across the major search engines your customers are using.
Building Content That Search Engines Love
When developing a website content strategy, your first goal should be to meet the needs of your customers with fact-filled and relevant information. However, in order for customers to find your content, you must first get it in front of search engines, such as Google.
Search engines collect information by crawling websites, indexing pages and ranking them according to their effectiveness in meeting the search query. They do this, in part, by using keywords.
Keywords are search terms that your customers use to discover information about your company, products or services. Search engines use these keywords to determine not only what the user is looking to find, but also what they intend to do once they find the content.
For example, if a user searches for patio furniture, most search engines assume the user’s intent is to buy furniture items suitable for outdoor use. Results will then be focused on sites that offer patio furniture for sale.
On the other hand, if a user requests information on “trending patio furniture,” the search engine will assume an informational intent, and provide results on some of the most popular outdoor furniture designs.
Ensuring your content is found by search engines is then highly dependent on finding the right keywords and using them in your content.
Building a Website That Ranks
Despite the importance of keywords, search terms are not the only signal search engines use when deciding where to rank your content on the page. Where your website ranks in search results is vital to engaging with customers, because the top 5 results account for over 65% of all clicks.
To snag one of these top placements, be certain to create useful content and pay attention to the tips below:
- Strategic use of keywords: Keywords signal user intent and indicate the type of information the web user is seeking. However, there are often multiple phrases a customer could use to find a particular topic or product. When creating content, it’s important to find the one word or phrase that is most applicable to your content and optimize the page accordingly. Also, be sure that each page is optimized for only one keyword. Otherwise, you are competing against yourself for traffic.
- Put keywords where they need to go: While naturally using a keyword in webpage content indicates to search engines the intent and topic of your webpage, you’ll also want to be sure to include those key phrases in other important locations, such as your H1 tag, meta description, headline or title and any alt tags you use on images.
- Website language and flow: Repeating a keyword over and over, even if it didn’t necessarily make sense, was an early tactic used by some web designers to trick search engines into thinking they offered superior content. However, search engines have matured significantly from the early days, and overstuffing your page with a keyword is likely to net you a penalty over a ranking. Instead, seek to write using natural language and incorporate your keyword organically.
Beyond keywords, remember that the intent of your website is to provide information quickly and easily, so always include a contact number, email address or form for customers to reach you. Brick and mortar businesses may also want to include an address and hours of operation.
Most importantly, understand your customers’ preferences and how they move through the sales funnel. Then build a website with content that nurtures that journey, using the tips above to ensure that search engines love your website as much as you do.
The articles in this blog are for informational purposes only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations. When making decisions about your financial situation, consult a financial professional for advice. Articles are not regularly updated, and information may become outdated.