By Ron Sturgeon
Are you really on your game on the Internet, or did your cousin Vinnie put up your bargain website for only $250, when you found a place to host it for free eight years ago. Oh, and you have a Facebook account for the business. Today, it is simply not enough to claim you have a real web strategy.
Here are some best practices and tactics that will get your ranking a little closer to the top for the terms your customers use to find what you sell. You don’t have to do all of these, but you should understand that all the pieces support each other.
A good website with a strong SEO strategy. Define what terms you want to be found for before you started building the site. Do a keyword analysis to determine what terms have the highest search volume but low competition.
- File named pages for each of your chosen terms. Most businesses, even small ones, should have at least 50 such pages.
- A current site map.
- Google analytics installed, so you can get monthly reports.
- A current Contact Us page.
- No blog, unless you are going to post to it at least once weekly. A blog with a last entry from three years ago hurts you because it looks like nothing is happening. Commit to having a blog because Google loves fresh content added to your site and rewards it with better rankings. Hire a freelance writer to do it if you don’t have the time to do it yourself. There are lots of sites to find them, Fiverr, etc.
- Icons and links for Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter.
- All images are sized and optimized for web display, and all of them have alt tags using your chosen search terms.
- Content should include all of these:
- References or testimonials.
- Call to action on every page. For example, “contact us now to discuss your needs.”
- Remember to use your keywords throughout any content.
- Your site should be optimized for mobile browsing because most people are likely to visit from their phone or their tablet rather than a desktop in many cases.
Social Media Provides Reach
It is a good idea to have a person dedicated to your social media, adding fresh content regularly. It should include:
- Instagram account with some pictures tagged using your best terms; post a new one at least weekly.
- Facebook account that you post to at least weekly.
- Twitter account that you use periodically.
- Yelp account where you ask for reviews. While Yelp does not want you to solicit reviews, you can do it subtly with a sign that says, “Find us on Yelp” and a reminder to those customers who have had a great service experience.
- YouTube account with some videos posted using your keywords as tags.
- Google My Business page.
Once you have these set up, ask for reviews for your Facebook, Google and Yelp accounts. Make sure you deliver the kind of service that will get people talking in a good way.
Issue a few press releases, using your key terms with links to the keyword named pages specific to that term. You can always find something to announce. Link keywords to the page for that keyword.
Each page needs a meta title and description using the main keyword for the page. Don’t duplicate titles or descriptions.
Make each page easy to read, use subheadings (H2, H3), use bulleted lists, add white space and avoid pop ups.
Get backlinks from good sites that Google trusts. Even though many links are not followed, links still help establish authority for your site and trust with Google that translates into better rankings.
Pages and posts do better with longer content. Now the standard is approximately 1,000 words. However posts with 3,000 words rank much better. At least have a few longer content articles. If you don’t have someone to write them, get a freelancer to do it so that you are getting organic traffic and ringing the cash register.
When you’ve worked through this list, you can say you have a robust web strategy or at least a running start toward having one. Make sure you post at least weekly on all the social media pages, new pictures, blog, etc. As you get better results from these efforts, be sure to put some of that money back into Internet marketing, SEO and your business’ online presence.
Remember only you can make business great!
Ron Sturgeon, speaker and author, regularly shares his expertise in strategic planning, capitalization, growing market share, and more, providing his field-proven and high-profit best practices. Reach him at 817-834-3625, ext. 232 or email RonS@MrMissionPossible.com.