Guest Blog by Nicole Bernard from N.b. Marketing
You’ve probably heard the term SEO, but what exactly is it? According to Moz, Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.
There are many aspects to SEO and today we’re going to talk about on-page SEO. This is what you need to do to each page and/or blog that goes up on your website. It only takes a few minutes to do and will get easier each time you do it. By implementing these practices, you’ll have a greater chance at increasing your rankings!
There are a few key terms that you need to know in order to do effective on-page SEO:
Meta Descriptions: This is a short summary of the content you’re putting up on web. It has to be under 155 characters and it’s what Google shows in it’s search results under the title and URL.
Alt text: This is the text that you use to describe the image(s) in your content. Since Google bots can’t see, they need to read the description of the image. Use something that describes the image, but also keep in mind any keywords you’re using to see if they can be used in the alt text. If you are using WordPress, click on the image and hit the pencil to edit- you’ll see the option to add alt text there. Most platforms are that way as well. You can always Google how to do it on your specific platform.
Inbound links: Google likes to see inbound links. These links are when you highlight text on your page/blog and link it to another page on your site. For instance, if you have the words ‘Contact Us’ at the end of your blog, you would highlight those words and link it to your Contact page. This makes it super easy for them to click that link and go directly to the page to contact you. This is an inbound link!
CTA’S: The web is a busy, busy place - you need to make it as easy as possible for your clients to take the next step. Put it right in front of them. In multiple places. We’re so distracted these days, we need constant reminders
We can do this with Calls To Action (CTA’s). Do you want them to download a free resource? Call you to book a consultation? Whatever your end goal is, put it in a call to action so they can easily click on it and go to that next step.
You can create banners, buttons or links - any and all work, but some may work better than others. Do a little testing to see which works best, but including them in any shape or form will help grow your business.
Be sure to do each step above every time that you post a new page or blog. If you are using WordPress, you can also install the Yoast Plugin, and it will help you do each of these steps.
Bonus Seo Tips
Another aspect of effective SEO has to do with your site as a whole. Does it load fast? Do all the links work? Is it secure?
If you don’t have an SSL certificate, you’ll want to contact your hosting company ASAP and have them walk you through adding one to your site. Good news, though if you had your site designed by Elizabeth or are a Showit user, then you have a free SSL certificate already on your website!
Not only do people (84%) leave a site that is unsecure, Google recently announced they will penalize unsecure sites. Be sure to also go over your site and fix any broken links and check the speed of your site using a free tool from Google.
Speed: This is how fast your site loads. It has to be fast or you’ll lose potential customers and get penalized. Luckily, Google created an awesome tool to let you check the speed of your site. They’ll run it on both desktop + mobile and give you a grade.
If you don’t have a passing grade, they will send you a report that outlines what you need to do in order to fix these issues and load faster. Some aspects you will be able to do on your own, but some may require your webmaster. Depending on how bad your grade is, I’d recommend spending that money to get those issues fixed.
As mentioned above, there are many parts that fit in the whole of SEO, but if you start implementing these practices, you will start to see results!
Nicole is the owner of nb.marketing where she helps small business owners simplify their marketing + grow their business. After 12 years of running her own small business, working at digital marketing agencies and consulting with small businesses- Nicole is taking everything she's learned and sharing it in her new ecourse! When she's not researching industry trends or creating growth strategies, you can find her with a glass of wine, her 2 kiddos, and her husband
If you’d like to learn more about SEO and digital marketing for your small business, check out Nicole's comprehensive (but understandable) DIY Digital Marketing Course for Small Businesses.