Have you ever searched for something on the Internet and found yourself looking at an entry on the 4th or 5th page? Me neither. Who has the time?
There are several tasks a business can do to increase their website’s rankings. Some of these tasks are free to do yourself, while other tasks will cost you. The free tasks will take 3-6 months to see results, and depending on your technical comfort level, might end up getting farmed out anyway. If you choose the paid route, results will be more immediate.
I like how Gilco Digital defined Search Engine Optimization (SEO): The process of affecting the online visibility of a website in a web search engine’s unpaid results—often referred to as “natural,” “organic,” or “earned” results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a website appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users; these visitors can then be converted into customers. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, video search, academic search, news search, and industry-specific vertical search engines.
SEO considers how search engines work, the computer programmed algorithms which dictate search engine behavior, what people search for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines, and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience.
Optimizing a website may involve editing its content, adding content, or writing HTML and associated coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines.
Common SEO task list:
- Most importantly; make sure your website is mobile friendly.
- Ask your web designer if your content is optimized with page titles, descriptions, keywords and ADA compliant.
- Look out for irregularities on monthly Google Analytic reports about your site’s traffic.
- Do a search for your store and see what your Search Engine Results Page (SERP) rankings are and what the entry looks like. Does the first sentence make sense?
- Keep in mind you can run free online tests on your own website’s URL to see for yourself. Just do a search for one of the terms used in this paragraph, like “mobile friendly” and put “test” at the end.
- Make sure to claim and verify all of your locations on “Google my Business”.
Review and go over the content on every page of your website. Having the most up-to-date information can lead to higher rankings. Avoid repeating the same message on several pages. As a rule of thumb, go over your site’s content 1-2 times a year, especially in October so you’re ready for the holidays. Here are a few questions to ask yourself while reviewing website content:
- Are my store hours and locations up to date?
- Have I added or discontinued any services to my store?
- Have I added or discontinued any product groups in my inventory?
- Have I changed companies for any of my store services?
- Do I have an up to date photo of my store front location(s)?
- Are my party tray prices up to date?
- Have any of my promos expired?
- Are you partnering with other websites with links going to your website? Do they still work?
- Do you have current website links on all of your social media accounts?
- Do you have any add-on features to your website like a blog, video, podcast or email newsletter that you haven’t updated in over a month? If you don’t post updates using these services, make sure to cancel and delete any links.
- Do you have any customer comments or questions that haven’t been addressed on your social media accounts?
When working on your store’s digital marketing budget, it’s best to invest some time and money in both SEO and SEM. Both processes overlap and complement each other in the task to increase traffic to your website. Consider the age of your website. If you have had a website for a year or more, it might pay off to start off with some SEO tasks because it takes more time to increase your website’s ranking.
Learn more about SEM (Search Engine Marketing) >