When you begin your own search engine optimization it can prove overwhelming and daunting at times. Running your business, chasing new clients and doing all you can to remain relevant in your current market; forgetting to start your website’s SEO is completely understandable.
Do keep in mind that without proper search engine optimization, your site is bound to fail, money and time spent developing and designing your website should basically be written off as wasted.
Here is a quick guide to initialize your sites search engine optimization:
- Submit your site to search engines, post local listings and tie-in your social media pages. Submissions are quite easy to do yourself; all search engines provide a walk-thru for the process. When your site is new or has undergone a complete makeover/overhaul search engines may not find it but massive link submissions will not improve the situation; so don’t do it. No auto-submitters or article spinners, hand submit your site to each search engine.
- Your site needs to be functional in every way, organize content and check all your forms are working correctly before publishing. Remember that when you make major changes you pay for it in search results. Disavow or remove dead links, refrain from posting your URL with comments you make online and instead begin planning a social media and blog calendar. Search engines rank websites based on functionality, robots check the technical aspects, content and links. When a robot crawls your site it wants to encounter no errors or redirects forcing it away from the site.
- Keywords are your friends but will kill you when improperly used. Tunnel-vision focus on any single keyword is as counterproductive as utilizing thousands of keywords. Start your keyword research with competitor analysis, keyword research and longtail keyword phrases to get started with. Target the market you want and plan to expand on it daily; don’t believe promises of instant fame or Google rankings. There is no trick to circumvent the process search engines use to rank websites, stick to branding yourself and establishing the site within the keywords you decide to use.
- Current Google algorithms are thought to not apply much weight to keyword rich URLs, fortunately Bing and Yahoo are among others that do. Creating relevant URLs creates traffic and is indicative of the information visitors will encounter.
- Title tags are still important to search engine results and easy to update; this is a sure step to include it in your SEO plan. Keep it short, sweet and relevant. Title tags should be keyword rich, each page should have its own unique title tag and be descriptive of the subject matter.
- Alt tags are for the visual impaired to navigate through your site and understand the content. Google no longer accounts alt tags for ranking purposes, but your alt tags should be clear and keyword rich for other search engines that do use them. Granted Google is the beast to conquer, but SEO is a long war and you need to win battles along the way. Ranking on Yahoo or Bing will increase visibility and interaction on the site, in turn affecting Google’s rankings; keep in mind that alt tags are meant for usability.
- Getting relevant links to your website is time consuming, dull and at times very frustrating. It merits repeating that link submission tools can and will eventually bite your site and cost you. Promote on social media, share thru blogging and post relevant content about your product. There may be useful directories in your industry, look around for free directories in your area as well as local business directories.
- New sites announce their arrival thru press releases posted on heavy traffic news sites or shuffled thru social media suggested sites. But a press release is only as good as who reads it and there aren’t many people who really do. Links, traffic and affordability are not synonymous with press releases although press release networks will promise all three.
- Maintain a blog and keep it fresh and relevant, you don’t need to write Moby Dick but be sure to make regular updates. Search engine like fresh content, interactive blogs and trending sites; it’s their favorite. Use unique content, never copy or scrape sites and keep up to date.
- Creating an XML sitemap is essential to your hard work, search engine bots use site maps to crawl your website. If you’re not sure how to create one, check with Google Webmaster tools. Other sites are available that can help you create a site map and if you use an SEO they will surely do so when they begin managing your site.
- Facebook and Twitter are the new search engines, sites which become or trendy are usually listed at the top all other search engine results; in truth the only real way to assure quick ascension is to have a powerful social presence. Set up a page for your company and interact with comments or questions. Social media interaction also provides great Online Brand Recognition and Reputation.
Search engine optimization can be intimidating for many small business owners, but there are no shortcuts or formulas to avoid adhering to SEO Best Practices for your site. Use free information available directly from Google, Facebook and Twitter.
Use free blog formats to share your ideas and create a recognizable brand name and face, instead of blogging extensively you can use these platforms to create landing pages with custom domain URLs. By following the steps mentioned above you’ll be able to initiate your site’s SEO or at least understand the steps taken when optimization is done professionally.