The best kind of website traffic is free organic traffic from search engines. Sadly, though, Google never sends quite as much traffic as you might like. Every industry has plenty of competition, and your competitors are doing everything they can to outrank you on search engines.

You know that SEO is important — but you’re busy. You’ve got a business to run, errands to complete and a family that needs you. You don’t have hours of free time to spend tinkering with your website every day. If you don’t have as much time to work on your website as you’d like, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’re going to discuss five simple, actionable tips that you can use to improve your website’s SEO right now. Let’s get started.

Research Keywords to Find Great Content Ideas

Google’s primary purpose is to answer text queries by suggesting text content to users. The words that people type when searching are called keywords and keyword phrases. If more potential search keywords appear in your website’s text, your website has more opportunities to appear on Google’s search results pages. The best thing that you can do to improve your website’s SEO, therefore, is to add more text. High-quality content always leads to traffic.

Are you having difficulty identifying potential article topics for your website? Ubersuggest is a free tool that finds keywords using Google Suggest. It can provide dozens of keyword suggestions from a single keyword that you enter. Copy the list of keywords and paste it into Google Keyword Planner to find out which keyword phrases generate the most search volume.

Optimize Your Posts and Pages to Make Their Meaning Clear

Google’s web crawler scans the source code of a page to ascertain the page’s topic and meaning. Although using important keyword phrases in the body text of a page is the primary way of conveying a page’s meaning to Google, it isn’t the only way. Are you using tags such as <h2> to break up your content with subheadings that introduce ideas in your articles? The words in your subheadings are important. Use an article’s important keywords in its subheadings. An article’s primary keyword phrase should always appear within its meta title and <h1> subheading.

Images within your content can provide additional opportunities for keyword optimization. Every time you add an image to a page, make sure that the image’s file name and alt text contain important keywords for that page.

Join Google My Business to Give Google Your Vital Business Information

The holy grail for any business is to appear in the featured area at the top of Google’s local search results pages. Whether a business appears in the featured area depends on many factors including the authority level of the business’s website, the quantity of customer reviews and the number of local citations. One of the most important factors, though, is that Google must be absolutely certain about your business’s location and contact information. If Google provided incorrect contact information for businesses, after all, it would risk losing users. Joining Google My Business gives you an opportunity to provide the official record of where you are, what you do and how customers can reach you.

Claim Your Business on Every Social Media Property

Do you want Google to give your website a high ranking on a wide variety of different search results pages? You need to get Google’s algorithm to start thinking of your company as a legitimate brand that’s here to stay. One way to do that is by claiming your business’s name on every major social media platform. Social media profiles help to reinforce the value of your brand. You can also link to your website from most of your social media profiles.

Becoming active on social media may also help to influence your website’s search engine rankings. If followers engage with your content on social media, that may also provide a ranking boost — although opinions vary about the effect of social media engagement on website rankings. Some social media content isn’t available except to users who are logged in. If Google’s web crawler can’t see content, its algorithm can’t take that content into account when determining your website’s rankings. Google can see your website’s traffic sources, though, and Google can estimate how long people remain on your website before leaving. If your social media content results in an influx of highly engaged users, you’ll probably see a ranking boost.

Join Business Directories for Links and Local Citations

If you have a brick-and-mortar storefront, business directories are traffic sources that may potentially become even more vital to your business than Google. Yelp alone receives hundreds of millions of visitors per month — and it is only one of many business directories. People who search directories such as Yelp for companies like yours are potential customers who live in your neighborhood and are ready to spend money now. That’s the best kind of traffic that your website can possibly receive.

As valuable as human traffic is, acquiring that traffic isn’t the only reason why you should have profiles on as many business directories as possible. The second reason is that most business directory profiles will include links to your website. The more high-quality inbound links your website has, the better your search engine rankings will become. Some search engines even pull customer ratings and other information from business directories such as Yelp and TripAdvisor. If your company isn’t on those directories, listings for your business on search results pages will look incomplete.

The third reason why joining business directories is vital is because each business directory listing provides a citation for your company. A citation is a page that displays your business’s name, address and phone number. Remember what we said earlier about Google’s need to definitively ascertain a business’s contact information before that business can appear in the featured area on search results pages? Local citations confirm your business’s vital information to Google. The more citations your company has — and the more those citations agree with one another — the better your rankings will become on local search results pages.

Guest Post

This was a guest post from Joel House of Joel House Search Media. Joel runs a high-performing search media agency aimed at helping your business dominate your competition with high Google rankings. Check them out here, or follow them on Facebook.

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