Search Engine Optimization or also known as SEO is a vast subject consisting of various techniques that help your website become SEO-friendly and rank better on the search results page of Google, Bing, and many others. A lot of companies spend hundreds of dollars just to make their website rank higher by running ads but we’re here to explain what you can do organically (free!) to set yourself up for success.
Keyword research is the first step you could take to begin your optimizations. In order to do that, be clear about the products or the services you are providing. Take help from the free keyword research websites to browse and find the perfect keywords.
Below are a few popular free tools that have insight into what is being searched in Google and some other platforms:
Keyword Planner is a simple and free Google Ads tool for new or experienced marketers that’s like a workshop for building new Search Network campaigns. You can use this site to search for keywords and see how a list of keywords might perform. Extremely useful when you want to strategically plan for the future of your brand and build a list of possible campaigns or articles you should focus on.
Google Trends is a website by Google that analyzes the popularity of top search queries in Google Search across various regions and languages. The website uses graphs to compare the search volume of different queries over time.
Another great tool that is used by many to find long-tail keywords. This doesn’t provide the search volume but then again most free tools won’t do that because they won’t have a business to run. Nonetheless you will find an assortment of keywords related to your target keyword that you can base your next move on.
Utilize your keyword research
Once you have the list of the keywords, it is time to optimize your website to the targeted keywords.
Make sure that your keyword is used within:
- The page title
2. The URL slug (ex. keyword is lead-generation) Blog post should be (example.com/lead-generation)
The images you use within the page should be relevant and when writing the Image title and Alt Text you should include the targeted keyword. (This provides better image context/description to search engine crawlers by assisting them with the index of the image.)
3. Alt Image Example:
Fine: <img src=”icecream.png” alt=”icecream”
Better: <img src=”icecream.png” alt=”ice cream bowl with spoon on the side”>
4. Links, links, links!
This is VERY important to building a successful SEO-friendly, long term website. Google takes your back link and internal links into consideration when it grades and ranks your website. Make sure you have links to your other posts within the post that you are writing/optimizing as well as links that go out to other websites as a way to reference the information. Over time you’ll have websites linking back to you and that is considered a back link. Back links represent a “vote of confidence” to search engines and help you get recognized and rank higher.
Below is a great info-graphic for the correlation between the number of back links that pages have and their ranking position.
You never want to overdo it with links and make sure your links are reputable sources as well. We recommend 3-4 inbound links to your other content to reduce the bounce rate and expose your visitors to other relevant content. As for back links, you are free to use it as much as you’d like but in moderation. You wouldn’t want your website to seem illegitimate or be associated with anything that’s not relevant to your content.
Set up services or tracking
We can’t stress how important it is to have Google Analytics or Search Console running in the background. These services are a great way to get an insight without the monthly fees if you’re just starting out.
There are other powerful tools and services out there such as ahrefs, SEMrush or Moz. These sites offer more insight into your sites by showing you competitive stats, in depth keyword searching with volume, recommended best practices after analyzing your websites and much more. Once you are ready to take the next step, these tools are highly recommended. TheBluePrint has a great comparison of the sites that we’ve mentioned.
It’s extremely easy to overlook something as the quality of your post because you want to rank and churn out content but make sure you do not copy the content from any website and avoid using the same combination of words repeatedly. Unique SEO-friendly content will help you rank higher because there aren’t many people writing about the targeted topic or they’re not doing it at the level that you would be.
Search Engine Journal has a great article that you could use as a blueprint for success in terms of researching your article ideas and outlining it all.
There are many different organic ways that you could optimize your site for success but knowing the fundamentals and going through the checklist will streamline the process and have you ranking in no time.
We hope this article was helpful and you are on your way to optimizing your website to it’s potential! Please reach out to us if you have a favorite way of optimizing your site so that we could better this article and help our readers.