There can be significant benefits from including a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy into your initial site design before you go live. But… what about your existing site? Is it too late to come up with a solid SEO plan?
There are a few areas to investigate when auditing your site and help take it to a higher level. We’ll run through how to initiate an SEO strategy to bolster your site’s content in order to boost site traffic and visibility.
WHO is searching for your site and HOW are they searching?
Knowing your targeted customer base and how they’re approaching your business solution can help identify what keywords they’ll be using to find your site. Assuming that you’ve already discussed how your site is going to pivot (such as from a hobby photo gallery to a professional photography site), start with some keyword research. Free & paid methods to do this are available, such as with Google Trends, Google AdWords, or SEMRush. The goal is to evaluate monthly search volume and similar keywords people are using. Much of what follows in your site’s pivot to boost site traffic needs to be concentrated on using the right keywords and having the right keyword density.
To further the example above, a hobby-photographer running a simple photo gallery site is ready to pivot into a professional photography business. Once he identifies the right keywords, part of his SEO strategy to boost site traffic could include writing short instructional photography blogs and post them on his new site. This allows the photographer to use the industry jargon associated with his selected keywords and also share his knowledge in an instructive way.
Help the machines find your site
You’ve researched how people will search for your site so now let’s address how search engine’s find your site to help your website ranking. Using SEO on an existing site doesn’t mean you have to rewrite your site’s architecture, but it may take some modifying. Evaluate your current navigation tools and refine a clear path across your site’s pages. Review your site’s popular points and evaluate the listed content. Include a title tag that’s less than 70 characters with placement of keywords at the beginning of the tag (title tags are a searchers first view of what your site can offer). Assess the URL of your different pages and use descriptive, yet short, titles. This will help search engine spiders associate your URLs leading to your page content, which goes into a search engine’s algorithm to determine quality.
Cleaning up the clutter
Depending on the size of your site, each page should be checked for a few formalities. Over-use of external links and having redundant content on multiple pages can raise flags when search engines look for quality. Also, if your site contains images it’s important to use keyword-rich attribute text and filenames. Back to the example of a photographer’s pivot, gallery images should be identified with a more descriptive name as opposed to a unique primary key pulled from a database. Doing this can help search engines identify more content in your site via images. While vetting your site’s images, also assess the resolution of your images and use a realistic size to shorten page load time.
Understanding what search engines look for to produce organic search results can help re-energize your website. Without that understanding, your site could get lost in the void, quickly and indefinitely. Above are some easy way to use SEO but to master the capabilities takes time, research, and a global understanding of useful tools & tactics. And after you adjust to your SEO strategy, keep a close eye on your site analytics and be ready to modify the plan if you’re not achieving the results you’re after.
Browse your existing site with the intention of coming out with a thorough SEO analysis so you can share your masterpiece with MORE of the world.
by Matt Dolan