Having a website is great, but if people can’t find you it won’t be any advantage to your business. Internet Live Stats claims there are over one billion websites in existence today. How can you be found among the mass of information that exists on the web? If you include a few things as soon as you build your site, you can ensure higher Google rankings and more customers for your business!
1. SEO Friendly Tags: A title of a website gives the most basic information to search engines, and people searching for your business. Include relevant information on the title to help people find you. For example, if you own a restaurant a good title tag would be: “Jeff’s Restaurant | New York Dining”
2. SEO Plug Ins: If you’re using a WordPress site you should include the Yoast SEO plug in immediately. Yoast isn’t perfect IMO, however it is the best plugin to let you know how your website looks. They do a great job updating the plugin based on changing Google SEO algorithms.
3. Mobile-friendly Contacts: Most websites have a mobile function, however you should always ensure people can easily click to contact you. With mobile, it’s all about making it easy for people to reach out to you. Instead of just listing your phone number on your contact page, add some basic code so people can click on the phone number to call you. Same goes with emails. Basic phone and email HTML codes are as follows:
Phone: <a href=”tel:+14409410792″>440-941-0792</a>
Email: <a style=”line-height: 1.5em;” href=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org” target=”_blank”>email@example.com</a>
4. Maps: If you are a local business, include a map on your website. More people are looking for easy ways to GPS a location. If you add a map with your address on your website more people can click on that on their phone to walk or drive to your location easily. For multiple locations, set up separate location-pages (or websites) with maps on each page.
5. Your Social Media Links: Adding your social media links on your website will give you an SEO boost because it will help Google pull all your info together. It also gives your customers a way to reach out to you and connect with you. People may use your Facebook, Twitter or other social media to try to contact you before an email or phone number.
6. Content: Yes your website needs words! Typically about 350 words per page. But long-form content is becoming more popular, according to Google. That’s why you should always update your blog on the regular. Include longer content (and lists like this blog!) to rank higher. Studies have shown that content with 2000 or more words have a better chance to rank in the #1 spot on Google, while content around 2,000 word or less averages the #10 spot.
7. Images: The internet is a visual place, so you should have images. Personally, I’m shocked at how business lack in images. I worked with someone who painted houses, and that person did not have one single before and after shot of his work. That’s not going to fly in today’s world. You can always use stock photos, but if you have your own images it gives your website a more professional appeal.
8. Internal Links: You should link your pages. Stay away from outdated anchor text (i.e. using only SEO keywords to link to other pages). Rather link phrases that are relevant to the pages on your website (example: What are the best SEO practices for my business?).
9. Your Info: People want to know who they are doing business with. A personal approach to your website is key. It adds good content and gives your business a personal appeal. If people can read about your background, they will look to your services with more confidence. Don’t be shy online, brag away!
10. A Newsletter Function: A newsletter sign up is very important. Give people the option to sign up for a newsletter and send one out at least once a quarter. Newsletters are a great way to ensure repeat business and you can let people know about any promotions you are running. It’s typically 100% free marketing for your business, and newsletter plugins are easy to find on WordPress or on other hosting sites.
11. Clicky Web Stats: Google Analytics will always be king. But I love Clicky for my website stats. Clicky has a free option that includes the ability to research individual IP addresses. Clicky also avoids a lot of the spam you get on Google Analytics.
12. Webmaster Tools: That said, you don’t want to completely avoid Google. Google accounts for about 90% of the searches (more or less depending on your business) so you want to know how your website is ranking. Add your website to Google’s Webmaster Tools and monitor your traffic often.
13. Contact Information Throughout: A contact page is great. But add your contact information to the footer or header of your website to ensure people always have access to your info. Don’t make it difficult for people to find your links, email, phone and address. In many cases people will only spend about 30 seconds on your site. Don’t expect people in a hurry to search your site to contact you.
14. H2, H3 Tags: A great way to add keywords on your site is using H2 and H3 tags. These are typically bold title tags that you can add throughout the pages on your site. WordPress sites have these listed as different paragraph sizes in the text editor.
15. Spell Check: There are a number of spell check plug in options for your website. Make sure to check your content for spelling errors. Sloppy websites will appear like spam to Google, and your ranking will suffer for it.
16. SEO URLs: Look for SEO friendly URLs for your website. Mikespizza.com won’t rank as well as newyorkpizza.com will. Try to find SEO friendly URLs that don’t have the dashes (i.e. new-york-pizza.com). URLs with dashes seem spammy to Google, although I have ranked basic dashed websites well.
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