How to Improve Your SEO in 2019

January 23rd, 2019 by Sam Merritt

 

A person writing in a journal about best SEO practices at Search Influence in New Orleans, LA

In the world of SEO, it is hard for a small business to know where to start first after your website is built. Especially if, as the business owner, you have no real background as a digital marketer. Most of you are familiar with the famous line from Field of Dreams, “If you build it they will come.” In SEO, this is absolutely NOT true. You can build the flashiest site out there, however, you are going to need to optimize the HECK out of that flashy site before anyone will be coming!

On-site Content & Metadata

One thing that certainly has not changed with SEO is the fact that content is still king. On-site content is a great starting off point, especially for a newer small business. As you build your website, you should be crafting content before your site ever launches. A website with little or no content does nothing for your website’s SEO value and delivers a bad user experience. If a user is coming to your site, they are looking for specific information and are likely looking to get a specific question answered. Frequently asked questions are always a great jumping off point for pages of onsite content. Crafting your content around your business’s FAQs will ensure a good user experience, will improve time spent on site and sessions, and will also help you rank for rich snippets within search engines.

If you do not consider yourself a “wordsmith” and are going to rely on a third-party marketing team to craft your content for you, then a quick and easy way to get your website off the ground and get SEO-valuable content up is to tackle your metadata. Metadata consists of your title tags and meta descriptions. Your metadata is the first thing that users will be reading in search engines before they click through to your site, and search engine bots will be reading and indexing this content first. By having compelling and relevant metadata, you can quickly start seeing improvements for relevant keywords.

Off-site Link Building

Outside of on-site efforts, you also want to be thinking about what you are doing off-site to strengthen your site’s authority. A great way to build your website’s authority is through link-building tactics, which can be accomplished in a multitude of ways. Local directories are a great place to start! As a small business, you will undoubtedly want a strong local presence. It is important that you have a well-optimized listing on local listings such as Google My Business (more to come on this!), Bing, Apple Maps, and Yelp. It is important that your name, address, and phone number are consistent across the board. This builds trust with Google and other search engines. This means anytime your name, address, or phone number is changed, you quickly make moves to get everything updated, even if it’s just a suite number. With all local listings, it is important that you are linking back to your website and staying active on your listings by continuing to add photos and responding to reviews and questions. Once you have tackled local listings, you can continue your link building efforts by looking into general business directories and industry-specific and niche directories.

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Google My Business Activity

As I just teased and previously touched on, not only is it important to have a well-optimized local listing, it is important that you are staying active within your listing, specifically on Google My Business. Regular GMB activity is important. I previously mentioned the importance of adding photos, responding to reviews, and responding to customers questions. This should all be part of your monthly GMB activity. In addition to being able to have a listing, Google My Business also allows you to add posts, where you can highlight an event, product, or an event. It also lets you keep potential customers or steadfast fans of your brand in the loop with all the happenings of your business. These posts also allow a call-to-action to either visit the website or give your business a call. This a perfect way to get in front of potential clients!

Leverage Site Speed Tools

Whether your site is old or new, site speed is just as important. According to Duda, 40 percent of people abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load. With that said, there is a good chance your site currently takes longer than three seconds to load! Luckily, Google has two different tools, PageSpeed Insights and Think With Google, that can gauge your site’s current speed and make recommendations on how to address and improve it. These tools can help businesses who do not have a current SEO company helping them identify and address site speed issues. Both tools make actionable suggestions on how to improve site speed. You might want to consult a developer or digital marketing agency before moving forward with Google’s recommendations. A lot of the suggestions will require web development expertise.

These tips are just scratching the surface when it comes to a well-oiled SEO campaign, but it is certainly a great jumping off point for a successful campaign to start your 2019. For more in-depth information, consult a digital marketing specialist here at Search Influence.

 

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