If you’re just starting your business’ website, SEO can seem like a daunting necessity. You want your website to climb up the ranks in Google searches, but it may seem the only way to make it happen is to spend money on an expert SEO consultant or hire a firm to make sure your website is up to par. Hiring someone to help with your SEO can be a great way to get your website ready for search engines, but don’t feel like doing so is a necessity. SEO isn’t rocket science. You can learn it, but don’t expect your ranking to improve over night. Here are some simple steps you can take that will help your search rankings.
Writing blogs don’t just serve as a way to attract website visitors and build trust with your audience, they are great for SEO. If you start putting a blog up on a weekly basis, it gives search engines more content to index and it also shows that you’re keeping things updated. Search engines like to see new content. Blogs don’t have to be long or very detailed. If you’re not confident in your writing abilities, chances are you can find a freelance writer in your area on LinkedIn or look into websites for freelancers like Odesk or Elance. Your blog should be industry related and easily sharable on social media.
Utilize Social Media
Just recently, Google announced that it will be taking social media into consideration to help them determine how to rank websites. This means that getting your business up on major sites like Facebook and Twitter is even more important. Not only do your customers expect you to be active on social media, but search engines are coming to expect it too. Having an active social media presence is also a great arena to start sharing your blogs and and getting more interactions on your site.
Earn Quality Links
When determining how your site ranks, search engines are now taking the number of external links your site is getting to your website. Editorial links and links from others in the industry are more heavily weighted than a link on social media or an individual’s blog, but the more links you are able to get back to your website, the higher you are likely to rank in searches. A great way to do this is to start commenting on blogs related to your industry. While commenting typically allows you to enter your website, these back links are usually what is called a “no follow” link which tells search engines not to count them as a link to your site. Commenting on other sites simply gets your name out there. Shoot for 10 comments a day on different blogs in your industry. You will start to see your traffic grow and in time, you will earn yourself more quality links to your site and improve your SEO.
Optimize Your Web Content
Writing your website isn’t about packing it with keywords anymore, it’s about writing intriguing content that your potential customers will connect with. Your site has to draw people in. Search engines can tell when a visitor quickly clicks away from your site and will see your search ranking tank as a result. Shoot for content that pulls in visitors. The longer a visitor stays on your site, the better. Title and image tags should always be present as well. Without proper tags for an image, search engines have no idea what is contained in the image. Learning to write these tags is actually pretty easy to learn and a simple Google search will tell you everything you need to know.
When you are just starting your business, cash flow is everything. If you’ve got the funds, hiring someone to help with SEO can be a great move. However, you shouldn’t feel like it is absolutely necessary. That said, each industry is different. One industry may have significantly more competition that another that may make it harder for your site to compete. Just keep at it and don’t give up. Don’t feel like you’ve failed if you’re several months down the road with little to show. Today, SEO takes time. To get a better idea of SEO, I recommend checking out sites like Moz. Their blog is chalk full of great SEO tips and advice as well as well put together e-books that can help you wrap your head around how search engines work. Good luck with your SEO and remember, results don’t happen over night.