SEO! In the past, a time-intensive (boring, to some) and expensive grind entailing website overriding, endless research, and some gray hairs. But now it’s easier than ever to play SEO guru to your own website. All you need are a few fundamentals, a little patience, and in some cases, the right tools. Start by…
Building Solid Backlinks
Getting backlinks to your site is like calling in a digital favor. Links shared between businesses with aligned products or verticals instill a sense of thought leadership, brand exposure, and rank higher in search results all round. You gain further credibility when the sites that reference you are industry titans. You know, the Forbes, Hubspot’s, and NASA’s of the world.
Some easy ways to generate backlinks include…
You sell plants and I run a landscaping company. I link to your site and you link to mine, be it through a blog, mailer, landing page, or 3rd party partnership. Rinse and repeat the process with as many partner sites as you can and stand to gain referral traffic in exchanger for minimal effort.
Writing and submitting guest posts are great for backlinking. Find the sites aligned to your brand and reach out to them for guest posts. Whether opinion pieces, blog articles, or short sharp forum posts, your guest posting shows you’re active in your community, while at the same time racking up solid links that run back to your website.
Finding backlink opportunities.
This one takes a bit of research, but the wins pile up gradually. Search for all the times you’re mentioned in other people’s content and make sure there is a link going back to your site. Sign up for a Buzzsumo or other software that will alert you every time your site gets mentioned. Some of the time there’ll be a mention with no backlink. Reach out to the author/web host and send them a fresh URL (yours 😉) to hyperlink to.
The same goes for 404 errors. Dead links are everywhere, so comb through articles and find the ones that tie in with your product or service. Reach out to the site’s webmaster to let them know their link is dead and gone while offering to substitute the link with your own site’s content. If they get the hint, you get the backlink. If you’re using Chrome, try installing the “Check My Links” plugin. Type in the sites that spark your curiosity, and pull the 404’s from the search results (highlighted in red)
Quick pro tip? You can check out your competitor’s backlinks with tools from AHRefs, Link Miner, or Ubersuggest. Enter the domain and get a list of sites linking back to your competitors.
Moving into the wonderful world of keyword research, you can also try out…
Targeting Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords are more often than not niche in nature, which is good for you because there is way less competition and they are a heck of a lot easier to rank for. A refresher for long tails?
Shoes for men
Running shoes for men
Running shoes for Nebraska men, etc.
These 3+ word phrases get specific and dig down into what you’re selling. With each word added to the equation, your target audience becomes more fringe, and your conversion rates start to climb. Find your industries most searched for long-tails, by…
- Typing a keyword into Google and seeing which variations “Google Suggest” picks up.
- Checking out Google’s “Related Searches” at the bottom of the search page.
- Using keyword research tools like Google Trends, Longtail Pro, Answer the Public, etc.
- Browsing through Q&A sites like Quora.
Revamping & Upgrading your Website
A little web maintenance goes a long way when you’re on the lookout for new site traffic, with the two big ones being to optimize for…
Make sure your site loads fast. According to Google, 2 seconds ought to do it. Check out Page Speed Insights and run a test. If your site is a little on the slow side, try optimizing images, compressing pages, reducing redirects, etc. Get the full page speed checklist from Moz.
Optimize your site for mobile responsiveness. Make your CTA button sizes large enough to work on smartphones, reduce your image sizes (again), use large font sizes, keep your design simple, etc.
Writing the Right Meta-Descriptions
Concise, informative and keyword heavy meta-descriptions pull interest back to your pages and site. With so much information riding on the world wide web, audiences want to know what they’re getting themselves into before clicking through. So tell them. Search engines will show your meta-description as a summary of your page or site, and the better the meta-description, the more likely your audience is to click through to what you have on offer. Download the Yoast SEO plugin or something similar. This software specializes in analyzing your content before its published and suggests ways you can improve on it (including meta-description quality and length)
Right, with SEO done and dusted, let’s move swiftly along to…