Lower Your Overhead Costs on Marketing by Learning SEO Yourself

When you think of SEO, what do you think of? Complex technical jargon? A list of rules you don’t know how to follow?

Search engine optimization may seem complicated, but it’s not as hard to learn as you might think. In fact, even a basic knowledge of SEO can help you get your business ranked on the first page of Google.

No way, you might be saying. It would take me years to learn enough about SEO to do that.

Well, think again! If you built and maintain your own website, you actually know a little more about SEO than you might realize. And with a little more education and training, you can improve your website’s optimization and get the results you want while saving money on marketing.

Let’s take a look at some basic concepts you’ll need to know to optimize your website.

Understand exactly what your prospects are looking for

You shouldn’t invest any time in SEO until you have a clear understanding of what your potential customers are looking for. Brainstorm keywords and phrases that someone searching for your services might type into Google. You can even ask previous customers how they found you online.

Once you have your list of potential keywords, start typing them into Google. Pay attention to the autofill suggestions and add any of those phrases you hadn’t thought of to your list.

You can add even more keywords to your list by typing a phrase into Google and adding each letter of the alphabet after it in turn. For example, if one of your keywords is dallas newborn photographer, type the letter “A” after that phrase and see what suggestions come up. Repeat with each letter of the alphabet, and you’ll have an even longer list of keywords.

Create pages optimized for search

Keyword research is only the first step. Once you have your list of words and phrases your prospects are searching for, it’s time to start building out pages on your site that are optimized for your top keywords.

When optimizing pages on your site, don’t think only of search engine bots. Think of the human users that visit your site. Start with making sure your user experience is positive and that every part of your site is functional and easy to use.

Next, you want to put together content based on the keywords users are searching. This content should align with searcher intent.

Want to dive deeper on what searcher intent is and how it works? Check out our blog post here.

Use short, descriptive URLs

The web address of your page lets search engines know what content is on the page and what information users can expect to find. Avoid using generic URLs that feature numbers and instead create a URL that describes the page. For example, if your page is about newborn photography, keep it simple with yourwebsite.com/newborn-photography. And don’t forget to use dashes to separate words.

Put work into your meta titles and descriptions

Search engines show both meta titles and meta descriptions in search results to let users know exactly what the page is about. Your meta title tag doesn’t appear on your page but serves as the title in search results and in the browser tab. This makes the title tag a great opportunity to include a keyword you want the page to rank for and compel users to click on your site.

Your meta description should also be compelling enough to encourage users to click, while also providing a clear summary of the content on the page.

Optimize your images

Images are essential for making your website visually interest, but search engines have a hard time understanding what images feature. That’s why it’s essential to add alt tags to your images. These tags describe what is in the image and let search engine bots know how the image relates to the content on the page.

Ensure your website loads quickly

Speed is important to both search engines and human users. Your visitors are more likely to leave your site if it takes more than few seconds to load. You can use tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights or GTMetrix to check your page speed and get suggestions on how you can improve it.

Make sure your site is mobile-friendly

Over half of searches are performed on a mobile device instead of a desktop. As more and more users transition to using their phone or table for internet browsing, it’s critical to make sure your website is fully functional and easy to use on mobile. Search engines like Google also consider your site’s mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor.