Do a Google search for something relate to your industry such as food, performance, web development. What do you see as the first couple of entries? If it’s not your business, then this article is the one for you. Ever wonder how to get your website to the top of the page in Google, Yahoo, or Bing? Search Engine Optimization is the name of the game here, and it’s one of the most important pieces of marketing for any business, large or small.
Search Engine Optimization, what is it?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the term used for increasing the visibility of your website on web search engines. When someone searches online for anything related to your industry, the results are shown in order of your search engine ranking. The higher your SEO ranking, the higher you’ll show up in search engines like Google.
There are a couple of ways to increase your SEO ranking, most of which will revolve around optimizing the content that is on your website, making sure the website is being correctly indexed by search engines, and that your website is accessible to all viewers, even those with hearing or sight impairments.
Step 1: Produce a constant stream of content
The first and probably most crucial step of improving your SEO ranking is to make sure that your website is continuously publishing new content. If there hasn’t been any new content from your website is weeks or months, search engines will look at your site and assume that it’s been abandoned. However, if search engines see that you are producing new content week after week, your ranking easily shoots up. For a lot of businesses, this can mean maintaining a blog with content based on your industry. Synico maintains a learning center of content that is published and updated every week, which helps us maintain a strong SEO ranking.
There are other ways to produce constant content without having to manage a classic blog. Event companies can simply update their portfolios when they complete projects. Graphic designers can periodically make small case studies about their work and their challenges. Get creative with the content that you are putting out, as long as you can regularly publish said content.
Don’t believe that blogging is worth it? Check out our post on why blogging is stronger than it’s ever been as a marketing tool.
Step 2: Optimize and define your original content
It probably shouldn’t have to be said, but plagiarizing content from other websites will tank your SEO ranking. Even if you are paraphrasing or linking to the source content, it is better to write the content in your own unique way than to risk the visibility of your website. Original content is king, so taking the time to come up with content that is truly you is an important step.
Having the content there isn’t enough though. You want to make sure that your content is accessible to everyone, even those that may have trouble with sight or hearing. The easiest way to make sure your content can be viewed by everyone is by tagging your visual content. When you upload an image, you are given the option to add a caption, alt text, and description. These allow visitors of your website that have hearing or vision impairments to still understand what your content is. Most people tend to ignore this, but that is the most common mistake when it comes to SEO. Making a habit of adding filling out the caption, alt text, and description not only helps your search engine ranking, but also allows you to say that your website is ADA compliant.
Step 3: Fill out your Meta Data for indexing
The final step is actually pretty simple. Fill out the meta data–the information fed directly to search engines–for each page. There are a number of ways to index your pages, one free option that we’ll cover is using Yoast SEO. Yoast allows you to enter meta data into their platform for search engines to check and then index.
First, install the Yoast plugin from the public plugin library. Next, edit the page that you want Yoast to help index and scroll down to the Yoast section. The main section that you want to look at is the social media section.
Adding a featured image is a good place to start. The featured image is the image that will be shown every time this blog post is shared all across social media. Click on Upload Image to add a featured image. Need an idea of what image to use? Check out our post about why graphic images make the best visuals when sharing sites.
In addition to the feature image, you will also need to input the article title and description. Article descriptions are crucial to securing traffic to your site. Be sure to create a little bit of curiosity in your description to entice would-be visitors into clicking through to your site.
Finally there are the advanced settings. There is truly no reason to mess with these. If you would like to learn more about Yoast, be sure to check out this article: https://yoast.com/seo-basics-how-to-optimize-a-blog-post/.
And you’re done!
Congrats, it may be hard to believe, but that’s all you have to do. Now all you can do is continue to pump out content and wait until search engines index your website, which can take a little while. Search Engine Optimization is truly a waiting game, but if you are able to keep it up for the long haul, the payoff is huge. When people search for something on the web, they will rarely look further than the first couple of entries, and will almost never go past the first page. I highly suggest that you prepare for the long haul, because those that can stick it out have a massive advantage against their competition.
Need some more help on other ways to increase the visibility of your business, check out our post on setting up your Google My Business account.