When you’re just stepping into the world of online entrepreneurship, the internet can feel like a maze. The questions, “what’s the secret to getting more visitors?” “how do I target my specific audience?” and “how do I show what my brand is about?” frequently come up.
Have you (or did you) ever wonder these questions as a new blogger or entrepreneur? I know I did.
As a blogger, I’m always searching for new and better ways to effectively reach my audience. And throughout this quest, I’ve discovered one strategy that is consistently successful. And that strategy is good SEO.
In fact, I can confidently say that SEO is one of the most important components to a successful online business. Whether you’re a blogger, an online consulting business, or your website advertises your physical business, you need a site with strong SEO.
Now, if you’re reading this thinking, “Um, I don’t even know what SEO is…” Don’t worry. I have you covered. This post digs into both what SEO is and why you need to improve it.
Alternatively, if you already know about SEO, this post is for you, too. Because I offer some of the best ways to improve SEO on your website. And this, in turn, will help you reach your ideal audience even easier.
Read on for 8 important ways to improve SEO and boost your online presence.
What is SEO?
First of all, the basics. What in the world is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. And basically, this is a fancy way of saying, make sure that your content is filled with keyword rich, searchable terms.
If you have a post about the best gluten free, vegan sandwich bread, for example, you should have lots of keywords about that topic throughout your post.
In other words, SEO stresses the importance of clear, searchable content.
So while a seemingly attention grabbing blog post title like, “You’ll Never Guess This Recipe’s Secret Ingredient” might seem catchy, in reality, it’s pretty ineffective. Why? Because no one looking for a gluten free sandwich bread recipe with search the phrase, “you’ll never guess this recipe’s secret ingredient.”
When you’re thinking about your keywords for both your blog post title, and the phrases within the post itself, make sure they are what your potential reader or customer might search in Google.
An easy strategy to find good keywords is to simply goto Google, and begin typing your topic in the search box. Google usually offers suggestions for what you might be searching for, which are based on previous user searches.
As you can see in the screenshot below, I began typing in gluten free vegan bread recipe, and I now have several more keyword suggestions that I can use throughout my post.
Why do I need SEO?
SEO is a crucial part of your online presence. Why? Because in the end, SEO is what makes your content appear earlier in the search results.
Simply put, when you have good SEO, you are able to reach a much wider audience.
How do I improve SEO on my site?
Poor quality or duplicate content
So here’s the deal; many people assume that if they put loads of new content on their site everyday, their online presence will skyrocket through the search engine ranks.
Unfortunately, this is not the entire equation. Because it turns out, it’s much more important to have high quality content than heaps of content that is low quality, or simply duplicate information.
And what makes high quality content?
Mariah Nichols offers some great suggestions on this website, noting the importance of writing for your specific niche and building relationships with other websites.
Adding to her tips, I want to suggest a few more strategies to organically improve SEO for your website:
Don’t simply copy what you’ve seen others doing. Think about what makes your information unique. How does your blog post about marathon training differ from another blogger’s tips?
Offer unique value to users
Expanding on the originality component, make your posts valuable. How does your blog/website’s information help your reader?
Answer common questions in your niche
Do you blog about fashion? Then be sure to include posts about some of the most commonly asked questions. Can I wear white after labor day? Is it okay to mix navy blue and black? What are the spring trends this year? Etc.
Create content that is widely linked or referenced
Provide content that other bloggers in your niche will want to reference. Building relationships is so important in the online world. And when you’re creating quality, popular content with your own unique twist, others will want to share that with their readers.
Fix broken links
Broken links are one of the quickest ways to hurt your SEO rank. Make sure that you are linking to high quality content both internally and externally. And remember to check those links every once in a while to ensure that they still work. (This is especially true with external sites, as links might unexpectedly change without you knowing about it.)
Avoid “toxic” links
While we’re on the subject of links, another SEO crusher is linking to spammy or unrelated websites. Some of these links include:
- Spam sites
- Link networks
- Sites created just for link building
- Sites that have not been indexed by Google
Poor mobile optimization
You don’t need me to tell you that the smartphone has changed the way we consume content. More than ever, people use their smartphones instead of the standard desktop or laptop to consume information, write emails, shop, etc.
If your website doesn’t account for mobile friendly devices, it can really hurt your SEO rank. Fortunately, most website builders offer a “mobile friendly” version. So my simple advice is this: make sure that you use it. Check out your website on your smartphone, ensure that every page is mobile optimized, and you’ll easily sidestep the dreaded threat of mobilegeddon.
Looking for more easy strategies to improve SEO? Download this free cheat sheet!
Now I can’t stress enough that SEO TAKES TIME; it’s not an instant gratification process. In fact, it can take weeks and even months for your keywords to start registering with the different search engines.
So don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results right away. Stick with these strategies, keep creating great content, and you’ll improve your site’s SEO in no time.
Looking for more blogging tips? Check out my post about 3 easy ways to make money blogging here!
Do you focus on SEO? What are your strategies to improve SEO for your online presence? Let me know below!