The practice of SEO requires diligence and patience. Often when a client recognizes that their website is not showing up in the search engine in a way or position that they had anticipated, they immediately want their SEO fixed.
SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization, is best described like telling your website how to be it’s best self. I like to say it is metaphorically like coaching your website. And while anyone who has worked with a coach, therapist or friend – being your best self takes time and practice.
SEO is equally the same. Practicing daily habits of working on your website with some key thoughts in mind, will eventually shape up your site to everything it could possibly be.
What are a few steps you can take to improve your websites search factors?
- Make a list of your top keywords that you want to focus on. If you have software to determine their actual value, use that and begin to map out the keywords you want to rank for and the associated pages on your website that you want those keywords to be associated with. The beauty and benefit of keyword targeting also comes in handy when you own a blog. There are only so many pages on your website that can be optimized – but with a blog, you can take those keywords and keyphrases and really go to town. Integrate those keywords into the title, URL and topic.
- Check your website for crawl errors. If you haven’t set up Google Search Console yet, I suggest you start there. Crawling your site to determine how a search engine like Google is indexing it and whether it can even index it could reveal a whole lot of holes in your website’s code. You are looking for broken website pages, that could result in a 404 error page. You want to find pages that you built out and then paused and left on your website, which may have a lot of valuable links to it that are no longer feeding to your main website. For those types of pages, built 301 redirects.
- Check your website’s title and description tags. Review whether the description tags or title tags on your website are unique and written to match the content on the page. We like to use Screaming Frog to test website’s tags and code to determine if the webmaster forgot to optimize the website and left everything ‘as is’. When this happens, all your pages may have identical tags and for Google this doesn’t fly. Google wants you to tell them in a short sentence, what your page is about. This is called a Title Tag. Second, Google wants a descriptive piece of text that shares a little more information about a website page on your website. This is called a description tag. Both titles and descriptions are seen in search engine results and could look like this:
The bold heading is the Title Tag.
The Title Tag is followed by the associated page’s URL or website address. And last, this is followed by the Description Tag which highlights the page information.
The Title Tag and Keywords are important, as is the URL, which should include keywords. The Description Tag is your sales copy, so to speak. Google will put in bold all words from your search query but in reality, it is just a way you are selling the reader about your website page and informing them of what they will find.
Last, of course provide content on that website page as you have described. If I click on a website that tells me the page is about Colorado Backpacking Trails and the variety of backpacking hikes I can explore and that there is a map – I had better find this on the website page. If I don’t find it, I will ‘bounce’ off, which means to immediately leave.
The Digital Team, such as our company, monitor’s these bounce metrics to determine where the miss is and then help the client either fix or realize where their SEO went wrong.
These few steps appear to be small and insignificant compared to all the work within the SEO industry that can be done, but in reality, these few steps are your strongest ally. Practice them daily or weekly and then have some patience and before you know it, your website will be back to it’s perfection.