7 Basic SEO Tips to Get You Started
Every second of every minute of every day, consumers go online to search for businesses like yours.
With this in mind, there’s an important question to answer: is your website positioned for success?
In the early days of the internet, most people subscribed to the “if you build it they will come” strategy.
While this may have worked when competition was low and search engines were in their infancy, things have changed over the years.
Now, if you want to generate interest online, there are several key steps to take.
- Submit your website
- Choose your keywords carefully
- Focus on meta tags
- Get social
- Take advantage of local directories
- Get reviews
- Post content regularly
Simple SEO Tips that Work
Most importantly, you must make sure your business is found on Google (among other search engines). Without this, you have no chance of online success.
Fortunately, there are some basic steps you can take to get started:
Step #1: Submit your Website
Even if you do nothing, your website is likely to be found by Google and other search engines at some point. But why wait around and hope for the best?
How to add a website property to Google
The best thing you can do is submit your site through Google Webmasters. Once you do this, you’re in the game.
To add a website:
- In the Search Console home page, click the Add a property button and type the URL of the site or portion of the site for which you want data. Specify the URL exactly as it appears in the browser bar, including the final / mark. See What URL should I use? below for more details. Note that you must be able to prove that you own the site or section of that site.
- Click Continue to open the Site verification page.
- Select a verification method to prove that you own the site and follow the verification instructions on the page. Google-hosted sites (such as Blogger or Sites pages) are automatically verified. More about verification.
- If your site supports multiple protocols (http:// and https://), you must add each as a separate site. Similarly, if you support multiple domains (for example example.com, m.example.com, and www.example.com) you must add each one as a separate site. Additional steps:
- If you support both www and non-www, be sure to specify your preferred domain (www or non-www).
- If you support other variations in your domain or protocol (m.example.com, http://example.com, https://example.com), consider picking canonical urls.
How to add a website property to Bing
Bing also has a webmaster tool feature, so make sure you take advantage.
Submit URLs to Bing:
Submitting a URL from your website can be an important first step to being indexed. There are two ways to accomplish this with Bing:
- Submission through the Submit your Site to Bing web form: this method is designed to allow web publishers to quickly alert Bing that their new site exists. Bing will crawl the URL you submitted and — provided it meets certain criteria — will index the page.
- The Submit URLs feature in the Configure My Site section in Bing Webmaster Tools: this feature is much faster and allows you to submit 10 URLs per day and a maximum of 50 URLs per month for immediate crawl and indexation.
- To submit URLs using the Submit URL feature, simply add 1 URL per line and click Submit. The URLs are immediately evaluated for search indexation and when quality criteria are met we will begin to surfacing to searchers. Very useful in helping get important content indexed quickly, but there is a limit of 10 submissions per day, up to 50 (total) per month.
Note: the Submit URLs feature in Webmaster Tools is currently restricted to root domains only.
Step #2: Choose Your Keywords Carefully
Keywords are extremely important for many reasons. First and foremost, these are the words and phrases that describe what your site (and its pages) is all about.
When Google crawls your site, these keywords go a long way in telling the search engine what a particular page is about.
The content on each page, which should include the right keywords, can make or break your online strategy.
All in all, choose keywords that you want people to use to find your website.
If you’re successful in reaching the top of the rankings for these keywords, you’ll begin to receive targeted traffic.
Step #3: Focus on Meta Tags
Even if you don’t know anything about search engine optimization (SEO), it’s important to become familiar with the use of meta tags.
For example, a meta title is defined by SEO Marketing World as follows:
The meta title is the HTML code that specifies the title of a certain web page. It appears at the top left corner of your browser when you visit a web page. In coding, the meta title is embedded at the header of a web page.
So, when somebody comes across your website in the search results, the meta title is what they’ll see. For this reason, it should accurately describe the page while also providing a high level of appeal (to improve click through rate).
While you have the option to format the title however you wish, here’s an example to follow:
Primary Keyword – Secondary Keyword | Company
Step #4: Get Social
Do you remember the days when social media was nowhere to be found? It may have been a simpler time, but don’t expect a return to this at any point in the near future.
Using social media is a great way to make sure your business is found on Google. This is as simple as linking your social profiles, such as on Twitter and Google+, to your website.
Step #5: Take Advantage of Local Directories
Are you familiar with any local directories that pertain to your business? If so, submit your website to a few of these.
Common Places to get citations are:
- City Search
- Super Pages
- Industry directories
Specifically, complete the following on your profile:
- Company and Address
- Website Address
- Phone Number
- Store Hours
- Services Offered
Make sure your Name, Address, and Phone number is correct. Nothing kills your chances of success faster than bad contact information. Make sure your customers have your NAP information (name, address, and phone number).
It may not seem much, but it helps get your website indexed.
Step #6: Get Reviews
Next ask your current clients for reviews of your business on Google My Business. According to a recent survey by Moz.Com, Google’s algorithm gives 9.8% of the weight of your listing to the number of steady, quality reviews of your location.
Here are a few tips for building reviews:
- Start Small: Tap your closest clients to write a review. Even one is enough to start making traction. Plus it encourages future clients who go to write a review.
- Get your Timing Right: Basically this comes down treading the line between not asking too early and not asking too late.
- Make it Easy to Leave Reviews: Showing them how by linking to your Google My Business page.
- Integrate with your Email Marketing: Ask people what they thought of your business or services and encourage them to write a review if they were impressed.
Step #7: Post Content Regularly
It’s no secret that blogging can boost your website traffic. But knowing what to blog about can be time consuming for a business owner running their business.
Below are six blog topic ideas you can apply to any industry with a little creativity.
- Installation and Service Costs
- Answers to Questions
- Solutions to Local or Seasonal Issues
- Comparisons of Products or Services
- Buyer’s Guides
- Customer Feedback
You should never assume that creating a website is enough for it to be found on Google.
To make the most of your online real estate, follow the steps above. These tips will ensure that your website is found, while also giving you an SEO boost.
What more could you want?