In most cases, the people searching Google for keywords and phrases related to your business are active buyers who have a need or a pain point and are looking for solutions. If your website shows up in the top 5 organic listings, you will receive increased traffic. Want proof? According to HubSpot, 66% of buyers don’t go past the top 5 Google listings, and 75% don’t go past the first page of listings. So, how can you improve SEO? Here are 3 steps to follow…
Step 1: On-Page Review
Improving your SEO begins with an internal review. When Google looks at your site, it doesn’t look at it like you or I would. It scans the text and code. It looks for clues to what your site is about and how to find, rank and show specific things by how parts of your site are named. Here’s a simple analogy. Think of a warehouse full of binders… some are extremely organized (good on-page SEO), and some are a complete mess (bad on-page SEO). The organized binders are titled, have tabs naming each section, the documents in each section have titles and subtitles and the text in each section has keywords and phrases that match the section they are in, making it extremely easy to find precisely what you are looking for. The unorganized binder isn’t titled, there are no tabs naming the sections and the documents are unorganized and inconsistent, making it next to impossible to find what you are looking for. Google, like us, can find better, more relevant results in a more efficient manner when the area searched is organized in proper fashion.
By analyzing and fine-tuning the building blocks of your website, you can increase the likelihood of moving up in search engine results. On-page analysis is the easiest step of the process because it’s the portion of SEO that you have the most control over. It consists of reviewing and addressing issues related to your:
- Site Content
- Title & Meta Tags
- URL Structure
- Image Alt Text
Step 2: Off-Page Review
The next step in your SEO journey is to review the actions that occur outside of your website that play a major role in your site’s ability to rank. Off-page SEO refers to the process of increasing your domain authority by getting links from other websites. When outside sources link to your web pages, it’s like a vote of confidence that says, “this is good content.” The more votes of confidence (backlinks) you get, the more Google and other search engines take notice and move your website up in the search results.
It’s important to know that link quality is more important than link quantity. You do need several backlinks to improve your domain authority, but they need to come from reputable sources. Some good ways to build links to your website are:
- Creating quality content that people want to link to because it’s valuable
- Generating social media shares of content
- Outreach emails to industry influencers who will link to you
- Guest blogging on sites similar to yours. The guest posts will have links back to your site
To check the domain authority of your website, enter your domain name here.
In summary, here are the things to analyze for off-page SEO:
- Referring Domains
- UR & DR, which signal the strength of your backlink profiles
- Trust Flow
Step 3: Keyword Review
The last thing you can do to improve SEO is review your keywords. Keep in mind that SEO keywords are treated differently by search engines than they used to be. In the past, keyword volume directly correlated with ranking. The more times certain keywords appeared on your site, the better the site would rank for those keywords. However, this lead to companies trying to cheat the system by “keyword stuffing” — using keywords over and over to improve ranking (but resulting in poorly written content). Now, search engines penalize companies for keyword stuffing and reward user-friendly content that reads well and contains several keyword variations.
Your analysis should consist of:
- Keywords & phrases associated with your site
- Keywords your active buyers are searching
- Volume of monthly searches
- Competition to rank
A helpful tool in this process is SEMrush’s keyword research tool. It will show you the keywords your site ranks for and provide monthly search volume.
What Good SEO Tactics Can Do for Your Website Traffic
Here’s an example of the results good SEO traffic can provide. Let’s say you focus on keywords that yield 10,000 total monthly searches. If you rank #1 in those keywords, you can expect 50% of buyers to click through to your site. Ranking #2 will lead to a 25% click-through rate, 12% at #3, 6% at #4 and 3% at #5. This translates to anywhere between 3,600-60,000 yearly visitors to your website.
Need Help Improving SEO?
It’s one thing to understand the steps to improve SEO. It’s another to have the strategic mindset and technical skills to properly execute them. If you need help determining if your site is optimized, we’re here for you. We have experts who will guide and assist you through the process. If we determine that SEO is an area that needs improvement, we prepare a detailed, easy-to-understand video analysis breaking down your website, keywords, opportunities and strategy for growth. This video analysis is a great education tool to learn what factors play into ranking, as well as a great tool to share with other stakeholders within your company to get buy-in.