Who will benefit the most from this post?
This post will be more useful for a solopreneur (business of one person). It’s really difficult to distill my recommendations for all businesses who have existed ever. Thus, this is primarily the information that I have tested specifically with Maui businesses. Currently, all of my clients rank first in search engines for their desired keywords.
Should you start trying to build up SEO?
SEO is the term used for search engine optimization, which translates to the goal of increasing website traffic.
The first thing you need to decide is if SE0 is the best marketing strategy. Perhaps it may be better to spend your effort elsewhere. Social media can be a great source of traffic and the turn-around is typically much quicker than SEO. Old-fashioned marketing techniques may be better for your business as well. Many people think that building a search presence is a passive form of marketing. It’s not. Like any form of marketing, search engine optimization may be viable for your specific marketing goals, but it also may not be the best approach.
So now that we have established that you want to pursue increasing your search engine traffic, I have two general areas to think about when deciding how to proceed. The below categories are not necessarily using technical terms. The goal of this post is to act as a primer in your marketing mind.
#1: Speed is Paramount for SEO
The importance of website speed cannot be overstated. When trying to increase a site’s speed, the site’s hosting provider should be evaluated first.
Website Owners Tend to Not Want to Change Hosting Providers.
I ask clients about their hosting provider before anything else. From my experience, clients tend to feel unwarranted loyalty toward their website hosting provider. Having a professional that works on dozens of sites every month, should trump loyalty towards a distant hosting company but I digress.
If you are using an antiquated hosting service, and you are committed to doing so, find an alternative form of marketing. SEO is not going to work.
Hosting is an area, which compromise is not possible. Thus, many prospective clients do not change host in order to utilize my services. Once, a client is set up with a fast, secure and reliable hosting service, We start looking at their site content.
#2: Content is Most of the Work for SEO
While speed is important, after a website is properly set up, most of the work will be writing-related. If you can’t produce written content, SEO is simply not possible. The heart of building SEO is in written content. The more text on your site, the more information search engines can scan. Even though I am a web developer, most of my work-hours are spent on writing.
As the manager of a website with goals of increasing website search engine traffic, expect to be writing often.
Side Tips for Content Writing
If you want a page to be indexed by Google, make sure the said page includes 500 words of written content. There is a handy clickable icon in WordPress for which will count a page or posts words. These days, I tend to write most of my blog content directly into WordPress or into the notepad program. I highly recommend getting the Grammarly browser extension for a simple spelling and grammar check when writing.
Three Types of Written Content
1. Static Content
Static content is usually what is in your pages for WordPress. Static content is the content on your site that doesn’t change often. The following are some examples of static content.
- Home Page
- About Page
- Services Page
- Contact Page
Static content is what a website manager should expect is ready by website viewers most frequently. Some may think of static content as cornerstone content. This may not be accurate 100% of the time but for the purposes of getting started, seeing static and cornerstone content as synonymous is fine.
2. Blog Content
Blog content is more timely and less a cornerstone of what your site has to offer. Blogs are a great place to talk about the peripheral subject matter to your website’s mission. What are the people who are interested in your products or services interested in reading? What is the content of your ideal customers like to consume?
Create content for your customers. Understand, however, that the reason you are creating content is primarily for search engine robots, not human hearts. While your writing should be engaging and relevant, its #1 purpose is creating content to be scanned by search engines. Thus, if no one ever reads a blog post on your site, ever you will still reap benefits from writing.
One issue I often see with small business website owners is confusing updates with blog content. While it’s totally fine if your business prefers to update customers through their website, it’s also important to have the website visitors be able to sift through your site and find the content they want. If your business’s last post was about a canned food drive that has come and passed three months ago, it may be problematic.
Products are scanned search engines in the same way other posts are scanned. From my experience, most website owners don’t think of products as a method of building SEO. Products are equal to blog posts in increasing search engine visibility while being less competitive than traditional blogs. In the same way, it’s okay if your blogs are not read by humans, it’s also okay for your products to never be purchased.
I know it sounds counterintuitive but a product listing can be very useful, even if no one ever purchases the said product. Just make sure to add lots of description and written text to every product you list. As a rule of thumb, make all posts have a standard minimum of 500 words. This may feel superfluous, but it’s standard in the industry. Go bring up any product on Amazon if you want to see an example of high-word-count product pages.
Depending on your image library, images may be a source of search engine traffic for your site. Remember to always fill in your alt tags and image descriptions. While staying on top of image descriptions is great for SEO, it’s also essential for many site viewers with disabilities. Some site viewers may have images blocked for whatever reason, so it’s important that viewers can read your alt tags in order to understand the content on your site.
Bonus SEO Areas to Think About
So it looks like I’ve already exceeded the scope of this post. I’ll go ahead and leave you with some general ideas about what my next post will include. Please check back in or sign up for my newsletter if you want to be notified when the next part of this post is ready.
Here are some of the things I will cover in the next post.
- What are the benefits of frequent website updates?
- Should I focus on social media or SEO or both?
- Are linkbacks still viable for building search presence?
- Does keyword frequency still matter?
- What the heck is Schema?
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