You can put all your eggs in the content marketing basket, come up with an astonishing web design and have a tight social networking strategy to promote yourself but you’ll still need some basic SEO changes. Making some tiny adjustments on your site can make a huge difference on the amount of traffic you get from organic searches.
So, even when there’s people arguing that SEO today is more about user experience and less about keywords and tags, applying those “technical SEO” changes can help you reach an audience you might be missing. Don’t let that “technical” scare you. Those SEO changes are so easy to apply that anyone can do it. Ready to get the job done?
1 – Include keywords
If you were looking to buy shoes online but didn’t know any online store, you’d probably search for them by typing “shoe store”, “buy shoes” or something similar. The results provided by the search engine will be a list of sites that include those sentences or that are close enough. That has been the basic search engine mechanism for years and, in spite of many changes, it still works.
What are we saying here? That you should keep that mechanism in mind when working on your small business website. Including those search terms (or keywords as we like to call them) is essential for your target audience to find you. Think about it. If you sell custom guitars and include the keyword “custom guitars” on your site and blog posts, then chances are that people looking for custom guitars will find you.
Of course, the process isn’t that linear. Including a few keywords won’t make your site instantly jump to the top of the search results. But it will definitely help in improving your position in the search results and it will increase the chances of people actually finding you. So, the job you need to get done here is use relevant keywords for your business any time you can.
2 – Image tags
We’re are primarily a visual society, right? That’s why we love the Internet so much, with all its images, GIFs and videos. And that’s why you promote your small business with all kinds of images – of your products, of your services, of your customers and staff. But though including images on a site is certainly a must that no one overlooks, there’s another equally important that most people forget about – tagging those images.
Why would you need to tag them? Well, because if you don’t, then no one will ever found them. And if you’re wondering why should you bother to make your images more visible on searches, here’s why – because if a person finds your image, it finds you. Let’s say you’ve uploaded a photo of one of your custom guitars but haven’t tagged it. When someone makes an image search on Google or whatever, he won’t find your guitar, he’ll find guitar photos that have been labeled properly.
If you don’t describe what’s in your image, search engines won’t know what’s in them. And if they don’t know what’s in them, they won’t show them in their images results. Untagged images limit your reach, so start tagging and naming them right now. You’ll never know when someone can get to your site through an image search.
3 – Meta descriptions
Now, we know that meta descriptions might sound a little bit technical for some of you, but don’t worry – they are easy to understand and master, and can have a substantial impact on your SEO. Wondering what’s a meta description? That’s simple – it’s the short text that appears below an URL in a search page. Basically, it’s a summary of that page contents and serves as a preview as of what people will find when clicking.
Believe it or not, people use that information a lot when deciding whether to click on one search result or the other. So, the site that has optimized those meta descriptions have more chances to get people’s attention than the one that forgot all about them. Today, most sites have a way to generate those meta descriptions automatically but that’s far from being the optimal solution.
Instead, you should take your time to work on your site’s meta descriptions to include keywords and call to actions like “visit”, “watch”, “learn” or any other wording you think might spark curiosity in the occasional visitor. A well-constructed meta description can gain you several new visitors; a poorly written one can damn your site to the search results’ hell.
4 – Backlinks
Finally, you should also keep an eye on backlinks, because they are pretty valuable in SEO terms. When someone from another site links a page of your site in any of its contents, a backlink is born. Backlinks are valuable because they show that other people are interested in what you’re saying to the point of sharing it in their own sites. If enough people share your contents, then search engines will start “seeing” your site as influential and interesting, and you’ll start to rank higher in search results.
Of course, getting people to link back to your site isn’t an easy feat. You can only get that by providing interesting, relevant and unique information and by promoting it online. You need to get your content out there, discuss it with other people and start creating a network of bloggers with which you can talk about the things that matter to your business and with which you can create a mutually beneficial relationship.
Remember – it’s not the number of backlinks that matter but their quality. If you can get a very important site or blog to link back to your site, then you’ll see a huge bump in your traffic. Be sure to make the most out of it, because the backlink effect has to be renewed quickly or you’ll fall under the “one hit wonder” category.
As you can see, these aren’t complex changes but rather tiny details that you can pay attention to on a daily basis. They won’t take so much of your time and they’ll give a lot in return. So, keep them in mind when developing new content, sections or when improving your site – your traffic will be grateful.