The truth is, there is no secret magic behind SEO, it is about making legitimate efforts so that Google likes you. If you find yourself doing some sort of effort to game the system, it is a lost cause. It is about getting your name out there and Google saying, “Wow, these guys are really making lots of good content, lets rank them higher.” If someone is telling you they are going to get your page ranking up with some secret algorithm to magically get you to the top of search results, run for the hills.
Before we begin on some things you can do to actually improve your SEO, lets first break it down into two different pieces in layman’s terms – the technical side, like doing things such as making sure Google is able to see the stuff you have on your website. Often times Google might not even know you have different web pages if you don’t have your site directory readily available for them to read. The other aspect is the organic effort, which no firm can do better than your in-house team such as writing relevant blog posts about your business.
The Technical Side
Make sure your developers are doing the following because if they aren’t, then your site probably isn’t optimized as it should be to make sure Google is crawling for relevant content:
- Check for a proper meta title, description and keyword information on ALL your website pages. Look at other competing websites at the top of Google results to see how their meta titles and descriptions are structured.
- Run your website through the Moz Bar and Meta SEO Inspector Google Chrome plugins and fix all issues/errors shown. This includes all meta information, H1 and H2 tags, and image alt tags.
- Create a sitemap.xml, upload it to the root folder of your website, and submit your Google Webmaster Tools account.
- Use Google Webmaster Tools to crawl your index page as Google and then submit it to their index with the “crawl all sub links”option. This will ensure Google quickly re-indexes your website and all of its internal links.
- Use the Google Chrome inspector to make sure there are no console errors using the “Console” tab and that the website is loading quickly (with no extra large assets/images) in the “Network” tab.
Some of this may sound complex and outside your scope of understanding, but a little research in each bullet point will be worthwhile. That way, you aren’t in the dark about what your developer is doing to make your SEO better and you can know yourself what is going on. Knowledge is power! Take this checklist to the developer and ask them to show you how they have done every step! It will be worth it!
The Organic Development Side
Within this section it comes down to you and your team, your company and personal efforts. What ways are you doing positive outreach to gain value to your site. Google ranks things on how valuable they see your content. If you have high value content, then you are on the right track. Any type of spam efforts should be avoided at all costs as Google has been catching this stuff for years and will devalue your website if you are caught.
So you ask, what might be these organic efforts I can do to expand my outreach? Well, here we go:
- Creating a Blog on Your Website – if your business is the subject matter expert in some type of niche material (special things only your company knows), what better way to get more traction than answering those questions. This helps with a lot of things: one, people see your company is super smart and knowledgeable in your field; two, you are creating more content that has the possibility to target keywords specific to your industry; three, Google sees people are clicking on that content and they are ranking it accordingly. What do you think the purpose of writing this blog is for! We are gaining SEO by writing about SEO.
- Yelp – Yelp is huge with SEO! Make sure you make a yelp account and ask your clients to write reviews on your company from time to time. If you get a bad review, reach out to these individuals and figure out how to make it right and thank them for their concerns and pointing out your problem areas.
- Developing Backlink Strategies – backlinks are links to your web pages on other places around the internet. Here are a few legitimate ways to get those:
- Answering relevant questions - let’s say you did write a post about what you are a subject matter expert of, I am sure the internet is out there asking the questions you already answered, you now have material you can reference to going back to your website. Every link you have going to your website the higher google ranks you. Just make sure you are answering legitimate questions and you are providing quality content in the answer, do not just share the link.
- Asking Blogs to Write About You - finding relevant blogs out there on the internet is a great way to get word out of your website. Once again, if the blog backlinks to your blog the more “link juice” you get. YouTube – Google loves to rank videos high. If you make a video about your blog posts, it is all-the-more free press you are getting and more back links!
- Press – requesting the press to write about your company and accomplishments, they should also put a backlink to your website.
- Social Media – posting on all types of things. Everyone in your company should share the pages on their network. Every time you post things, you’ll get shares and likes and Google sees this. You can post multiple times a day on these various topics:
- Latest news
- Latest projects
- Team member bios
- Latest blog posts
- Client reviews
- Pictures around the office and events such as company holiday parties
- New hires
As you’ll see, most of the efforts you could make to get your website out there are common sense. Anyone can make a blog and share it to their social media, use blogs to answer questions, and make videos on their blogs. There is no magic behind it, its about doing things that in general help people on the internet and people liking the things you talk about.