SEO, or search engine optimization, is a widely discussed form of digital marketing. There are so many resources on how to make SEO work for your online business, yet very few which keep things easy to understand. Not with the Viridian Geeks SEO checklist.
We’ll show you exactly what you need to do for your site to help you get your business ranked higher in search results. We’ve broken down the process into terms you can understand. There’s no complicated technical mumbo jumbo to get bogged down with.
With that said, here are the ten ways you can get your business website ranked higher in search results. They are easy to have on your website without having to be a web development expert or have any knowledge of coding whatsoever!
1. Use the Yoast SEO plugin on WordPress
One of the reasons we recommend that every business serious about SEO has a site built on WordPress is many cool features make adding SEO superpowers to website pages that much easier. One of these features is the Yoast SEO plugin. It comes with all kinds of features to keep your website content both readable and friendly for search engines and site visitors. It will tell you practically everything you need to improve the on-page SEO of each page on your site, counting the number of times your keywords are mentioned in the text.
There’s also a readability feature which helps you keep your content easy to read for website visitors. If your content scores anywhere between a 60-70, you’re in the sweet spot for content readability. The easier your content is to read, the better your audience will understand you and stay on your site longer too.
2. Link to Other Pages on Your Site
When it makes sense, include links to other pages on your site. The point is to keep people on your site for as long as possible, so linking to other relevant pages and posts will improve a site visitor’s experience. Of course, you shouldn’t go overboard with all the links. Too many links will make your site look spammy and unfriendly.
You should also use compelling, descriptive call-to-actions which accurately describe what happens when someone clicks on the link. If you have a free PDF you want customers to download, just write something like “Download Your Free PDF” and add a link. You get the picture.
3. Keep Your Content Understandable
You’re not writing a dissertation for grad school or writing a peer-reviewed scientific study. Think about who you’re creating content for and who you want to reach. Oh yeah, just because you need to rank for keywords on Google does not mean you should use those keywords too much throughout your text. If you’re working on a new landing page about Taylor Swift’s hot, new album Reputation, you would use the phrase “Taylor Swift” in your content, but never have sentences like these in your content:
“Taylor Swift’s country music albums have thrilled Taylor Swift fans throughout the country, who love Taylor Swift’s music.”
It makes more sense to write naturally and include related keywords in your content. For the keyword Taylor Swift, you could also talk about “country music,” “pop,” “Billboard Top 100”, and “Spotify” as related keywords.
4. Create Convincing Website Meta Descriptions
Have no clue what a meta description is at all? That’s okay. Many of us who started out in SEO didn’t either. A meta description is a little snippet that shows up in Google’s search results for your website pages. Remember that 30-second elevator pitch from business school? That’s all a meta description is. It’s a chance for you to convince people to click on your website and provide reasons for doing so.
Now that Google has expanded the character limits for meta descriptions, it’s possible for you to fit more details about your business and include important information like phone number and sales emails. For example, you can now create meta descriptions that look like this:
“RoofRex Roofers is your #1 roofing company in Metro Atlanta, providing the best roof repair, roof replacement, and siding installation. To get a free quote, please call now at 555-555-555. Thank you!”
Disclaimer: Google recently changed the length of meta description snippets back to the smaller character count, but you can still create good meta descriptions that will get your audience to click on them. It’s just that there’s a more limited amount of space to work with, so we suggest talking about the most important selling points with a call-to-action at the end.
For the home page meta description, you should definitely have your phone number included somewhere in the meta description snippet as part of a call-to-action statement. These changes demonstrate how often SEO changes and why it’s important to keep your knowledge up to date.
Google is always experimenting with its algorithm and features. What might have worked 5-10 years ago for SEO may land you in huge trouble if you’re not careful.
5. Proofread and Check Your Spelling
Part of keeping your SEO content and copywriting materials readable is using proofreading tools like Grammarly to check for grammar and spelling. Typos in your content affect the user experience and can potentially count against you when Google’s search algorithm determines whether your landing pages are valuable enough to rank for the keywords you chose to target. You can write more informally with content for the web, but you still need to make sure you’re following conventional standards in grammar and spelling.
Sometimes, it also helps to read your content out loud to yourself as even the best grammar checking tools don’t catch everything. Share your SEO content with your team and have each person read what you wrote and see if they can also find typos and mistakes that might have been missed the first time. It always helps to have a fresh set of eyes besides your own look at what you produced.
6. Try a Skyscraper Blog Post
Skyscraper posts are one of the most important developments to happen in the SEO industry. In-depth skyscraper blog posts involve creating longform content with the intention of getting high-quality backlinks from authoritative sites. Rather than create a regular stream of blog posts, you can pour more of your energy into one or two link-worthy bits of content with at least 1000-2000 words.
The best ways to create a skyscraper blog post is to have your content focused on creating something better than what your competition is currently offering. If your competitors are all publishing super short blog posts, then you should be focusing on making your posts much longer than theirs. You can also take existing content you already have on your website and enhance it by making it much longer and more thorough.
Add more descriptions to any bullet point lists you might have in your content. The point is to make your content more rich and valuable, so you can then have authoritative websites link back to your post. You solve a lot of the challenge of reaching out to these sources when you’ve already taken the time to create something truly worth sharing on the blogosphere and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
7. Optimize Your Website for Speed
SEO is not just about content marketing. There’s another component to it where you can also optimize your website pages to load faster. One of the common mistakes we see business owners make with their website is not compressing the images and files they upload to WordPress.
If many of the files on your site exceed 1 MB, pages on your site will load slower and the bounce rate, or the percentage of people who decide to leave your site after looking at one page, increases, minimizing any positives you could have gained from SEO. You should have an experienced web design or web development professional help you out with improving the speed of your website. The faster your site loads, the more likely site visitors will have a good experience.
8. Use Keyword Research
In SEO, keyword research is a lot like competitor analysis. You’re looking at what keywords your competitors rank for using tools like SEMRush, Spyfu, and Google Keyword Planner. You can also look at which keywords are bringing your competitors the most traffic and then use Google Trends to also determine how popular the keywords are. If you are in a local market, it’s also important to find keywords people use to find your business in the area. If you own an e-commerce shoe boutique in Suwanee, GA, you might want to look into targeting a local SEO keyword like Suwannee shoe boutique in addition to other keywords you want to focus on for on-page and off-page SEO.
9. Add Descriptive Alt Text to Your Images
Search engines can crawl through your site and “see” your images better when there’s descriptive alt text. When your site’s images have alt text, you’re also improving the user experience for the visually impaired. You can also add keywords to your alt-text when appropriate to improve your on-page SEO further. To write a good alt-text description, keep it less than 125 characters and be as specific as possible when describing each image. Like with everything else in SEO, avoid keyword stuffing and keep your alt text as readable to both search engines and people.
10. Keep Your Title Tags Compelling
A title tag can make or break your click-through-rates in search results. Keep your title tags as interesting as possible while finding creative ways to add your target keywords in them. For blog posts, instead of going with bland titles like “SEO Checklist,” try titles like these:
- The Ultimate WordPress SEO Checklist – Watch Your Traffic Soar to the Stars
- 10-Point SEO Checklist for Businesses and Companies
- Increase Your Traffic: 10 Easy SEO Checklist Tips to Use Now
These titles are more descriptive and describe your content better. Remember, there are tons of competitors in your industry trying to rank for the same keywords. You can give yourself an advantage by adding some style to your title tags to get more people to click on your website.
Now It’s Your Turn
It’s your turn now! We recommend you try some of these methods on your own first. If you have any trouble, please give our team at Viridian Geeks a call at (470)-440-3434, and we’ll give you a free consultation and website audit. We’re changing the way SEO is done for business owners by making the process much simpler, straightforward, and more in line with what you want to accomplish for your business.