This article on optimizing your website for target keywords was written by Damon Burton.
[Editor’s Note: Sourcing products is only one part of building an e-commerce site. It’s important to make sure your website functions well, and that consumers can easily find you when they search for what you’re selling. Whether you’re selling eyeshadow in the latest shades or electric scooters, you need to know about SEO.]
Small business owners have lot to worry about—how quickly your website loads or how keywords effect your site may not be at the top of your list. But if you want to attract new customers you need to pay attention to SEO, because if you aren’t doing it correctly, Google may rank your webpage based on the wrong keywords.
Search Engine Optimization is the process of building or improving your website so that it loads quickly and presents your product or service to readers (and search engines) in an efficient manner. By having a website that is user-friendly (fast and easy to navigate) and full of unique, easy to digest content, search engines will reward you with greater visibility by listing your website in top search results.
Here are some simple tips to optimize your webpage for select keywords and improve search rankings:
Verify baseline rankings
Determine where your webpages currently rank for the keywords you aim to improve. Start by manually searching keywords on Google to check your position. To save time, use a rank-tracking tool that automatically performs this task on a recurring frequency like Advanced Web Rankings.
Be creative and consider Google Keyword Planner or even a thesaurus to find potential keyword alternatives. You can also type keyword considerations into Google and you will get suggestions by Google, see top ranked pages, and get ideas for related searches.
Review and confirm expectations
Search Google yourself for the keywords that you’re considering adding to your website. You’ll get a crash course on what competition you’re up against.
Spread the keyword love
Gone are the days of single pages focused on single keywords. Ensure that your keyword targets are referenced throughout the entirety of your site and not just a single landing page that’s overly stuffed with keywords.
You know which pages you want to drive up in the rankings for which keywords. Now optimize your other pages using supporting content. Repurpose your content, including infographics and videos, to show that your site is diverse and is a well-rounded resource for your keyword targets.
Schema For more technical-oriented site owners, incorporate Schema. Without schema, when a search engine crawls a page it assumes what the content is about, what your address is, phone number, etc. Schema adds little snippets of code that declare a phone number is a phone number, a product is a product, etc. to definitively tell search engines what your business is about.
If you are using WordPress, you can also use plugins to improve your website’s load time and content crawlability. Install these plugins for a quick boost:
Yoast SEO: Yoast will improve title tags, meta descriptions, and site crawlability by adding features like XML sitemaps. This will help search engines more easily find your content and better understand it.
W3 Total Cache: W3 Total Cache will improve your site’s page load time by allowing you to enable/customize caching for browsers, pages, databases, and more. This helps improve your page speed by serving a snapshot of the page that WordPress has pre-loaded instead of having to truly load the page from scratch when each new user visits.
Smush: You need images to make your site look nice, but images add to page load times. Smush will improve image load times to increase the overall load time of your website’s pages.
The reality is, SEO is hard—and it’s about quality, not quantity. If you’re expecting easy or fast results, you’re bound to fail before you even start.
Likewise, it’s a lot to take on so don’t hesitate to outsource to an agency or hire virtual assistants. The right SEO company won’t be cheap, but a cheap agency won’t be good. At the end of the day, you either put in the time or you pay someone to put in the time for you.
Top rankings don’t happen overnight, but don’t get discouraged. With ingenuity, time, hard work, and patience, you can ascend the SEO ranking ladder, attract more customers and drive more sales.