Almost every small business client I talk to wants to see their site optimized to get more traffic from search engines. After adding every keyword they can think of via their site’s content management system, their site is still deep in the search rankings.
They wonder what secret SEO tricks they must be missing.
Here is what you need to understand about search engine optimization in 2016: The primary goal of all good search engines is to get users to the content they want. And they are getting very good at achieving that goal.
In other words, content is king. If your content is not what Google thinks users want, you are fighting an uphill battle when it comes to SEO.
So instead of wasting your time trying to crack the formula (or paying thousands to an “expert” that promises to get you on the front page), focus on making your content relevant, updated, and logically organized.
It’s not everything, but if you have quality content, then you’ve already done the hard part.
Next, here are four quick tips to help Google connect you with the right audience:
Decide on what search keywords you want to be ranked for.
If you’re trying to rise in the rankings in an industry with lots of competition, specificity is your friend. In other words, instead of “lawyer,” a firm might get more traction with “Philadelphia workers comp lawyer.” Use this tool to get some ideas, or the Google Keyword Planner.
Use this keyword in your content.
Use it in the main heading of your page, in addition to the body text and/or a subheading. Don’t overuse it–you don’t want your content to sound spammy. But if you use it in a natural way, Google will be more likely to assume your page is what users want when they search for that keyword.
Make sure Google can read your page.
Google’s bots can’t interpret the content of images, videos, Flash files, etc. So even if your site prominently features your keyword in a banner image at the top of the homepage, search engines don’t see it. Use this tool to check what your site looks like to Google. It won’t be pretty but it should be coherent and logically organized.
Write a blog.
Blog posts are a great way to rank for additional keywords. If your audience finds them useful, they might share them on social media or their own websites. Google interprets these backlinks to mean that your content is popular.
You don’t need to be an SEO guru to improve your site’s rankings. You’ll get the biggest impact from ensuring that your website has quality content that is targeted at your primary audience.
More SEO Resources:
Once you have good content that is targeted at your audience, there are many ways a site can be further optimized for search engines. Just make sure you have that content first, otherwise you’ll waste your time.
If you want to dig deeper into this, here is a great guide from Moz to get you started: