SEO: the ultimate love/hate relationship.
Everyone needs SEO on their site, but it can be time consuming, confusing and all too easy to ignore. I mean, how much difference could it make…right?
Well, friend, it can make a HUGE difference to your traffic, exposure, and ultimately, your business’ success.
The problem can be knowing where to get started. If you’re not an SEO professional the whole thing can feel overwhelming. But fear not! This is where your trusty marketing unicorn Emily Chow flies in and saves the day.
While SEO with all the bells and whistles (think keyword densities, link architecture, and backlinks, to name a few) will make a huge difference, it’s a heck of an undertaking if you aren’t in a place to outsource the work.
But I’ll let you in on a little secret…minimal SEO will also get the job done, just fine. It might not be the Sistine Chapel of SEO, but it’ll get your website noticed, read by the eyes of your ideal crowd and produce tangible results.
Here are my 6 tips for setting up your minimal SEO strategy:
1. Target Those Already Looking For You
Ranking high on a super popular keyword can be a challenge, but showing up at the top of search results for those already looking for you is much more achievable.
Perhaps you met a potential client at a networking event, and they lost your business card, or a referral client can’t remember your URL but wants to get in touch. Make their lives that much easier, and be easy to find with a simple search.
In most cases, any of the above people trying to find you would head straight to almighty Google. However, they won’t be using general keywords, they’ll be using specific, unique keywords.
If you were trying to find my company, Emily Chow Marketing, I might not appear in “Vancouver marketing agency” as there’s such high competition with these general keywords. But, if you searched for “Emily Chow, marketing, Vancouver” you’ll find me at the top of the page, as these keywords are so much more unique.
You want to optimize your site with keywords specific to your business name, business type and location. You’ll also want to check you’re not adding in keywords which already have a ton of competition, which leads into my next tip!
2. Do Some Bare-Bones Keyword Research
Professional SEO specialists have a variety of expensive and powerful softwares to search, analyze and choose the perfect keywords. But with your minimal SEO setup, we’re not striving for perfection, we’re just trying to help people find you!
All we need to start is Google, and a few terms you think people would search for when attempting to locate you in the online world. You can go straight to Google and plug them in, then see what comes up.
For popular terms like “Vancouver marketing agency,” you’ll see listings with “Vancouver marketing agency” in the title. Those showing up high in the list are clearly targeting that specific phrase, but because it’s so competitive, it probably took a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to reach the top of the search results.
However, search for the less competitive phrases and you’ll notice a big difference. Type “Emily Chow Vancouver Marketing” and you’ll notice only my pages will show up, and unrelated pages won’t have those keywords. This shows no-one else is targeting my specific unique keywords.
You can replicate this search with any keywords you’re interested in using, and if none of the listings have those keywords in the title, it means no one is targeting them, and they are ripe for the picking my friend!
With a few simple tweaks, you can take your newly discovered keywords and sprinkle them throughout your website, into titles, file names, content and metadata!
3. Optimize Your Title Tags
So, what are title tags you ask? They’re the title of the page which shows up at the very top of your browser. They may not seem like a big deal, but they’re crucial for SEO.
The easiest way to gussy up your title tags is to include one keyword, and a couple descriptive phrases to tell people what the page is about. This could look like having “Emily Chow Marketing: Your Vancouver Based Boutique Marketing Agency”. You won’t be receiving super high traffic thanks to these terms, but you will be top of the list for those people already on the lookout for you. Using terms that are so specific works because not a lot of sites will be using them, clearing space for you to land at the very top of the list!
4. Optimize Your File Names
It’s so easy to add files, and not bother to name them. Your site visitors won’t see them anyway, right? Well, yes, correct. But Google sees all!
Search engines see your titles, but they also pay close attention to all the file names on your pages and images. For example, if I were to upload an image of myself, I could name it “emily-chow.jpg”.
The goal is to identify the theme or focus for each file, or image, and keep your target keywords in mind, so that these little pockets of relevant SEO can add up and impact your rankings.
5. Optimize Your Content
With your trusted keywords in tow, filling your titles and files names, it’s time to sprinkle those same keywords throughout your content.
Do this subtly though, and don’t drop them every second word. The integration of keywords in content should be seamless, and shouldn’t interrupt the flow of the content. Google will pick up on a lot of keywords throughout content, but your content needs to remain readable and understandable for all your lovely visitors!
Take advantage of headlines and sub-headers with blog posts, as these work well as a natural space to include descriptive keywords.
6. Don’t Forget Your Meta Tags
Last but not least, add in those meta tags!
While meta tags don’t carry a ton of sway with search engines anyway, they’re still good to have. A perfectly crafted meta description can up your traffic, and will often appear before your link in search results.
Meta descriptions are written for human eyes, not Google’s, as they serve as your first introduction to potential visitors. Your meta descriptions should be interesting, and prompt people to click on your link and into your site.
Though mighty, they are small. Meta descriptions are usually limited to around 150 characters, so keep it short, sweet, and enticing!
There is so much more you can do with SEO, but if you’re just starting out and need that bare-bones strategy to get you up and running, these tips will set you up with a strong foundation to grow on.
Looking for more help with SEO and optimizing your site? Let us help! Get in touch today and let’s work supercharging on your business together.