If you have a website, you’ve probably heard of search engine optimization (SEO) and are already implementing some sort of strategy. However, no matter how robust your strategy is, if you aren’t nailing the basics, you’re probably not ranking where you want to be.
So, as part of Americaneagle.com’s 2021 Forum, our SEO experts (Courtney McKeown, Digital Marketing Director, and Diane Haro, Digital Marketing Specialist) put together a list of seven tips and tricks that will not only help you nail the basics, but will also make you feel like expert!
1. Google Yourself
What does Google currently know about your business?
We realize this step seems incredibly simple, but we want to reiterate its importance. If you haven’t done so recently, go to Google.com and see what’s there about your company, brand, and industry. Look at where the website ranks, if the information is accurate, whether anything looks off, and whether any negative PR exists.
In addition to the search results page, you should also click into various directory sites relevant to your brand – includes places like business listings or map sites such as Google My Business and Bing Places. Then check review or directory sites, which are sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, Trip Advisor or Home Advisor. Check the Wikipedia page if relevant, check all social media profiles. Ensure that a listing exists, check the name, address, phone number, website, and any company info like the company overview, images, etc. It’s recommended to compile all of this information in a spreadsheet to keep track.
2. Spy on Your Competition
What is your competition doing online?
This step involves going to Google and seeing what’s out there regarding your competition.
- See who is ranking for keywords you’re trying to capture – What are they doing?
- Check out the content they’re producing – How frequent do they post? What topics do they write about?
- Check what keywords they’re targeting – What keywords do they target in title tags and headings?
- Check their online reviews – How do you compare in quantity/ratings?
- See what social pages they’re active on – How frequent do they post? What kind of engagement?
- Review their link profile – Who is linking to their website? Is there similar opportunity for your business?
3. Define Target Keywords
What are people in your industry searching? What keywords matter to you?
- Primary (Core) Target Keywords
- Secondary (Contextual) Target Keywords
- Long-Tail Target Key Phrases
The first step in defining target keywords is brainstorming. Think about what you want to rank for in Google and list everything that you think people would search for when looking up products/services related to your company. Next, you should do test searches to what Google auto-fills when you start typing keywords/phrases related to your industry. Use these topics for long-tail keyword ideas.
You can also visit the ‘people also ask’ section on Google to get ideas for keywords. And lastly, see what’s trending on Google Trends to identify keyword variations, search volume trends, and identify seasonality and geographic interest. The will help you develop ideas for your content calendar.
4. Create Content
How do you create content that ranks?
- Blogs – Blogs are one of the easiest ways to keep the content on your site fresh without having to rewrite the entire site every few weeks.
- Infographics – Infographics are a way to graphically display information that can also be used as a lead gateway.
- Offsite Content – Think outside the website – use website content as social media content and vice versa.
5. Mark Up Your Data
What SEO elements are important for ranking?
Basic SEO elements:
- URLs – URLs should be consistent throughout your website and reflect the path users take to get to that page.
- Title Tags – Title tags should be structured the same way on all of your website’s pages as well as reflect the title in your URL.
- Meta Descriptions – Meta descriptions should be 158 characters or fewer, unique to each page, and incorporate primary keywords for an easy-to-ready, compelling description.
- Headings – Headings, including the H1 tag, H3 tag, and H3 tag should include keywords that closely relate to the page title and content. Generally, the H1 tag is your page title or heading, and the H2 tag is the subheading.
- Content – Creating quality content is one of the best ways you can rank for keywords and create positive user experiences.
Be sure you’re incorporating these elements into each page that’s being built on your website.
6. Link Building
Where to begin with link building?
Link building describes actions aimed at increasing the number and quality of inbound links to a webpage with the goal of increasing a specific page or entire website’s SEO rankings.
- Internal Linking – Internal linking provides direction to users that can keep them on pages for longer periods of time.
- Inbound Links – Inbound links, also known as backlinks, occur when another website links back to your site. Google views these links as an indicator that your site has high-quality content.
7. Measure and Monitor
How to measure success and monitor performance?
Ensure you are correctly measuring and tracking performance to tie back the SEO tactics to tangible organic business results.
Establish organic key performance indicators (KPIs):
- Organic keyword rankings
- Organic sessions
- Organic conversions
Ways to measure:
- Google Analytics (which pages drive organic traffic, which pages convert)
- Google Search Console (which search queries drive traffic)
- Keyword Tracking Tools (SEMrush, WooRank, Ahrefs
Measuring SEO performance is the key to understanding where to focus efforts!
In addition to measuring SEO performance, it’s vital to stay in the known when it comes to updates. For example, Google now rolls out real-time Core algorithm updates. Some helpful resources include Search Engine Journal: History of Google Algorithm Updates and Moz: Google Algorithm Update History.
While the aforementioned tips and tricks will certainly help kickstart your SEO journey, a successful strategy often requires expert input. At Americaneagle.com, we have a team of dedicated SEO professionals that are ready to craft a successful strategy that helps your business rank higher on Google. Contact us today to get started.
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