2020 Goal: Understand SEO

Google has a spider addiction and it’s pretty amazing. These spiders are crawling through your website and every website on the internet searching for information and keywords/phrases and indexing them to show up in search results. 

2020 is here, which means that if you haven’t built the content you share with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in mind, you’ll soon be pushed behind by those businesses who are doing it right. Don’t worry, however, it’s not too late to get ahead of the race for website traffic. 

It’s time to get on the right page when it comes to keywords.

Everyone’s talking about keywords. You may know that they’re what ultimately drives traffic from search engines to your website, but there’s a process to guaranteeing you’re using the right ones. Before beginning to write content, do your research and compile a list of keywords and phrases.

  • Keywords: Insurance, Banking, Search Engine Optimization;
  • Key Phrases: The best insurance agents in [insert city], What is Long Term Disability Insurance?;

Once you’ve compiled a list of relevant keywords and phrases, search them to see how many relevant articles show up. If the words are too broad, try making them even more aligned and try again. It’s like searching the name “Joanne” on Google and expecting your old high-school flame to show up – it’s not likely. Instead, you need to add more, such as a school and year, to make the search more precise. 

Be Mobile-Responsive FIRST

In 2018, over half of the US was searching through their mobile devices and spending up to 4 hours on their phones. If you think about how often you were on your smartphone two years ago in comparison to now, it’s likely you feel like that number has increased. Google has now switched to a Mobile-First method of crawling and indexing websites. This means that if your website is not mobile-responsive first and foremost, then you will be pushed down in web search results. Every website building platform allows for editing in both mobile and desktop mode. Before publishing any content, switch into mobile-view and optimize it properly. 

Mobile-responsive is completely different than mobile-friendly. At this point in technology, all websites are automatically built to be mobile-friendly (meaning they can be opened on your hand-held devices) but being responsive means that the page itself adjusts to the size of the screen its being view on. Images and text should adjust as well. 

Optimize your images for SEO.

Often overlooked, images are a highly important factor in how high your content will show up in search results. Not only do they help break up the text to make it more readable and enhance the chances visitors will read the entire article and get to the CTA (Call-to-Action), they make your site more SEO friendly. Google loves accessible sites that are optimized for proper reading on any device. 

  • Name the images you post on your website using Alt-Text. Those added keywords will do wonders for searchability on Google’s main search page as well as in their image library. Most website building platforms such as WordPress and Wix have the ability to add text/links to images once you’ve uploaded them. 
  • Use your own images whenever possible. Although they may not claim it, there’s a chance that Google’s algorithm that searches websites may choose organic images over stock ones. Besides, images are important to readers (they engage with them instantly rather than needing to read the content first) and seeing the same stock images that may not even be relevant to what they’re reading is just plain annoying. Having your own images proves trust and expertise on the subject even further.
  • You should also make sure the images you use are of higher quality and scale them down to assure they load faster when someone clicks on your website. 

Use SEO tools and software to help boost your traffic.

We understand that perfecting SEO is a long and grueling process that can even take years of education to triumph. That’s why sometimes it can be helpful to put a little trust in those who specialize in the feat. Using tools and software are much more cost-effective than hiring an SEO agent and still leaves you in control. Moz.com effortlessly does the back-end SEO work for you, including tracking results over time, using backlinks (keep reading to learn more about these), and even doing your keyword research for you. They’ll also audit your website to find weaknesses you may not have noticed that could be affecting your traffic.  

Backlinks should be your dirty little secret.

Everything I’ve spoken about thus far can be defined as on-site SEO. That’s only half the battle. Off-site SEO in the form of backlinks secures visitors to continue to find your website content continually after posting. Backlinks will help to ensure your website is indexed properly as well. 

  • If you’ve shared statistics or other facts, it’s important to link them accurately. It’s not only the legal thing to do, it actually proves your SEO to do better on search engines. 
  • Inserting a quote can also boost SEO performance by allowing you to link to authoritative websites and effectively show up in search regarding that topic in relation to the other sites.
  • Build partnerships with other relevant websites. If they’re sharing links to your website and vice-versa, you’ll attract traffic from more outside websites. 

Don’t forget to test your content post-publishing – after 24-48 hrs.

Many marketing managers and small businesses post their content on their website/social media and then immediately open a Google tab to search a few lines. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t see anything, because it takes up to 2 days for Google’s spiders to make it through your site again and register the new content as searchable. Be patient and come back and search your keywords or a few key phrases from your content to see if it shows up on the first few pages. If you still can’t find your content or it’s farther down than you hoped, take a look at the sites that appeared at the top and try to find relevant keywords that they’ve used that might boost your own up with them. 

Understand SEO. Google Analytics.

Bonus: My Favorite SEO Tools

Google Analytics

Moz.com

AlsoAsked.com

Woorank.com

TubeBuddy.com

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test

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