Anyone who has innocently searched “What does SEO mean?” has most likely found themselves in the deepest, darkest rabbit holes on the internet. From backlinks to keywords, page speed to content, and meta descriptions to images, it’s a lot to digest – let alone understand. But what do you actually need to know about SEO to help your website rank higher in search engines? Here’s a quick checklist to get you started.
• Remove anything that slows down your site. 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. For potential buyers, a slow site is an untrustworthy site.
• Write relevant meta descriptions for every page. A meta description is the small section of text that describes what each page on your website is about. They appear on Google search results to get people to click your link.
• Create search-engine-friendly URLs. Easy to understand URLs will help search engines serve the right web page to the right user. For example, https://www.yourcoolwebsite.com/blog/458329 does not tell a search engine (or user) what the blog is about. However, https://www.yourcoolwebsite.com/blog/SEO-Tips-For-Your-Business is easier to understand.
• Add keywords to your images. The images on your site are just as important as the copy. Be thoughtful when adding keywords to your images. If a user is looking for a specific jacket, consider naming your image “camo bomber jacket” instead of “click here to buy this jacket”. In this case, relevance is more important than cleverness.
• Write unique content regularly. Fresh updates to your site in a timely manner that benefits users will help your site rank higher on Google. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is by writing a blog. Writing relevant, unique content is imperative to your online presence.
Quick caveat – don’t believe anyone who says they can guarantee you the top spot on Google search results. Yes, it’s obviously possible to get the first paid advertising spot on search engines. Can they guarantee that nobody is going to come along and take that spot from you? Yes, if they’re lucky. No, if they’re honest. Rankings depend on several factors including budget, daily spend, keywords, competition, geographic location, and more.
SEO best practices are constantly changing and evolving, so we recommend auditing your website two to four times per year. There are several free website auditing tools available such as PageSpeed Insights, Ubersuggest, and Website Grader that will help you get started. Search engine optimization is no longer optional. While it doesn’t take a lot of effort to get the basics right, it may kill your online presence if you don’t. Now, here comes a shameless plug to help increase our SEO ranking: Contact the Tulip Tree team to learn more about how we can help optimize your website.