There’s a lot of hype around what it takes to have great SEO. And while the tips and tricks you can find around the web might be true, it can really be as simple as good content and consistent delivery. To prove it to you, we’ve broken down three of the easiest, most user-friendly ways to improve your search engine ranking.
1. Build that blog.
A blog is a solid, market-tested way to bring in more business. Google and other search engines love websites that put out fresh unique content regularly.
The key word here is regular content. Blogs are not one-and-done ventures. While writing a single mind-blowing post might score you some serious social kudos and an increase in visits for a few days, the positive effects will wear off – and more quickly than you might expect.
To achieve sustained benefits, you should aim to include a new piece of content on your website at least once a week, preferably every day. This means more writing, which means fresh ideas for content.
Let the creative juices flow
Coming up with content ideas can be tricky without the proper tools. Which is why we’re letting you the ultimate blogger’s secret. A free and easy-to-use tool called Übersuggest.
Let’s pretend you just opened a snowmobile tour company in town. You’re excited about making sure the locals, as well as international visitors, choose your tours for their adrenaline fix. But you’re so busy running the new tours that you barely sleep, let alone have time to constantly whip up the ideas you need for your blog.
Übersuggest can help remedy your writer’s block by suggesting blog ideas based on just a few words. Follow these quick steps to try it out:
- Visit übersuggest.io.
- Type in your desired keyword(s) in the search bar.
- Press ‘Enter’ and bam! Your keyword search results appear. Pick a few and get to writing. Or, if you still can’t allot time to make this happen, hire a content writer or find a service that can help with this.
The anatomy of an SEO friendly blog post
Once you have a list of keywords you would like to target, you’ll want to structure your content for search engines and visitors.
URL: Try to include the most important keywords you are targeting in your blog post’s URL. Another tip? Minimize! Remove all numbers and symbols and stick to easy to read words. And check out this ultimate list of tips for search friendly URLs from our friends over at Moz.
Images: Make sure to name all of your images with keywords and add alt tags with keywords in them too. Learn more about alt tags.
Headlines/Titles: Even if your blog post is full of valuable content, a mediocre headline may deter readers from reading it in the first place. When crafting your headlines, use the keywords you are trying to target while catching the reader’s attention.
Headlines that have numbers in them usually get shared more on Facebook and Twitter. A good example would be “The 5 Best Things to Do in Denver During The Winter”.
Meta descriptions: Google uses the meta description on your page as a snippet when people search for keywords that are relevant to your page. This snippet copy is what will determine whether or not you get clicks, no matter how highly you rank in the search results.
For SEO purposes, the meta description should be 150 – 160 characters and usually appears like this in Google:
Have a FareHarbor site? Titles and meta descriptions are easy to set up in the Smart Crawl section of your site dashboard.
If you are not on a FareHarbor-built website, ask your web developer where to add this information. Depending on what CMS you use, you can find this information with a quick Google search.
Effective content: When writing your content, make sure you are including the keywords you are targeting, preferably within the first 100 words of the page. Try to also include the same keywords in the last paragraph as well. But don’t overuse keywords by trying to fit them in many times as you can. Instead, think of some other keyword variations you can sprinkle throughout your post.
Related links: Linking to other related pages on your site or other sites is not only great for user experience, it also strengthens your online presence. Linking out to other authority sites and pages is an indication that you value what other people create. Google will reward you for being in sync with their mission: organizing the world’s information and making it universally accessible.
2. Add your business to local directories.
Another great way to bring in traffic is to post your business in local directories. The most important thing here is to make sure your Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP) is exactly the same across all directories. MOZ local is a free tool that you can use to see how your business is listed online.
Check out this long list of directories that can help you rank locally:
- Google My Business
- Yahoo Local
You should also look for local directories specific to your city, like your local Chamber of Commerce.
3. Don’t underestimate your social media pages.
That’s right – social media can help with your SEO as well! While not a stand-alone SEO tactic, this is a great method to build Google’s confidence in your site. As your posts spread, it’ll lead to more people linking to you.
Over time, this will get more eyes on your content. Use hashtags to gain visibility for your initial rounds of syndication, and don’t hesitate to bring your content into existing threads and discussions. Doing so will improve your reputation as a leader in your industry, but more importantly, it will maximize your changes of being linked from other sources.
It’s also the perfect opportunity to involve yourself with your local community, sending location-specific authority signals to major search engines. Search Google for some local players, then try engaging with them on a regular basis.
You can share each other’s posts, get involved in each other’s discussions, or even post guest blogs on each other’s sites, and share them on your social channels.
Here’s a list of sites to keep your eye on:
Improving your search engine ranking is the key to long-term business success. Increasingly, customers rely on desktop and mobile platforms to research and book their activities. Getting your business in front of those searches is bound to grow your business.
Just remember – SEO can be simple. Now go get to work on that blog post.