We get it, SEO is one of those digital marketing tools that feels frustrating. For one thing, best practices seem to change from year to year, and for a second, it can be expensive to work with an SEO company you can trust. If you don’t have a solid budget to work with, it’s easy to get discouraged. Well, don’t despair; here are 5 easy, budget friendly tips you can implement right now to get your SEO started in the right direction.
1) Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
Title Tag and Meta Description are two important snippets of code on each page of your website. The title tag gives the search engine an accurate snippet of what each page is about and is used in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). It should include a keyword for which you are trying to rank. For example, if you’re a bakery in Anchorage named “Joe’s Bites” and you’re trying to rank for “bakery, Anchorage” a great title tag for you would be:
The meta description is a brief description of the page and should be kept under 160 characters long. Google does not use meta descriptions in the actual ranking, however SERPs like Google will usually include the meta description in the results. They can also be utilized as a tool to increase click-through rate which subsequently does impact ranking results. Higher click-through rates equals more authority and better ranks.
A good meta tag for the bakery may read something like this:
Make sure each page on your website has a unique title tag and meta description.
2) Alt-Img Text
A great way to optimize your site on page for SEO is to make sure you’re including Alt text on all images. Alt text is a snippet of code used within the HTML to describe images. Not only are you making your website more friendly for people who are visually impaired, you’re helping the SERP’s bots to create context for your images and utilize those words to help you rank.
Choose keywords that you’re trying to rank for and be descriptive, but don’t keyword stuff. A good rule of thumb for the baker would be
3) Create a sitemap
Make sure your site has a sitemap. Sitemaps are XML files that contain all the pages of your site in one place. This makes it easier for SERPs to crawl your site more efficiently. This tactic can be particularly helpful if you have a brand new site. You can create a sitemap manually, but I recommend just using a sitemap generator or working with your website team to make sure you have one in place.
4) Use your social media pages to your advantage
Google has said they don’t utilize social media in ranking, but there is a positive correlation in having over 50 likes on facebook and better rankings. Another positive feature here is that sites like Facebook tend to rank well because it’s in the top 10 most popular websites in the world. It has a ton of authority juice and Google will give it precedence. So do slow and steady work on your website, but make sure you have a bangin’ social media presence to help fill in the gaps until you start ranking.
5) Set Up a Google My Business Account
You may have difficulty ranking on the first page in the organic search results, but if you’re able to build out a great Google My Business account, you may still show above the fold on a regular basis for your desired keywords. This is because utilizing Google products helps build trust with the search engine, which not only helps your website but will help you rank in multiple places: the organic listings and the maps section.
Google Engine Results Page, Google My Business results above organic results
This tactic is especially helpful for locally focused, brick-and-mortar businesses. A couple of things to keep in mind:
Make sure you fill out your listing completely Don’t leave anything blank if possible.
Confirm there are no discrepancies with information that is posted in other places including your website, facebook, yelp, etc.
Include desired keywords into the description of your business.
Try to get as many reviews as possible.
Upload fun and engaging photos of not only your logo, but your business location as well.
We hope these five tips help you get your SEO started in the right direction. If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
-Written by Whitney Robbins