SEO can be very overwhelming, especially when you are first starting out as a business owner. Or even when you’ve been doing it for years because it’s a lot of playing. You have to figure out what works and what doesn’t work. Many people have a love-hate relationship with SEO, meaning they love it because you know it’s necessary, but they hate it because they have no idea how to use it. I’ve went ahead and created a two part SEO series and think you’ll find it useful!
What is SEO and why is it important? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.
It is important because it helps you get found! If you’re running any kind of business in the digital age, you need to get found on search engines. For example, if you were on Google and you type in “best pizzeria in Florida” and you know that you are that pizzeria, you’ll be able to get found by utilizing certain SEO tools and keywords on your website. If you didn’t already know, most people don’t go past the third page when searching on Google or Bing. You want to make sure that you show up on one of the first three pages of your search engine of choice so that you can be found and get a lot of organic reach.
Before diving into SEO, it is important to understand keywords.
Keywords are what help you get found. For your website, they will include your title and what you do, but any variations of those things would be keywords as well. If I know that my ideal client wants a web designer, “web design,” “web designer,” and “web design service” are all keywords that need to be integrated into my website somehow.
Your home page should have at least 500 words on it. For SEO reasons, Google and Bing want to see a site that has a lot of useful and high-value information. Just putting “Hi, welcome to my new website” is simply not enough, especially for Search. You want to have keywords sprinkled in, not overwhelming and not seeming forced, but just naturally in there. That will help your site rank higher in Search. If you have a self-hosted website through WordPress, you can download the plugin, Yoast. Yoast is really helpful because you can type in a keyword and it analyzes the page and lets you know if you’ve plugged in that keyword enough or not.
Keyword use also applies to blog posts. You want to make sure that you have strong keywords, words that closely relate to the topic, appearing throughout the blog post. I know that blogging doesn’t always seem like fun, but even doing a short 500-word blog once a week or even once every other week keeps your site relevant and helps with organic reach. Activity like this helps rank your site higher in Search. If you’re writing your blog posts or anything on a WordPress website, you want to make sure those keywords are in an H1 or H2 in addition to your paragraphs. Those header spots are seen as more important information and rank higher in searches.
Along those same lines, if you have Etsy and a website and you are selling products, your descriptions cannot be the same. They have to be different at least by 30%. The reason why is because if Google will think that there is duplicate content if there are the same descriptions. It’s going to rank you lower because it looks like you’re just copying and pasting to be found versus really taking the time to make sure your descriptions are different.
Optimize Your Website Images
One thing that people often forget when using SEO is your images. Google doesn’t like when a website is really slow and it penalizes your website for it. If your site is really slow because it takes too long to load the images, that will factor into how high up you will appear in a search. One way you can make sure your images aren’t loading slowly is by making sure your images are the right sizes.
Another thing that is important is that Google reads the file name of your images. You want to make sure that your images don’t say “img-25770.” Name your image file “hand stamped jewelry 1” so that the keyword “hand stamped jewelry” is already attached to your image file. When you upload that image to your website, Google will be able to process that keyword.
You can also carry this over to Facebook. When you’re uploading images to your Facebook page, you want to make sure that there’s always a caption for it in an album. The text connected to an image will help it to be found.
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