What is SEO?
SEO is Search Engine Optimization. There are many factors that Google and other search engines use to rank your site. Optimizing your site is the process of making sure you have what the search engines are looking for. The more points you hit, the better your rank.
Quick, Easy, Cheap?
These are words that should not be associated with SEO. In fact, if someone tells you that they can guarantee that you rank #1 on Google, quickly and cheaply – I’d run away. Fast.
There is NO quick, easy and definitely no cheap way to rank #1. (There is paid search, a.k.a. pay-per-click advertising, but this is a separate beast, best done by a professional.)
That being said, in this guide, we’ll cover the quickest, easiest, cheapest way to get started on your SEO.
With a new website, you will not rank #1 immediately, but it’s important to get started on your SEO, so that you can build on it later. SEO is an ongoing process, not “set it and forget it.”
Step 1: Google My Business
“Google My Business” is Google’s local (address-based) search directory.
Adding your business will put you on the map, which shows above the organic search results for local searches.
Here’s what you’ll need to do for the listing:
- Choose the correct categories for your business
- Upload a high-resolution profile image and cover photo
- Add a local phone number to your listing
- Add your business address (making your street address visible to the public is optional)
- Add your hours
- Add additional photos of your work or offices
Get started here: https://www.google.com/business/
Step 2: On-Page SEO
On-Page SEO is exactly what it sounds like. It’s text you’ll add to each of your pages in select places so that the search engines can find it.
What to add: You’ll want to add the following to every page of your site.
- Your city or region
- A relevant keyword/phrase
- NAP – Name, Address, Phone Number (place this on the footer of your site)
Where to add it: If you’re using WordPress, updating your Title and Description can can be done with an SEO plugin. We like Yoast SEO for this because it’s easy to use and has a bunch of other great features.
For each page, choose a keyword phrase that you’d like to optimize for (ex. wedding photography eugene oregon).
Title & Description
The title is the blue link that people click on in Google’s search results (see image above). The description is the text below that. Google likes you have a unique title and description for each page. These should be informative and entice the visitor to click on your page.
- In the Text on Your Page
Make sure that you have included the keyword phrase that you are focusing on for each page, in the text of the page. DO NOT spam the page with excessive use of the keywords. This can hurt your ranking.
- Image ALT Attribute & H1 Tag
This is a little more advanced, but adding your keywords to your page headings and to the alt attributes on your images is also very helpful.
If you have time, but no real budget, these are things you can do on your own.
If you have a small budget to start with and would rather spend your time building your business in other ways, contact us and we can take care of it for you.
- SEO Keyword Basics
- Crafting a good page title for SEO
- Getting Reviews the Right Way for Local Businesses