SEO can be as easy as 1, 2, 3
SEO isn’t as complicated as it might seem! In fact, it can be broken down into three simple steps: Step 1: Find the right keywords, Step 2: Use your keywords, Step 3: Track what you’re doing. Sounds pretty straightforward, right? Let’s look at each one of these a bit closer.
Step 1: Find the right keywords
So how do you find the “right” keywords? Google keyword research tools and you’ll see a ton of results. Some of these are even free! These tools can help you zero in on some relevant keywords for your business.
Before you dive into keyword research, it’s good to get a general idea of how keywords work and how you can use keywords to grow your business. When you type a search into Google, it goes to its database and pulls all the relevant results for each of the words you typed. Google then spits out a list of competitive listings. For example, when you go to Google and type in Longmont bakery, you get 509,000 results. Longmont definitely doesn’t have 509,000 bakeries! To get this massive list, Google pulled results from its database for Longmont and then all the results for “bakery.” If you have a more specific search, such as Longmont cupcake bakery, your business has less competition for these specific keywords because there aren’t as many cupcake bakeries. As a result, your Longmont business would rank higher because the keywords are more specific. These specific keywords are the ones to focus on! You might have a higher ranking to begin with and can improve your ranking from there. Keep in mind that you’ll need to adjust your keywords if you’re located in a larger geographic area.
Think of ranking like a race. You want to win the race by being ranked number 1. If you’re at the olympic trials, the chance that you’ll win is not likely because the competition is tough (tons of talented runners). However, if you’re running in a smaller 5K with 100 people in Firestone, CO, you’ll have a greater chance at winning because the competition isn’t as fierce and there aren’t as many people.
La Momo Maes Keywords Example
Longmont bakery – 880 searches per month
Cupcakes longmont – 50 searches per month
You can see “longmont bakery” is a broad phrase with more search volume, whereas “cupcakes longmont” is more specific with less searches. Both phrases are ideal for a bakery who makes cupcakes.
La Momo Maes Bakery was not ranking within the first 10 pages of SERP for any of these phrases. Now, both phrases are ranking on page 1. The site traffic compounded from these phrases landing on page 1 as well as a few others. This caused an increase of traffic to the website which drove more customers into the store.
As an example, La Momo Maes is an AIM client that demonstrates how relevant keywords impact rankings. Within weeks of AIM’s onboard SEO campaign, La Momo Maes received a rapid rankings increase to page 1 for most frequently searched “Longmont Bakery” based phrases. This rapid increase in traffic propelled La Momo Maes to top rankings placement over the top of all local competitors. In addition, website organic traffic referrals increased by more than 300%.
Step 2: Use your keywords
Now that you have keywords, what’s next? It’s time to allow your keywords to increase your rankings. Ensure page tagging is engaging and encourages clicks to your website by looking at your title tags, meta descriptions and main headings:
- Title tags—these are HTML tags in the head section of each webpage, and should give readers a clue about the page.
- Meta descriptions—write unique meta descriptions in the tone of your site and keep meta descriptions at around 160-165 characters maximum.
- H Tag headings—incorporate relevant keywords into your h1 and h2 headings without being spammy. Think of these headings as a way to break up a text-heavy blog and help your readers.
- Image Alt Tags—Google uses these to index images, and they were originally designed to make web images accessible for people who are visually impaired. These are brief descriptions of the site images.
- URL Optimization—You can include keywords in your web address in order to direct your target audience to your site. For example, instead of using about-us in your web address you would use about-lamomomaes-bakery.
- Internal Linking—Linking internally helps Google recognize your site structure, linking structure and helps your user navigate your site and keep them engaged.
- XML Sitemap—Your sitemap is an overall listing of all the pages on your site. You give Google permission to crawl your site and use this information for searches.
Keep in mind that Google doesn’t like duplicate descriptions or title tags as you update your site for SEO.
Step 3: Track what you’re doing
Making changes doesn’t matter unless you track your SEO efforts to determine what works for your business. In SEO, you want to implement (look back at Step 2), test and then measure if it’s working.
Make sure you get a baseline at least a few weeks before implementing any SEO. This is essential for tracking purposes to demonstrate that your SEO efforts are working.
What exactly are we looking for? You want to look at rankings, traffic quality/quantity and conversions. These all work together. Don’t expect traffic if you’re not ranking, and you can’t expect conversions if you’re not getting traffic. Conversions refer to lead generation or even sales.
Document your SEO efforts and implementation date so that you can see if it’s working. Get a rank tracking tool to help you do this. Tracking can be as simple as adding a tracking code on your website. Google Analytics is an essential tool to track and obtain reports for website traffic, but it doesn’t track rankings. Google Analytics is the defacto tool for this and it’s free! Keep an eye out for a future post….How to connect Google Analytics to your website. Google Analytics helps you discover how many visitors, how long they stayed on your site, etc. There are plenty of other affordable options available as well!
Don’t guess on this step…you don’t have to! You want to be able to answer—did this work? This is where Acquire Internet Marketing comes in—we can help analyze your site, create an SEO plan and be transparent about what works and what doesn’t.