Potential customers are searching for the exact service you’re offering every single day. Capitalizing on internet traffic and performing search engine optimization is one cheapest, and most effective things you can do when it comes to marketing your business online.
This is not intended to be a all inclusive “how-to” guide, instead we’ve provide short topics you can focus on to improve your rankings over time. If you like simple lists you can download our Search Engine Optimization checklist here.
Have Relevant Content On Your Website
Have content on your website that is relevant to the service you’re offering and the search term people are using to find it… IE. If you offer Drain Cleaning Service make sure you have a page on your website dedicated to describing this service. If you offer multiple services make sure you have a dedicated page for each one. Try to make your website content valuable to the user. Things to remember:
- Your website is not for you it’s for them!
- If you’re solving a problem for your client.. include the problem, your solution, and how you solve it for them on your website.
- Have calls to action and clean navigation on every page.
- Structure your website with your ideal customer in mind. If you don’t know who your ideal customer is, consider completing a customer avatar.
Have A Mobile Friendly Website
Search Engines like Google & Bing now penalize sites that aren’t mobile friendly… Make sure your website is easy to use on mobile devices, if you’re not sure you can use Google’s Mobile Friendly Test Tool to test your site. If you’re website fails the test consider making some improvements. When it comes to driving traffic and increasing search rankings, user experience should always be a priority.
Have A Fast Website
Website loading speeds have an impact on your search engine rankings. Make sure your website loads quickly. Less than 3 seconds is ideal, less than 2 seconds is great!
Here’s a few resources that you can use to test your website speed & resolve issues:
Have A Secure Website
In 2019 Search Engines are giving preference to sites that are secured with a SSL certificate. If your site URL loads with http:// consider having your web developer add a SSL.
Use this SSL Checker Tool to see if your site has an SSL certificate installed.
If your site has an SSL, make sure all HTTP URLS redirect to HTTPS.
For example, http://yoursite.com should automatically redirect users to the SSL secure version https://yoursite.com
SSL certificates are provided free by Let’s Encrypt.
Have Verified Google Business & Bing Business Profiles
Make sure your local listing on Google & Bing are both verified and updated with the proper information. Performing Local SEO can have a huge impact on your search engine rankings.
Things to make sure are accurate
- Business Name, Location, Contact Info, Service Area, Business Categories, Photos, Services, Menus, Reviews, Hours of Operation
- Manage your Google local business listing here.
- Manage your Bing local business listing here.
Strategic use of H1, H2, Page Titles & URLS
H1, H2, Page Title, & URL together play a major role in your search rankings. If your website pages are missing a H1, or have an irrelevant page title, you might be missing out more than you think…
Create individual pages for each keyword you want to target. Here’s an example for targeting the keyword ‘General Contractor Great Falls’:
- H1 – General Contractor Great Falls
- H2 – Truly the Best General Contractor in Great Falls
- Page Title – General Contractor Great Falls
- URL – www.example.com/general-contractor-great-falls
- Meta Description – Our 53 years of combined experience make us the best choice for your General Contracting needs. Currently serving Great Falls and surrounding areas.
By adding the keyword to each of these fields you’re telling Search Engines that this page is relevant and should be shown to searchers. Completing these steps will likely put you ahead of your competitors.
Link Building For SEO
Back link: A link to your site from another website.
Backlinks are still the #1 ranking factor when it comes to search engine rankings.
Try to obtain links from reputable, relevant websites in your niche or industry. If you’re a local catering company, you might try obtaining a back link from a local wedding planner. Or if your a local contractor you might try obtaining a back link from a supplier or subcontractor. Look for opportunities to link to colleagues, partners, affiliates etc. Natural back links from relevant sites will boost your rankings.
Add and verify your website property in Google & Bing’s Webmaster Tools platforms. You’ll also receive notifications if something changes with your site or if you have any issues.
Upload A Sitemap
Using your verified Google.com/business listing and bing.com/places listing, you can enter a URL for your sitemap. This file tells search engines what pages are on your site.
- If you don’t have a sitemap file you can generate one here. Xml-sitemaps.com
- Download the text file (sitemap.xml)
- Upload to your website public director IE example.com/sitemap.xml
- Enter this URL in your Google & Bing Webmaster Tools Sitemap Section.
Have An Error Free, Index-able Website
Errors on your website can cause Google & Bing to penalize your site, or worse, fail to index it at all. If there’s crawl or indexing issues with your site Google/Bing Webmaster Tools will list them in the crawl errors section or notify you via email. It’s a good idea to log into webmaster tools to check for any issues or warnings regarding your site.
Updated Social Profiles
Search Engines are beginning to use Social Signals as a way to verify if a brand or business is reputable. If one of the popular social platforms has your target audience on it, consider creating a profile or working on an existing one to send positive vibes towards your website. Having a Facebook, Instagram or other social profile with your business information, Website URL and a few followers can give you an extra bump in search rankings.
These types of social profiles can help your search rankings:
- Facebook Business Page
- Instagram Business Page
- LinkedIn Business Page
- Yelp, Urban Spoon, Facebook Reviews, Etc.
Make Improvements Over Time
Search Engine Optimization is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s a long term investment in increasing your search appearance. Small changes over time can have an enormous impact on your Search Engine Rankings. If you’re doing some or all of the things listed in this guide you’re likely way ahead of your competitors.
Keep historical data, stats and analytics related to your website so you can make informed decisions. Make sure you have Google Analytics installed.
Important metrics to monitor:
- Website Visitors
- Avg. Session Duration
- Bounce Rate
- Form Submissions
- Search Engine Rankings
- Specific Keyword Rankings
- Calls From Google Business Listing
- # of Requests For Directions
If you have questions regarding search engine optimization, or the content listed in this guide feel free to contact us.
If you’d like more details on the current state of your website fill out the form on this page to request a free website audit. It includes amazing metrics like search engine rankings, user experience, conversion optimization, search engine optimization, page speed, page security and more. It will also provide you actionable steps to improve your website performance.
Download our Search Engine Optimization checklist here.