If you've poured all your time, money, and sanity into the dream of owning your own business, congratulations! I know first-hand that there's nothing like diving headfirst into your passion every day-and every late night, too! With the long hours we entrepreneurs work, we have to get the most for the minutes we spend on a task.
Search engine optimization-best practices applied to a website to improve its ranking in search engine results-is a long-term strategy that seems daunting to many small business owners. We already wrote a blog post about Defining SEO and SEM: Why It Matters For Your Business, but in case you missed it, you can make some basic on-page seo fixes while sipping your morning coffee that can make a huge impact on your ranking-and ultimately your business!
Before you get too excited, you've got to know what keywords you want to rank for first for this to work. If you don't have that yet, Google Keyword Planner is a helpful tool in figuring this out, and this tutorial can show you how to use it.
So now that you have those keywords handy, let's get to helping your website get found so you can move on to everything else you've got to get done!
Improve Title Tags
One of the most important elements for SEO, title tags tell users what they will find if they click the link.
When optimizing title tags:
- Write with the user in mind, supporting the topic of the page
- Place most important terms first
- Keep the title tag to 55 characters (This tool can help you make sure it isn't cut off.)
- Make it compelling and descriptive of what users will find on the page
Write Meta Descriptions
These are the descriptions of the content a webpage contains underneath the title tag and URL. A great description is like a preview of the content they should expect to find on the page.
User experience matters, and properly matching the tags to the content of the page will result in more qualified visits to your site and reduce bounce rates.
When writing meta descriptions:
- Use the keyword where it naturally fits in the sentence
- Make it an interesting and accurate account of what's on the page
- Keep it under 150 characters (Here's another tool for that.)
Add Image Alt Text
Alternate text-or alt text-appears when you hold your mouse over an image or when an image can't display on a page. But for our purposes, alt text containing your keywords helps the image come up in image search because it makes it visible to search engines.
When adding alt text to images on your website:
- Keep it to 100 characters or less
- Include keywords but describe the image accurately
- Add value to your reader through the alt text. Make it meaningful!
These SEO techniques only take a few minutes each to write, and can be done for all your pages as you have time. Spending just a little time on optimizing your website will make sure that potential customers searching for what you have to offer find you first.