Whether you created your site yourself or had someone create a site for you, you will be the one that is doing the promotional and marketing work on your website. You can buy these services, but usually they cost a few 100’s of dollars per month. Part of any website marketing these days is SEO. There is so much traffic that you can get from Google that it’s a sin not to try to get it.
Although professional SEO is expansive, there are a few things you can do by yourself that can help you push your site up the search engine rankings. None of it can compare to a good SEO service, but at least you will get some progress and hopefully traffic.
Let’s get started:
Sounds dumb, but you need to understand what your site is about. I know it might seem trivial to some of you, but I have seen many website owners that don’t have a specific idea of what their site is about.
Once you understand that, you need to help Google and of course, your site users, understand it. You do that by setting up the right headers and titles. The same as this post’s title helped you understand that this post will give you 5 SEO tips – you need to do it with every page on your website.
Make sure you write an accurate header that actually describe what’s on the page. Don’t write general headers; “photos” is not a good header for your homepage, even if you are mainly showing photos on it.
Keep in mind what would users search in order to find the information you are giving and try to write a header based on it.
Edit your meta tags
Meta tags are part of the HTML of your website. It’s not visible to users (on your site), but search engines use it to understand what your page is about. This information is also what users see when your site comes up on Google.
We have 2 main meta tags we need to edit: ‘meta title’ and ‘meta description’. Meta title would be the title of the page, and the ‘meta description’ would be a a short description of what the page is about.
Since not all of the pages on your site have the same information, their meta tags should be different. Google doesn’t like duplicated meta tags. They want you to explain to them what each of your web pages is about. Go hear to check out what exactly Google says about meta tags.
URL (or domain)
A big factor that could help you in ranking on a certain keyword is your URL, or domain name. For example, Mike, who is a wedding photographer from Dallas would easily rank for “Dallas wedding photographer” if his domain is DallasWeddingPhotographer.com. Choosing the right domain for your website could help you rank on the right keywords for you. Of course, many domains are already taken, so maybe Mike was only able to get “Mikephotography.com”, but he can still write about is service under MikePhotography.com/dallas-wedding-photographer, and showcase some examples of his work.
Make sure you don’t abuse it. If Mike would create a second page called MikePhotography.com/wedding-photographer-in-dallas, it would look like spam as he probably had no reason to create a 2nd page that is so similar to the original.
Create high quality content
I can’t emphasize enough how important that is. Creating content that provide value to the users would help you in so many ways:
- Google loves it when a site is updated regularly with new content
- The more value you provide, the more loyal your visitor are and more people hear about you.
- The more content you create, it’s more likely you will create something that people need, or you will be able to answer a questions or solve a problem. The more you do that, the more likely that someone will fin you through search engines.
- The better your quality, the more links you will get and the higher your rankings will be.
There are so many benefits for creating valuable content. Think about what your users might want or search for and write about it or create it. Even if your business is really small, there are stuff to write about. For example, to Mike, the wedding photographer from Dallas I would recommend writing about trends in wedding photography, give examples, (not just his own, other people’s work could be great as well if he can re-create it), write about unique services he can offer.
Again, don’t abuse it. Don’t write 5 articles that are about the same thing just to get rankings on different keywords. Write about what matters to your clients and users and they will come.
Links are still what Google uses to decide how popular a website is, and what rankings it should get. The more links you have from relevant websites and social networks, the more Google trust your site. Be careful when you get links because Google doesn’t like when you get links in artificial way.
Collaborate with other websites and service providers and recommend each other. Write for other websites and get links to your site. Manage social media profiles and share your content and other great resources your clients might want to use.
Don’t get too excited about links. Most of the times it’s not about the quantity, it’s about the quality and a high quality content could get ranked with just a few links. If you try to get 100’s or even 10’s of links using some online service, it might hurt more than help you.
Don’t try to get clever. Google can easily identify any manipulation that is just for the sake of ranking. Create great content that people would like to link to. Help your clients and users by solving their problems, answer their needs and help Google understand what your content is about.