There are many, simple, ways to increase rankings for your important keywords and increase traffic to your website. Here are nine:
1. Create more content on your web pages. This includes adding city/locale pages and pages for specific products and services you offer. If you have lists or groupings of products and/or services, that is not enough today. Google wants to see at least 300-500 words (we are using 750 right now heading towards 1,000) for every city/landing page. Keep in mind Google’s emphasis on “conversational” keyword phrases which capture what a person speaks into a smartphone, i.e., it’s longer and will most likely be in a question format. Q&A pages or sections on a page have value too.
2. Start your titles, paragraphs, meta description, and other tags with the focus keyword, or at least within the first 25 words Do not write ANYTHING for your website without knowing what the keywords are you would like to promote and include them in the content two or three times (paraphrasing also works, i.e.. “Jackson city widget repairs” is same as “widget repairs in Jackson city”. Sometimes Google will treat as the same and show for same traffic, but many times Google will treat slightly different and expand traffic that sees your website on the search results.).
3. KNOW WHAT YOUR IMPORTANT KEYWORDS ARE. Research and quantify which keywords get the most traffic. These are the keywords that should get your emphasis when you write content. Google’s Keyword Planner lets you enter one keyword and pulls up hundreds of others and shows what traffic they get. This allows you to identify the high traffic/high value keywords. (Be careful. A generic keyword, i.e., “gloves”, may not be nearly as valuable as “womens gloves” or “leather gloves” if that’s what you offer. Conversions will be better for the more specific keywords; and, sometimes generic keywords will increase your “bounce rate” that Google will measure and take into account as part of their ranking algorithm in a negative way. On the other hand, if the generic keyword gets 25X as much traffic, it may be worth considering. No conversion rate will overcome that multiple in searches.) Also, remember that the longer tailed keyword will be easier to get ranked.
4. Take advantage of Google Places (Maps). We find it easier to get sites ranked in the Google Maps section than we do in the organic results. Make sure your Google Business Page looks good, has been verified by Google; and, that the content includes your important keywords. Remember, people who click on the link in Google Places will be directed to your Google page, not your website. (Do you have “call to action” buttons, is your content keyword focused, and how does the page look in mobile results?)
5. Make sure your website has an XML sitemap; and, that the map is submitted to the myriad of search engines (Google will likely quickly pick it up, but some of the other search engines may not “see” it quite fast). When you add/modify pages, resubmit the site map to get the most value from the map.
6. Keep track of your competitors and what they are doing. Know what their keywords are (Keyword Planner will let you put in a website URL and show keywords generated for that site). This is not as useful as using other software that pulls the title tags, meta descriptions, H1 tags, and embedded keywords from the sites. Screaming Frog is a good, free software package that will give you this information (the free version is limited to 500 pages, but that shouldn’t be too important). There is also a Chrome/Firefox extension, SEO Quake, that will strip the keywords from the content under the “Density” tab. Look at the social media pages. What are your competitors’ postings, how many likes and views are they getting? Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram are the three most important (and LinkedIn, if you’re doing B2B).
7. Use Google Analytics to identify where you viewers are coming from, what pages they are landing on, how long they stay and how many pages they view, and what the bounce rate is. You can tweak your pages to improve all of these areas and increase your conversions. After all, it isn’t visitors you want, it’s business.
8. If you have the experience or the staff, promote your company and products by writing and submitting articles or blog posts for your website and keywords. If you lack the experience or staff, you can hire someone. Fiverr and SEO Clerks offer writers and social media posters for as little as $5. For $50 a month, you can create a strong social profile/presence. Hiring a writer is always hit or miss. Use the ratings shown on these websites and start small. After a couple of tries, you should find someone who will be satisfactory. (Most of these writers are outside the US; verb tenses and awkward phrasing are always issues you’ll have to review.)
9. Your website is both the vehicle that helps the search engines rank your keywords; and, the vehicle that converts visitors into customers. Don’t short-shift it and don’t think you’re ever finished. Hire a designer to make it both visually pleasing and easy to navigate. Hire a writer to shape your content to both let the search engines value and rank your content and sell your products and services. If you haven’t updated your site in the last year or two, it’s time. Of course, we can do both. Contact us.