Mar. 31, 2014
So, what is SEO exactly? Search engine optimization (SEO) is a set of actions you can take to help boost the ranking of your website in “organic search” or “free search” results.
Good SEO practices are the best (and virtually free!) way to get your brand in front of new customers.
One of the key changes in search over the last few years has been the inclusion of popularity and relevance signals in search result rankings. Popularity signals come from the quality and quantity of links to your website and the context in which they are shared. Relevance signals come from the context of keywords on your website related to your location and your business.
MAKE WEBSITE CONTENT RELEVANT
When you think of your website design, what information do you think your customers are most interested in? While it’s okay to “set it and forget it” with evergreen content like your address and hours, everything else should be updated on an ongoing basis.
Example: The Crocodile prominently features their logo, upcoming events, and other key info
Address: Make sure your physical address is written in text so that search engines can read it and customers can easily access it using their favorite maps app. Include a website page with a map and directions.
Hours of operation: This is one of the most common search queries for a venue. Make your hours of operation easy for customers to find.
Contact info: Let people know how to reach you via phone or email.
About page: Tell your customers who you are and what makes you special. Use keywords, phrases, and a tone that reflect your brand. Consider adding content about your team, your values, and the services you offer.
Email signup form: Include a prominent email newsletter signup form on every page of your website.
Social media: Make it easy for customers to follow your brand on social media with
actions like Facebook Like or Twitter Follow buttons.
Use Links Wisely
Links create a web of authority that knits together your marketing channels. This lets you dominate your search results page with your channels when people look for your business.
Links to social media: On your site, include icons and links to any of your active social media channels. Be sure to link from those channels to your website. Plan to regularly update your site as channels grow or die.
Links to review sites: Include links to location marketing sites like Yelp, Foursquare, and Google+ and ask customers to review your business. Include links to partner businesses that you may own or that may provide you services like Ticketfly.
Example: The Crocodile links to media partners The Stranger and KEXP.
Create Content with Context
Make content accurate and unique: When editing and writing content, use synonymous terms or keywords in a conversational context.
Consider the searcher: What do they want to know about your business? If customers ask you the same question over and over again, put the answer on your website! If underage folks keep showing up and you’re a 21+ establishment, be sure to clearly list your age policy.
Example: The Crocodile includes the phrase “Seattle’s best live music venue” and lists the music genres regularly featured
Keep Your Site Speedy
Add ALT text to images: Alternate text (a.k.a. an “ALT tag”) allows you to describe an image, so search engines can associate it with text used in searches. This simple action dramatically improves SEO performance. In WordPress, you just fill out a field after you upload an image; easy as pie!
Use optimized images: People love images, but loading them can slow down sites. Keep your load time fast by using images optimized for web display (at a resolution of 72 dpi, or “dots per inch”).
Example: When adding alt text for branding, include your business name and the word “logo” to come up in image search results
Take these simple actions and optimize: make website content relevant, use links wisely, create content with context, keep your site speedy. Ready, set, go!