Three SEO Tips for Website Beginners
Confused about all the SEO talk? In a nutshell, SEO is about helping search engines (like Google, Yahoo, and Bing) to “understand” your website so they can serve your content to people who want to see it. If you’re a spa that provides facials and massages in Harlem, you want to make sure that if someone types in “swedish massage harlem” in Google, your website is served up. SEO is the process of making that happen.
There are (for better or for worse) a million and one things you can do to improve the SEO of your website. The single best thing you can do is to hire an expert to take care of it for you! But until you can afford to outsource, here are a few things you can do right now to improve your SEO.
1. Set up a Google business account (15 minutes)
Good news: this step is totally free and very straightforward. Head to Google: My Business right now and start (or claim) your business. This will help your small business appear in local search results and create a profile that shows up in the sidebar of the search results when someone looks for your business name.
The one catch with a Google business account is that you do need a physical address (which will appear on Google Maps) to complete this process. So if your business does not have a physical location, and you are uncomfortable with providing your home address (as I would be!)—you may have to hold off on this one. Take a look at this helpful article from Google for more information on why and how to create your business page.
Quick tip: Put all the details of your business up there (like your website!), as well as relevant images—the more the merrier.
2. Check and improve all your title tags (30 minutes)
A title tag is like the name of each of the pages within your website. Correctly naming each page will help search engines know what the page is about. Depending on your website builder, there are different ways to do so. Find out how by typing in “how to change title tag on [enter name of platform, e.g. Wordpress/Squarespace/Weebly/Wix]” on Google or your preferred search engine.
Make sure your title tag is using a keyword that captures both what that page is about and what you think people will search for. For example, for our Brand Setup page, our title tag is “Logo, Website, Brand Setup | Sunbird Creative” — because we know that people are often searching for logos and website services when they are thinking about branding.
Quick tip: keyword | company name is the standard title tag format.
3. Create a blog or other helpful content (lifelong)
Ultimately, no matter what shortcut you read about improving your SEO, good content is what helps you rank highly on search results. You need good content on your homepage, your about page, your service description pages, and all the rest.
To take it to the next step, a blog is a powerful way to make sure your business stays relevant, is up to date, and gives people what they are searching for. Beyond boosting your SEO, this will be an ongoing investment you make in growing a community that values what you uniquely offer.
Tip: Create a plan for your blog before you start, or you’ll run out of gas after 5 posts. (Maybe 10 if you have above average perseverance.)