There are thousands upon thousands of SEO and internet marketing companies out there just waiting to bleed your marketing budget dry. In this article we’re going to look at five easy ways in which you can tweak and improve your website in the hope of increasing the amount of SEO traffic that it receives. SEO companies wouldn’t bat an eyelid at charging you hundreds of dollars to complete these five easy tweaks – so save your business’ marketing budget and do them yourself!
- Generate a sitemap & add your site to webmaster tools: A sitemap tells search engines exactly what pages are on your website. Typically the bigger a site the better (obviously different factors can affect this generalization). It’s hard for search engines to know exactly what pages are on your website unless you spell it out for them – so for that reason a sitemap is extremely important. Most popular content management systems have simple sitemap plugins that generate a sitemap for search engines. Once you’ve generated a sitemap simply add it to Bing and Google Webmaster Tools so that your pages are crawled. You may find that most of your site wasn’t indexed previously – a sitemap is essential if you want as many pages as possible on your website to be indexed.
- META descriptions: It’s important to write a short, unique META description for every single page on your website. META descriptions are the short blocks of text that show up in search engine results below the main page title link. You can dramatically increase the click-through rates you see with organic traffic by adding “calls to actions” to your META info. Things like “find low prices here”, “place your order with us now”, “free postage” and so on. They’ll all entice people to click through to your site. If you don’t bother entering META data the search engines will just use a block of text off your page – often this won’t make much sense and it could mean you see a very low click-through rate.
- Ensure your website is full of unique content: Amazing websites don’t just spring up overnight. They take many months and years to procure and establish. Think of each page on your website as a brick or a building block. Each brick needs to be of the highest quality – one faulty brick and the rest could come tumbling down. The same is true for websites: Publish just one page of rubbish content and your entire site could suffer. Make sure your website is full of high quality, unique content on every page. The search engines will love your site for it! Your content should also be optimized for search engines if you’re targeting particularly competitive keywords (these SEO writing guidelines have been drawn up by experienced writers, they really work!).
- Add content little and often: The secret to running a successful website is to add fresh, unique content on a regular basis. We’re not talking about publishing thousands of new pages each day – but publishing a short blog post every couple of days is always a good idea. Blogs are a great way to add content to even the most static website – there’s absolutely no excuse for not keeping your website up to date! If you don’t fancy publishing blog posts, why not add an extended FAQ section addressing common questions your customers pose? If you think outside of the box there are lots of ways in which you can add quality, unique content to your website on a regular basis.
- Link out to authority websites: Virtually every webmaster has hit a point where they’ve used a word of phrase that really ought to be explained. You can do things the long way by explaining it yourself, or you can find a relevant explanation on a third party website and link out to it. This is a good option to take because it saves you time, and it also establishes relevancy. Believe it or not, it’s not all about inbound links to your sites – search engines also pay close attention to outbound links too. Don’t be too liberal with outbound links but do pay authority sites in your niche the compliment of linking to them if their content warrants a link or two.
Of course SEO isn’t straightforward a lot of the time and implementing the above tips might not propel your site to the top spot in finance or insurance related niches. That said, small businesses operating locally or in relatively uncompetitive niches can see huge surges in traffic, just by implementing the above. Leads are very costly when generated by PPC, so why leave money on the table? Make the most of your website and make the most of free organic traffic from search engines – optimize your site and they’ll give you what you want. Don’t pay an SEO company to do the above tweaks – they’ll charge you a lot of money. Implementing the above advice shouldn’t take long at all, and it’ll save money from your precious marketing budget that you can spend on other forms of marketing that you can’t execute yourself.