Whether you’re just now launching a company site, or updating web pages to meet current best practices, poor SEO groundwork can set you back months… or worse. Lucky for you, we have 3 basic SEO steps to help steer your website to success.
1. Structure Your Site Around Well Researched Keywords
Keywords are the skeletons of SEO. Every landing page you create and each blog post you write will be built around certain keywords and key phrases that you want to rank for. That’s why precise and thorough keyword research is absolutely vital for effective SEO.
Don’t shoot for the stars; appearing first for a generic keyword provides little ROI. It can be tempting to aim for incredibly popular search terms like:
While this may drive tons of traffic to your website (which is good, don’t get us wrong), traffic doesn’t automatically lead to conversions. Unless you have a site like YouTube paying you for views, traffic means next to nothing if you’re not reaching your target audience.
When you rank for generic terms like “doctor,” you’re attracting people from all over the globe to your site. Unless you’re an extremely niche professional (physicist-orthopedist hybrid, specializing in rocket surgery), there’s little incentive to reach people outside of your local market.
You want to rank for keywords tailored precisely to the needs of your target audience. Keeping the doctor example up, let’s say you’re a cardiologist in Austin, Texas. Who’s your target audience, and what do they search for? The obvious keyword would be “cardiologist” right? Well, let’s take a look… here’s a few popular “cardiologist” searches:
- Cardiology conferences
- Cardiology Institute of Michigan
- Cardiology jobs
Many people who search “cardiologist” are actually trying to become one, not trying to find a doctor. These are not your potential customers, and are only your target audience if you’re looking to network with other cardiologists. Instead, hone in on a more specific phrase like:
- Cardiologist near me
- Cardiologist Austin Texas
- Best cardiologist Austin
The people making these searches are actually looking for you. You’ve already got the tools and expertise to treat them, but they can never become a customer if they can’t find your business. Modern SEO is all about directing a specific audience to your site to convert them into clients.
#2 Create High Quality, Optimized Content For Your Site
Once you’ve researched your keywords, smoothly integrate them into your site’s content. Each landing page should target a primary keyword like “dog training,” and then cover several secondary keywords as well, such as:
- Puppy training
- Professional training
- Certified trainer
However, avoid keyword stuffing at all costs. Google will penalize you for “over optimization” and users will scoff at the obvious link padding. Instead, make sure every page is specific, and that all the content contained on it is relevant to your keywords.
Instead of using short blurbs or small product descriptions for your page content, go in depth. Google tends to rank 2000+ word content higher than the industry-standard 500 word articles. Detailed pages and informative blogs are also more likely to attract links.
Don’t ignore SEO titles or SEO descriptions either. If left unchanged, the title will look generic and the description will default to the first few lines of the page. Use HTML or an SEO plugin to write optimized titles and fill descriptions with effective sales copy
#3 Maintain SEO Through Constant Updates And Research
Everything gets old, and there are few fields that age faster than SEO. Eventually, a rock solid foundation will form cracks that can compromise the entire structure if ignored. Without proper maintenance and updates, your initial work will quickly become outdated.
Monitor your keyword performance and keep an eye on your ranking. What you’re aiming for is stability and growth; if you notice a steady decline in your results, you need to reevaluate your strategy. There are numerous possible causes for a decline, such as:
- Google algorithm update
- Keywords have lost relevance
- Target audiences has shifted/changed
Whatever the cause may be, you need to identify and address the issue fast.
To maintain relevance, consistently make high-quality content. A company blog is an easy and effective means to keep your website thriving. The better the blog, the more outbound links you’ll attract. These links tell Google that you’re doing good work, and they’ll reward you with an elevated rank. Aim for industry-relevant links, otherwise the links are just dead weight.
If you have any general questions, or would to work with us to build your SEO foundation, get in touch. We can schedule an SEO audit for your website, or team up with you to design a new one.