5 SEO Rules Every Business Should Know
Simply put, it’s imperative that business owners gain at least a basic understanding of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
If you’re on a marketing team with limited resources, you cannot accept “we don’t have enough time for that” when you try to explain the importance of SEO to the C-suite.
Failure to align your SEO with your overall marketing strategy means there is a ceiling on what your business can do.
If you’re just getting started with SEO, or you have limited resources, there are certain places you can start to begin optimizing your business for search engines.
Here are 5 SEO rules that every business should know:
Stick To The Rules
Google doesn’t make it hard for you to make your website Google-friendly.
In fact, Google Search Console is a free resource that will help you complete everything you need.
Not only are the guidelines set forth by Google Search Console easy to follow, but they also serve as an effective SEO tool when you follow their rules.
The first rule of Google Search Console is to make it easy for visitors to find the information they’re searching for. All pertinent information should be clear on your homepage. Don’t get flowery with your website copy. Write exact descriptions that aren’t too packed with jargon.
The second rule of Google Search Console is to have backlinks to your website from other sites that are relevant and have a good authority. Each link is a signal to Google that your site has value.
The third rule of Google Search Console is to make your website accessible. It should be easy to navigate, and accessible for everyone. That means Alt Text for every image on your site!
“Build your site with a logical link structure. Every page should be reachable from at least one static text link.” – Google Search Console
Another way to make sure you’re following Google’s rules is to check out their Page Speed Insights, which will rank your score on a scale out of 100. It will also tell you what you can fix on your site to better your score.
Here are some additional rules to follow for your site:
- Avoid jamming your pages full of keywords. Google algorithms are smarter than this now.
- If you’re blocking certain pages from Google’s crawlers, they might find it suspicious.
- Don’t put important information into images. Make sure it’s text on the page so Google can actually find it.
- Build your entire site structure under one URL.
Know Your Audience
Successful SEO, like the rest of your marketing efforts, means taking a customer-first approach.
Here are two easy ways to better understand your audience:
1. Create a customer persona
This helps you to visualize who your customer is. Get to know everything about that persona.
How old are they? How much money do they make? Where do they live? What magazines do they read? What websites do they browse?
You can even go to Google images and pick a person that represents that persona. Name them. Talk about them.
This will help you form a content strategy and build your website with the information that persona may be seeking.
2. Monitoring your current and future position
Another free resource, Google Analytics, will tell you all sorts of information on who is already spending time on your website.
Here is some of what you can discover about your website visitors with Google Analytics.
This information will tell you if your website is currently designed and structured for the audience you have. Get it right and your website metrics and conversions should improve.
Google offers plenty of Analytics Help to get you up and running.
Putting Google Analytics to use will help ensure your site is set up for success. If your audience is finding what they’re looking for and spending time on your site, your SEO and page rankings will improve.
Proper Keyword Research
With the information you’ll attain from Google Analytics, you can then determine the keywords that your audience will be searching for. Put together a list of keywords based on that information.
You can also do some competitive analysis to see what keywords you should be trying to rank for. Tools such as Spyfu will let you know what keywords your competition is using.
Comb through that list and determine the most important keywords and phrases you should be going after. Obviously, you want to rank for keywords for which you can top the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
There are several free SEO tools you can use for this:
Start a Blog
Putting consistent content on your website is a good way to improve your SEO rankings and starting a blog is an excellent way to accomplish that.
They say to write what you know. You can answer customer questions, offer tips and advice to your customers on how to put your goods and services to use and any other content that will deliver value to them. You can even do employee spotlights! It’s a great way to put a human face to your brand.
You can also consult Google Analytics to get content ideas. Use what you know about your audience to build a content strategy for them.
When you’re starting a blog, create a content calendar. Brainstorm any and all ideas you might have. Then prioritize that content and determine when you should publish it. It’s also important that you find the time to create the content or you can come up with a guest blog strategy to outsource the work.
Your content should be informative, add value to the reader, and avoid giant blocks of text. Break it up into shorter sentences and paragraphs to improve readability.
Stay Up To Date
SEO is an ever-changing practice. With every update to Google’s Algorithm comes tweaks that may need to be made on your website.
It’s important that you stay informed. Failure to do some may result in plummeting down the SERPs.
Here are a few resources for you to stay current with SEO:
SEO can be a complex and complicated process, but there are a few rules that every business owner should know:
- Follow the rules set forth by Google’s official guidelines
- Know the importance of optimizing your site’s speed
- Gain an understanding of your audience with Google Analytics
- Build a keyword list of important words and phrases to focus on
- Create a blog to help attract visitors to your site and improve your search ranking
- Make sure you stay current with Google’s Algorithm changes