Just to be clear, search engine optimization is not easy. However, if you are new to digital marketing and you want to try your hand at SEO, there are a few things you can do that will help your business rank putting you in front of a wider online consumer audience.
1. Check Your Backlinks and Ditch the Toxic Ones
Backlinks are links on other websites that point to your site. Their quality is important because a healthy backlink profile helps Google determine how authoritative your site is. If these backlinks come from referring domains that have relevant subjects to your own and boast a high domain authority, you will be crawled in a positive light. If however the referring domains are non-specific directories or some strange blog from Russia, Google can regard your site as spammy and downgrade its authority.
What you can do about it: You will want to run a backlink audit so you can see who is linking to you. There are a number of tools you can use to do this including Moz Site Explorer and Small SEO Tools. Once you get the audit report go down the list making careful note of domains that are irrelevant and spammy, and those that are healthy. You will then need to contact the toxic domain’s administrator requesting they remove the link. If you get no response you will need to use the Google Disavow Tool and than submit to Google.
2. Add Local Citations
Local citations are any mentioning of your business online that combines your brand’s name, physical address, phone number and website address. Citations are important for improving local SEO. In other words, if you own a bakery and someone in your city does a search for “nearest bakery that makes birthday cakes”, you will want your website to populate above your competition.
Also known as NAP (name, address, phone number), local structured citations need to be created in places that aren’t spammy. Some good places to start include Google My Business and Facebook. Avoid directories UNLESS they are specific to your industry. For example, Angie’s List is a directory for home improvement service providers and contractors. If you own a garage door repair company or you are an electrician, Angie’s List would be ideal. However, if you own a furniture store, the citation would be spammy and irrelevant. You can also look for industry-related consumer review sites to list your NAP, as well as local government sites like the local Chamber of Commerce or City Hall.
3. Add SEO-Friendly Content
Although this is a complex task best performed by a Google-partner digital marketing agency, there are some SEO considerations you can take on board for creating web content. First, here are some things you need to be aware of regarding how Google crawls and rewards web content:
- Google’s newest algorithm runs on machine learning and AI technology
- Your content must contain the keywords and their various variations you are trying to rank for
- The content should attempt to rank but also be written for human readers with emotion and creativity
- The language should mirror organic language people use when searching for products using their mobile voice search function
- The content needs to direct people to what they are looking for
Once you set some content on your homepage and primary pages, use Google analytics to track performance. You can also get a keyword tracking tool like AuthorityLabs to see how well your content ranks.
If you really want to get aggressive then you will need to find a good inbound digital marketing agency with teams of SEO experts specializing in content. More importantly, your inbound marketing agency should be able to show you data from past and current clients attesting their success in helping clients get phenomenal ROIs in their growth marketing efforts.