Having a pretty website is just the first step is truly taking advantage of your online presence. But, it's the ongoing steps that help your website perform like a well oiled machine.
It can be intimidating if you aren't really sure what to do first, so we've put together a simple list of things you can do right now that will put you one step closer to realizing your SEO dreams.
1. Set up Analytics AND Webmaster Tools. It's amazing how many websites have not taken this first step to success. Having a website without Analytics is like driving blind. Never a good idea. Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools help you see what's really going on with your site, including where your traffic is coming from, what keywords your users are searching for, and what pages within your site are most frequently visited. We set up all of our clients with GA and WT, and the data is worth its weight in gold. These tools will also help you discover who is linking to your site, and give you a warning if search engines are unable to crawl our site for any reason. The biggest reason for installing Analytics, is to uncover whether or not your SEO efforts are paying off. GA has the ability to segment your traffic into different channels, one being Organic Search, AKA traffic that's brought to your site from a search engines. You will be able to see that here...
2. Update your homepage content. We tell clients this all the time - when is the last time you updated your site's homepage? Think of your homepage like your cover letter. It's the first thing a search engine will read when it comes across your site, and it's important to make sure your first impression is a good one. The older and older your content is, the less relevant and knowledgeable your site seems. Just like iPhones. If a user is searching for an iPhone, google isn't going to show them the iPhone 3 before the iPhone 6 Plus. Search engines like to see fresh, new and exciting content.
3. What do your title tags say? This is something most people don't notice until they've been told to look for it. The title tag is the brief line of text that appears at the top of your browser window. It will look like this...
It will also show up in search results, so readability, relevance, and appeal is important. Along with your homepage, the title tag is like a mini summary of what your site is about. Think of it like the mission statement on your resume - short, sweet, to the point, and filled with keywords related to your content. Each page of your website can have a title tag, and it is highly recommended that each one is unique. The words used should be words you expect your users to be searching for, which will then hopefully create more click-thrus. Ideal length should be no more than 55 characters, including spaces, and phrases should be separated by a pipe symbol (same key as the backslash). Writing a good title tag is a bit of an art, and if you don't feel comfortable changing it, that's why they pay people like us the big bucks.
So, what should you take away from this? If you're just starting out on your SEO journey, you want to be able to track your progress, have a homepage that will create a strong first impression, and write unique title tags that will encourage more visits. Just like with most things in life, there are rules and laws to play by, and in the land of digital marketing, it's better to play by the rules.
If you're interested in getting started with SEO, or would like a free consultation on how we could best help you and your website succeed, simply fill out our Get Started form over to the right. We look forward to hearing from you!