As 2016 unfolds, many of the once-touted SEO techniques of the past have been pushed aside in favor of new methods that conform to the way search engines work. Much like dusting off that old polyester suit for your next big event might not be favorable, once-popular SEO techniques, like keyword stuffing, are also better left in the closet.
On-Site Optimization Tips for Business Websites
If you are the owner of a SMB, you may be wondering how to optimize your website in lieu of paying the sometimes gratuitous fees that SEO companies charge. While you probably won’t be able to launch a full-scale, comprehensive SEO strategy on your own, there are some basic things you can do to help your company rise in search results.
Here is a brief checklist of on-site SEO techniques you can easily incorporate for your website:
Switch to Responsive Design
First and foremost, if you don’t have a mobile-friendly website, consider switching to a responsive one as soon as possible. Google and other search engines are now giving preference to these sites, and you will find yourself sinking in search results.
Double-Check Accuracy of Contact Information and Website Links
Check the contact information on your website, social media sites, and on business directories where you are listed to be sure that the information is correct in all instances. Test the email links and contact forms on your website to be sure all inquiries done from your website are getting through to you. This is especially important if you have had staff changes where a certain staff member was designated to receive website notifications.
Perform Updated Keyword Research
While freshening up your content, try performing keyword research to confirm the industry and services terms that are popular with search engines today. You may find that some of your terminology is outdated and no longer searched for as it once was. For example, the once-popular term “staff development” has been overtaken by “team development.” Also, consider spying on the competition to find out what keywords are working well for them. Tools such as SEMRush allow you to easily type in a compeitor's URL and see keywords and rankings of your competitors. Use the results of your findings to update the keywords in your content.
Freshen Up Written Content
Have you had the same text on your website since it was launched? Give your site a refresh, and give search engines a reason to crawl your site more frequently, by periodically updating your content.
Optimize Your Headings
Search engines use H tags to help figure out what a webpage is about and categorize the importance of information on a page. Utilize the H tags on your website for main ideas, using relevant keywords whenever possible. What does an H tag look like?
Here it is from the front end:
Here is what it looks like in the code (H1 tag is page name in this instance):
Does your business or organization cater to locals? Make it clear by including relevant city/town keywords throughout your website content. Also, encourage and incentivize customers to leave local reviews through Trip Advisor, Yelp, Your Google, Bing, and Yahoo Business pages, and other local business listings.
Search engines read your image tags to determine what is on the image. Be sure to name your image accordingly. For example, if you have an image of a cow jumping over the moon on your website (And why wouldn’t you?), name the image cow-jumping-over-moon.jpg instead something generic like image1.jpg. If you are selling cow trampolines in Boston, tack the word Boston onto the image name. Be sure to fill out the alt image tag as well. Alt tags are used by screen readers for the benefit of users with visual impairments, so they can be told what is on an image. They are also beneficial for SEO. Depending on the admin features of your website, this can be done in a couple of different ways. You can always add the text directly into your html code where you see this tag, between the quotation marks: <img alt="PUT YOUR ALT TEXT HERE" src="/images/…/>.
Use Social Media to Broadcast Content
Take advantage of your social media platforms to distribute content. Learn more about leveraging social media for your business here.
By optimizing your website using the tips outlined above, you can improve your website visibility and search engine rankings.
Need help getting found online? OpenVine Internet Solutions offers a wide variety of options to help you stand out online and attract quality leads for your business. Our Boston SEO and internet marketing experts can analyze your website and determine the best plan to meet your individual needs and business goals. Contact us today to learn how we can help grow your online website traffic or GET A FREE QUOTE.
*Image courtesy of THPStock / depositphotos.com