The goal of search engine optimization (SEO) is to make your website visible to crawlers. Once they have detected your web pages, these small robots are responsible for inspecting the information contained in them and ranking them according to their relevancy level in the search engine index. SEO is a science that is constantly evolving, so search engine optimization is not a one-off strategy, it's an ongoing strategy. In order to obtain optimal results and not finish last in the race against your competitors, the constant monitoring and maintenance of your website are essential.
To help you improve your site's optimization, here are four important SEO strategies to put in place:
Analysis of your website, competitors and target audience
- The analysis of your website. Run an analysis of your site, meta-descriptions, title tags, header tags, keywords and texts to assess your situation and identify glaring errors. To better understand this task, read: The 2020 Search Engine Optimization Guide, and request a free SEO audit of your website.
- Identify your main keyword. Start by identifying the main keyword that identifies your business and make a list of the terms that your target audience is searching for in your industry. To choose the right keyword, compare the keywords that receive the most traffic and ask yourself the right questions. For example, what would you search for on Google to find your website or a web page of your business (without using the company name of course)? Then ask the same question to your customers and friends. Do not be too generic. The keyword "Best Poutine In Quebec" is much more appropriate for a small restaurant than "Poutine". You can create a free Google Adwords account and use the Keyword Planner tool to help you identify relevant keywords. Ubersuggest is also a great tool, which does a good job at no cost.
- Make a competitive analysis. To determine if your SEO strategy works well, be sure to do an analysis of the current keywords on your site and that of your competitors. Then, compare your current SEO ranking with that of your competitors' websites. Select the top five results that come up on Google for the most important keyword. Then, do a study of these 5 pages. How many words do they contain? What are the H1s and other header tags? Where is the main keyword located? Which secondary words are used to support the main keyword? The PageOptimizerPro tool offers you a free trial that will help you complete your competitive analysis and make improvements on your site.
Research and development of keywords
- Analysis of keywords. From the first list you have created, now identify a targeted list of new keywords. It can be a single word, a sentence or a question. Use your list to determine the traffic associated with each keyword and the number of websites competing for each one. You must create a page for each keyword (and its close synonyms). Don’t try to put several keywords of importance on the same page.
Tip 💡: Since users are humans, the keywords to consider may be expressions, singular or plural words and may also contain spelling mistakes. You should know that if users often search for a misspelled keyword, you will need to identify it and use it.
- Analysis of your ranking. You need to understand your current ranking in order to put in place a strategy that will allow you to climb your way up the search engine results. To do this, you can use an Excel file and write down your results on a weekly basis. To determine your actual ranking, do your search with the incognito mode on your browser, otherwise, Google will first show you the list of sites that you visited in the past, which will distort your data. If your strategy works well, you will see an increase in traffic to your website. Be patient, Google can take several weeks to adjust rankings.
To know 📒: Traffic is a key indicator of your evolution. Some SEO experts will say that ranking is less important than traffic and conversions, but it's still a great indicator of your performance.
- Set goals and objectives. Make sure you determine your goals in advance so that you can calculate your return on investment. Start simple, but don’t neglect this step. For example, you can set a goal of doubling your website traffic from 150 visitors per day to 300 over a six-month period. You can also improve your current conversion rate from 2% to 3% over a certain period of time.
Content optimization and web page submission
- Create title tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.). Keyword-based titles help define the theme of your page and divide it into sections, which makes it easier for users to read.
- Create meta-descriptions. Meta-descriptions can affect clicks, but they will not have a direct influence on your ranking.
- Place strategic search phrases on your web pages. Include your keywords in the source code of your website as well as in the content of the pages of your site. Create quality content on new pages to include the rest of your keyword list.
To Know 📒: Write your texts by considering the words associated with the keywords (so-called keyword variations) in your content. For example, if your main keyword is "home chef", use variations such as "home cook" and "private chef" in your content. This will allow search engines to more easily understand the content of your page. Many tests show that pages that contain 800 to 2,000 words outperform pages that have less content.
- Create new sitemaps. The sitemap is a file that contains the list of all the pages of a website. Sitemap files make it easy for search engines to discover and analyze web pages. In order to succeed in your SEO strategy, be sure to submit your web pages to Google and Bing for indexing. To do this, use the Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools. Create two versions of your sitemap, one XML and the other HTML. The HTML version is the first step.
- Submit your website to directories. It's a quick and easy way to get links to your site in a natural way. These links will allow your site to be indexed by the search engines. You can send your URL to directories such as Yellow Pages, My Index, etc.
Tests and continuous analysis
- Test and measure. Analyze your search engine ranking, web traffic, and keyword performance to determine the effectiveness of your digital marketing strategy. Test the results of your changes and modifications and keep track of how your performance evolves in an Excel spreadsheet.
- Frequently add and edit keywords and content. This will improve your search engine ranking and help maintain stable growth. Also, be sure to review your link strategy and verify that incoming and outgoing links are relevant to your business. Creating a blog will provide you with the structure you need to add the necessary content. Make sure to publish new content each month, always keeping a new keyword in mind.
Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.