How Can I Improve My SEO?
How Can I
Improve my SEO?
(Search Engine Optimization)
Let’s first get a very clear understanding of what SEO (Search Engine Optimization) really is! Many people understand SEO to be a way of tricking search engines into promoting your website to the No. 1 spot in it's search results. FALSE! Hate to break it to you, but you’re not going to trick Google—at least not without a masters degree from MIT. Everyone has a somewhat unique way of getting search engines to “see them,” which is why a cut-and-dry answer is hard to find when improving your SEO.
But don't worry, there is hope!
The inner-workings of the internet:
Google and other search engines such as Bing, Yahoo and AOL; all use bots. To imagine it visually, these bots roam freely throughout the internet (known as Crawling) and they scan for new and updated webpages that may contain sensitive, fraudulent, or illegal material. These bots not only keep our internet a safe place; but they are also responsible for your site’s placement within Google's endless list of search results.
Drowning out the crowd:
Among the billions of websites in the world, sometimes it can be hard to climb your way to the top. In some cases, you may be a mom-and-pop shop fighting a multi-million dollar corporation. Sound like the odds are stacked against you? Believe it or not, you’ve got a shot!
What’s in a Name?
Unique naming is a frequently overlooked consideration, and to be honest, no one EVER wants to change their name! Many of the clients that we work with struggle when this becomes an option, and reasonably so! There should be a sense of pride associated with your brand and what you have grown over time. Building your brand around a product, founder, or location can help your business build a rapport within a local community; but it can also be limiting on scalable levels. If you are considering rebranding, here are some tips to help conjure up a new name.
- Think outside the dictionary! A pronounceable, yet distinctive set of letters is a technique that has created a lot of the latest product trends. A creative construction of letters or syllables gives you the advantages of choosing the way your name looks through the architecture of the letters or the way that it sounds through the rhythm of pronunciation. These unique opportunities give you complete freedom over the design of your new brand.
- Having a hard time splitting with the name you already have? Consider simplifying it! For example, Gugel’s Bagel Bakery can easily be simplified into Gugel’s. This allows the Gugel family to expand their business beyond the bread aisle and perhaps they come out with a line of jam's and jellies to compliment their warm, fresh bagels.
Note: It is rarely acceptable to abbreviate. Not only does this remove almost all association to your brand, but it actually makes it harder to find you on the internet (not to mention, it's been done a gazillion times already).
- If you’re still having a rough time, there are wonderful agencies out there that can help you with this! We are proudly one of them! Sometimes this can be the best step as a new logo and brand identity is an investment into your businesses' new direction.
Mind the Gaps!
It is imperative to treat your Save-As window like a surgery room! If you find yourself putting spaces between each word when you save a document or image, STOP IT! Search engines CAN'T read spaces in file names! Instead, fill every space with a hyphen and your files will instantly become searchable.
File naming is one of the hardest practices to teach people. As mentioned, it is a practice! If you can turn the practice into a habit early on, your life on the internet will be made substantially easier!
Images are especially important! Remember those bots we talked about earlier? Yup! They also read the metadata of all the images on the internet, including what you post on Facebook! Scary, right? This can play a vital role in your quest to conquer the search results page.
Whether you are working with a developer or building a website yourself; be consciously aware that your image names are searchable. Always reflect on the keywords that you would type when searching for the image you want to post.
If you are working with a large quantity of images or are simply not photoshop savvy, photographers and retouchers like The Rennacker Company can help rename your images correctly and edit the files to make them as visually cohesive as possible.
In the 21st century, every business needs to have a presence on multiple social platforms. Social media channels all have options for adding links to your profile. These links are there for a very significant reason — to lead your customers to your website! This is called a call-to-action and if you play your cards right, this can be a very positive anomaly for you and your business.
Yelp, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Business, are a few of the most important platforms to list your business information! Others include Instagram, Google +, Facebook, Manta, etc. These all allow you to showcase your products or services to potential customers in an interface that is proven to drive and promote sales.
Make sure that every social platform you are on has a way for your customers to easily find you and get to your website quickly. You can even go to the extent of making every post link to your website. If this is not your forte, don't fret! There are businesses, like our own, that specialize in social media management. They can create and manage your posts while they monitor feedback from your network of followers across multiple social platforms.
Practicing Good Form.
Blogs like this, that relate to your products or services are a great way to promote your business while telling search engines, “hey, I’m still here!” Many people who write blogs have a wonderfully creative mind and write exceptionally well, but they don’t understand the structure of the web, so their content is never seen. To help this make sense, here are some basics:
- The things that are most important go into headers. Headers are organized in 6 categories; h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, and h6. In most cases, you only use h1, h2, and h3. Think of these as the title of a book, the chapters, and sections within each chapter. This blog page is another example.
- Special text treatments, such as bold or italic, calls attention to those words and makes them more "searchable" than others within the body of your website.
Using this knowledge, you can now properly format your webpages, keeping in mind that you still can’t trick Google. Write your website as if you are talking to another human. If every word on your website is a search term, bots are going to recognize that you are trying to force a square peg into a round hole and they will kick your site to the back of the line.
If you are working with a developer, check to see if they offer blog posting services. Web services offered by The Rennacker Company come standard with an option to launch blog posts straight from your smartphone; but if your developer has to post it manually, check how they like your posts to be submitted. When you upload a post, make sure that it is formatted with clear headings and appropriate text treatments.
Get the word out!
Like any other project, you want people to see your site. The more that your site is clicked on and searched for, web browsers will identify that site as being more desirable than other sites within the same search results. incidentally, this could promote your site higher and higher.
Not much strategy with this one, simply tell all of your friends, family, professional and personal networks to go check out your website! This relatively stress-free task requires some clever email drafting and a link. That's all!
One of the things that we have great success with is using an automated email system such as Mailchimp. This allows us to quickly notify our subscribers when we create a new post. Once we send an email customers are immediately notified and can begin reading about our newest content.
This was a long post, but we wanted to be as thorough as possible! The mysterious world of the internet has many dark corners that have yet to be discovered. We hope that posts like these help alleviate some of the stress associated with launching and maintaining a website, but if you find yourself in a web-based pickle, we're here for you!
To summarize, here is a to-do list if you are looking to improve your SEO:
- Consider rebranding: A new business name could offer you prime real estate on the internet. While you contemplate your new identity, be sure to cross-check your contestants with available URL's. Lastly, be sure to get yourself a new logo that reflects the new goals for your business.
- Format your file names: Ensuring that your files and images use pertinent keywords and are properly formatted is an important place to start. This does not provide immediate results; but over time, your site will benefit from this good practice greatly.
- Use social media: If you do not have social pages for your business (separate from personal accounts), make them! Be sure that all of your accounts have a call-out for your customers to visit your site. This is equivalent to plastering posters across the city, but in a much more efficient and cost effective way.
- Blogging and updating content: As mentioned above, this helps web browsers know that your site is active and trying to engage your visitors. This could be as simple as switching out content on your home page or writing an occasional blog.
- Get the word out: Google needs to know that people want to see your site. Get people to click on it, ask them to give you feedback. The more people that visit on a regular basis, the better!
We hope this helps, and as always don't hesitate to reach out to us if we did not answer any specific questions you may have about SEO. The best way to contact us is to email firstname.lastname@example.org and we generally reply within 24 hours.
Please be aware that this blog is a collaborated effort between the partners and associates of The Rennacker Company. The content here-within should not be construed as business or financial advice. All decisions to redesign, modify or alter a logo, website or social media platforms should be discussed at length between all stakeholders and legal representatives of any business. All members should unanimously decide on any and all changes affecting business operations, finances, and potential revenue streams. The Rennacker Company assumes no responsibility for actions performed based on the contents of this post which should be considered as recommendations based on what has provided our business it's success and not as fact.