Ah…so your new website recently launched and you’re feeling it. It’s been a few weeks and you’re feeling pretty motivated even though you haven’t received any inquiries about your business yet. I’m going to let you in on a not so little secret..are you ready?
Now is not the time to sit back and do nothing until a customer appears out of thin air. Even if the website looks great, you need to work on the SEO to get noticed and rank your website to the top of search engines. Put your focus on SEO and go through your own website as we cover the five simple SEO tips to help your site stand out. That way, you will have this checked off your list and now your websites can have a true chance to succeed.
So, before we can cover these magical SEO tips…I’m guessing not everyone here knows what SEO is. SEO is short for search engine optimization.
The main search engines on the Internet as of this year are Google, Amazon, YouTube, FaceBook, Bing, and Duck Duck Go. For the majority of us, Google is the main focus score a high ranking in. However, this also depends on the industry you are working in and your target audience.
When I use the word optimization, think of improvement or enhancement. And when I use the word ranking, as in “we are trying to rank high on major search engines”, think of it as your online grade or score. So, in this case, your goal is to reach a high score on a specific search engine in order to reach potential clients and exposure.
Great. You have this beautiful website and no one can see it. Before I get into the details, I want to make sure you have submitted your website to Google and other search engines. If you have not done so, please click here and go through the steps to submit your website. After that, come back and complete the list we are about to go through.
Okay, for everyone who is left, let’s talk about what we can do to help your website move up in it’s virtual score.
Tip #1: Correctly Labelled Headers
If you go into the back-end of your website, you will see that each text box has a label assigned to you. It will fall into one of these categories: H1, H2, H3, or p (paragraph). If you are working on a different platform other than Showit, you may have ore options for the header all the way up to H6, but I will cover those too. It can be really confusing to understand when to use which one so let’s go through our websites step-by-step.
H1: Think of this as the title of a book. What is the title of the page you are working on? If you are on the home page, the text that should be labeled H1 is typically what shows up the biggest on the page to catch the viewers attention. This may be the name of your company, or a short blurb to describe the company. So, using my website as an example, can you guess what the H1 is?
Correct! It’s the “Website Design & Brand Strategy” portion.
I chose this because I want to put all of the viewers’ attention straight to those words to show that I offer both website design and brand strategy and that this is what the website will cover. So, if that’s the H1, what’s the purpose of H2? So, H2 will be the sub-title or sub-category. Sometimes we see it as the slogan or jingle of a company. In the case of my website, can you guess what the H2 is?
If you guessed “A creative agency serving business owners through”, then you got it right! H2 text is considered the heading and is typically smaller than H1 because this text supports what the H1 is about.
If we were compare this to a book, the H2 heading would be the smaller text you so often see on books that basically encourages what H1 is about.
So anything after H2 will be considered as sub-sub categories or we can call them small headings. For my website, I have labeled “• so your business can succeed •” as the H3.
Notice it is smaller than both H1 and H2. If this were a book, H3 would be a smaller sub-section underneath the H2 title, maybe even a small blurb on the front of the book.
Quick note: I’d also like to mention that most commonly the H1 header lies on top followed by H2, H3, and so on. Many times we can figure out which heading we can assign to the text just by the size. However, in the case of my website, I wanted to be a little creative with the layout. It is up to you how you’d like to organize the headers, just make sure to label them correctly.
If the name of our book is Best Chocolates Around the World. That is our H1. H2 would say something like “Exploring the Delicacies Life Has to Offer”, and if there was an H3, it could say “plus how to make your own chocolate at home”.
You don’t always have to use H3 and honestly in most cases you will probably stick to use H1 and H2 the most, but if you have a lot of text on your page then it helps to break it all down into different levels both for the viewers eye and for search engines.
And finally p which standards for paragraph. The paragraph portion is anything that goes into further detail after the headers. That would be the actual content. Wherever you are writing content that describes the services, items, people, or stories; this is your paragraph.
Alright, so we know what all this is now, can we talk about why it’s important?
It’s important to have your text labeled correctly because search engines are scanning these tags as they examine your website and decide where to rank it in their system. As well, when you go to search for your ranking, you will notice that a certain header with text underneath comes up. That specific text was gathered from your website based upon what you labeled using the tags. If your text is not labelled correctly, please go through each page and mark it up accordingly because this is important for all search engines. This is the way their systems operate and while it may not seem important to us, it is important to the their systems. Which means…we better make it important to us because I think we can all agree our collective goal is to rank high and have others visit our websites!
Tip #2: Optimized Images
While we are on the topic of optimization (remember, think improvement or enhancement). Let’s take a look at your images. Are there any images on your website with enormous file sizes? When I say enormous file sizes I mean anything 500 KB and higher. If so, we can cut those down without compromising the quality of the image or the size it shows up on the website. If you aren’t sure how to do that, please click here and follow the outlined steps. Decreasing the file size will help us speed up the load time on your website and improve overall website functionality. Even if it means our pages can load half a millisecond faster, take it! Every millisecond matters here! It makes all the difference. As well, websites rank higher when they work more efficiently and having a quicker loading time so it’s a win-win in our books here!
Once the image file size is fixed, take a look at the image’s file name. Does it have anything to do with the image or is it a jumble of words? Make sure it describes what the picture is about because Google isn’t a fan of all your pictures being titled “ajfklsjlfalkfj”.
Lastly, in your Showit back-end view, take a look at the image’s SEO title and description. Make sure those are filled out. The SEO title will outline what the picture is of. For example, if I use this picture, I will put the SEO title as “Apple iPhone X”.
The description is what is known as the “alt-text”. This is going to give search engine’s context as to what is in the picture. So, I would write “iPhone X launch Event in Chicago IL”. The mistake I see so many doing is that they write the keywords they’d like to rank for instead of simply writing what the image is about. I suggest you do not do this because it will not improve your ranking. As well, don’t write the same thing for each picture. Just take your time and go through each one, correctly labelling everything. You only have to do it once and it will help improve the website so it’s worth it.
For these next steps, please click on the page you’d like to work on and scroll down to “SEO Settings” on the right hand side of the Showit platform, the is where you will enter your keywords. If you are working on a different platform such as WordPress, you are most likely working with Yoast. For information on how to navigate Yoast, please click here.
Tip #3: SEO Settings: Page Title
In SEO Settings, we have three different boxes that pop up.
Let’s first take a look at the Page Title. Our page title is going to be what shows up on search engines when a certain page ranks for a specific keyword. The page title is simple a reflection of what the said page is about. For example, sticking to our example of chocolate, let’s say you are a chocolatier and your home page is ranking for the term “Best Chocolatier in San Diego”. When your website comes up, the title would say something like “America’s Top Chocolatier | San Diego Chocolate Zeek | Now taking Orders! So this would be your title. It outlines what you have to offer, where you are located, and a quick blurb to get attention or even a phone number for quick contact which is important for my service provider clients. You can get creative with it, but the point is to showcase what you have to offer in a few words all while getting the viewers attention.
Tip #4: SEO Settings: Meta Description
Right underneath the page title we just wrote is your meta description. This is very important and can either make or break the potential of someone clicking on your website so pay attention. Imagine you’re on Shark Tank and you have to make a business pitch in 60 seconds. Go! Okay now do the same thing except you have a maximum of 160 characters to pitch your offer online. A bit tricky isn’t it? So this is what your meta description is. Since I wrote about a chocolatier for the page title example, I will do the same for the description. To grab a potential customer’s attention, a meta description could be something along the lines of, “Enjoy life’s pleasures! Travel the world without going anywhere! Taste the exotic flavors of our sweet, spicy, and velvety smooth chocolate bars.” Keep it simple but make sure to include what you can offer to the client that will convince them of clicking on your page and doing business with you. Maybe it’s a sale you’re having or maybe it’s a unique service you offer. Add it in there!
Tip #5 SEO Settings: Meta-Keywords
Next up, keywords. Keywords are the phrases that you are going to rank for on different search engines. So, when someone types in “website designer” or “website designer in (insert your town), you would hypothetically appear upfront. Keywords are important in helping us get to that destination. But how do we use them and where do they go? When choosing keywords you’d like to appear for when searched, remember the more vague the phrase, the more competitive the ranking. For example, if I were to search “chocolatier”, millions of websites what appear. However, if I narrow down the term to “chocolatier in San Diego”, less results will show up. This is what I would like you to think of when you are choosing your keywords. You do have the ability to pick as many keywords as you wish so you can mix it up between broad and narrow terms. My best advice for you is to focus on specific terms you feel are easiest to rank for and try to get those first.
When selecting keywords for our pages, we don’t want to write the same ones for each page. So, make sure each page’s keywords are reflecting the content you are writing about.
A tool that is very helpful to use while planing which keywords to choose is called Word Tracker. You can type in the keyword you want to use and select in what area you are trying to rank. You will then be able to see the amount of searches the specific keyword gets and how competitive it is. This is definitely a very useful tool to utilize when selecting keywords.
If you’d like to try out Word Tracker, please click here.
To finish off, I’d like to present you with an example of correct SEO settings VS. incorrect settings. From the two images below, which one do you think is correct?
And we have reached the end! Congratulations! Thank you for going through this SEO checklist with me. I hope you have found help from these tips. Remember, SEO will not get you in first place overnight, it is a slow and steady process and when everything is done correctly, you will see that your website is slowly making process. I wish all of you the best of luck in your business ventures and I can’t wait to see your websites sky-rocket to the front pages of your desired keywords!
If you are struggling with understanding SEO or you are not someone who is computer savvy, I see you and I have many clients who just don’t want to deal with understanding this. If that’s you, I do offer SEO services such as running a full SEO check on your website, brand reviews, and content assessments. If you are interested in these services, please click here to learn more. As well, please feel free to e-mail me by clicking here if you’d like to chat more about all things SEO.
Until next time,