Search engine optimization—SEO—isn’t black magic. It’s all about creating readable, searchable content. That way people can easily complete their tasks and learn what they need to learn from your website.
If you do SEO well enough, your business’s website should rank more highly on Google and other search engines.
That means more people will see your site and have the chance to book your services and buy your retail products.
Here are five ways to increase your SEO value:
1. Use Relevant Search Terms
- Find out what keywords people search when they look for your service. It may be as simple as your city name + your service, i.e. Chicago yoga. Google AdWords can help you find out what these keywords are. Once you know, sprinkle them throughout your website, especially in page titles and headers.
2. Create a Blog
- Creating a blog on your website will increase your SEO by filling your website with fresh content. It tells search engines what your site is about and will help you boost your rankings for certain terms. Also, you can use relevant blog posts (e.g., “6 Great Places to Do Outdoor Yoga in Chicago”) to link back to your services and turn readers into customers.
- A secondary benefit of creating a blog is that it can boost the audience you bring in from other sources. Post links to your blog to your social media pages—again, using search terms in your titles and headers—to take advantage of search engines on those sites, too.
3. Get Quality Links
- Search engines value sites that other sites link to. Find community partners (your chamber of commerce and visitors bureau are good places to start) that will put a link to your site on their sites. Look for other businesses to partner with who have a similar customer base and can send visitors from their sites to yours (and vice versa). This tells search engines that your business’s website can be trusted.
- Search engines award extra weight to links coming from .edu and .gov sites, so if you can court those, that’s a boost for your business.
4. Stick to an 80:20 Written-to-Image Content Ratio
- Having lots of images can slow down your page’s load time, which search engines penalize. Also, readers who can’t get your page to open right away are likely to bounce. Make your pages about 80% words and 20% images.
- Include captions with your images. This is a great way to get more search terms onto your page without overloading your copy with keywords.
5. Be Mobile-Friendly
- Make sure your website is responsive—it should open easily and look good on phones, tablets and desktop computers. Search engines penalize pages that don’t. This is important because about a third of Google searches for local services happen on mobile devices.
- If you’re using WordPress, there are lots of free plug-ins you can download to make sure you’re creating a website that will be responsive.
Good SEO practices mark your site as a safe and useful place for search engines to send their precious users. Use these simple tips to attract more traffic to your site and to make it more useful to the people who end up there. It should be good for business!