The Ultimate Guide to Dominate Search Engine Rankings
You’re heard the acronym ‘SEO’ (Search Engine Optimization) and maybe you’ve even come to understand that it’s important. But do you know what it really means?
The simplified explanation is that updating your website for SEO helps search engines understand whether what you offer aligns with what people are searching for. Each search engine uses what are called ‘web crawlers’ to navigate website content when you search for something. This is how they find relevant content that you are typing into the search box. So, if you are optimizing your website to make this process easier and more effective, that means that when people search for the thing you offer or sell, search engines will put you in front of them more often.
This is how you can organically grow your online presence and potentially dominate your market without spending a penny on paid advertising.
Now, you most certainly can employ a marketing agency to help you with this and they’ll get the job done and they’ll do it well. But what if you’re just starting out or you’re a small 1 or 2 person enterprise without a lot of extra cash for expensive agencies? You may not be able to get the same results (although I believe you can if you put the time and effort into perfecting the craft!), but you certainly can help boost your odds and magnify your efforts in just a 7 key steps that I’ve outlined below.
So, to help my fellow DIYers out there, I’ve put together this list for you to help you along in your journey of growing your independent business and making your way towards success and fulfilment you’re cultivating!
There’s a couple of reasons why I’m all about DIY.
- The first is because it is obviously the most cost effective way to start and grow your business. It may not be done perfectly, but something is better than nothing so why hold yourself back from entrepreneurship if it’s what you really want just because you can’t afford the big buck investment in web developers or design and marketing agencies?
- The second is, I find that if you understand the skill involved in a process, it makes investing in that area for more expert support a lot easier to accept. When you understand how tricky or labour-intensive or, gosh, even how boring you find a task or skill to be, I find it much easier to accept the fee involved later on when I’m ready to hire someone else to do it AND I’m far more grateful for the support. It’s easier to see it as an investment rather than a cost.
Keep in mind this is not an exhaustive list and this list has been simplified so that it’s easy to follow and understand. This doesn’t mean it won’t be effective. Rather it’s a great and effective way that you can get started optimizing your website for search engines while you grow your business enough to be able to afford those big marketing agencies!
The Ultimate Guide to Dominate Search Engine Rankings:
- Conduct thorough keyword research: Key words are simply words related to your service or product that your ideal customers may be using when searching for their needs or asking questions about their pain points or the solutions they’re seeking. Identify the keywords and phrases that your target audience is searching for and incorporate them into your website content.
- Develop high-quality and valuable content: Create content that is engaging, informative, and valuable for your target audience, and make sure it is optimized for search engines. Search engines are always prioritizing new and high quality content when responding to someone’s query. Make sure you refresh old content too so that it’s shiny and new, ready to be found once again by search engines who think it’s new information!
- Optimize your website architecture and speed: Ensure your website is fast and user-friendly, as this impacts user-experience and ultimately search engine rankings. Nothing is more frustrating than a non-intuitive website or one that takes forever to load. This causes frustration and visitors are likely to give up and navigate away from your page. Search engines are the same. Ensure your website is user-friendly, easy to navigate, and has a clear structure that makes it easy for search engines to understand.
- Use on-page SEO techniques: ‘On-page’ simply means any action that can be taken within the website itself to optimize for search engine crawling. Ensure each page of your website has a unique title tag and meta description that includes your targeted keywords. Use headers and subheaders to organize your content and include keywords in your content naturally. Include relevant title tags, meta descriptions (the brief summary that search engines show you when they present you with the results form your query), and header tags on every page, and use alt tags for images and videos.
- Build high-quality backlinks: ‘Backlinks’ are links from other website that you have curated content on. For example, if you’re a yoga teacher, you might write an article for YogiTimes, who will create a link to your page when they publish your article. This is a backlink. Generate high-quality, relevant backlinks from reputable websites to your site through methods such as guest blogging, broken link building, and social media sharing. This helps in improving the authority and trust of your site in the eyes of search engines.
- Optimize for local and mobile search: Optimize your site for local search means you’re using keywords and content relevant to your local demographic. Creating content for people in the UK will need different keywords than creating content for people in France (language differences aside, the cultures are different as are their needs, interests and search tendencies). Include your location in your content, and optimize your site for mobile users, as search engines prioritize websites that are mobile-friendly.
- Monitor and analyze your SEO performance: SEO is constantly changing and evolving as the digital world grows but also as the market’s needs and demands change. Unfortunately, SEO is not a one stop set it and forget it kind of tactics. It’s a dance that needs care and attention so keep track of your site’s performance, identify areas to improve, and constantly update your strategy as needed.
In summary, optimize your website for relevant keywords, create high-quality content, optimize for mobile, build natural backlinks, and provide a positive user-experience, all while adhering to the best practices recommended by search engines.
Ultimately, if you follow these steps to the best of your ability, you’ll be miles ahead than if you were to just ignore it altogether. Being an entrepreneur means you’re doing it all yourself. When you can afford to, definitely call in expert support for the best results. But until you’re at that point, these tips will empower you to grow your business more effectively and hopefully get to the point where you can afford an agency’s help more quickly than if you didn’t, or at least be super proud of yourself for achieving higher search engine rankings!
I hope you found these tips helpful! If you need any support, feel free to reach out! 🙂
Till next time!
Nicole Du Guay
Digital Strategist, Business Coach & Consultant