If you’re interested in the world of digital marketing, you’ve likely heard the phrase “SEO” more times than you can count. But when it comes time to actually improve your website’s SEO (search engine optimization), most people have no idea where to start. To help make the process of improving your SEO a little bit easier, we’ve come up with this list of 4 easy SEO tips that will transform the way people see you online.
1. Claim and update your Google My Business Profile
If you’re anything like almost 90% of agents, people who search for your name or your business will likely be met with a nearly empty screen that looks like this:
Here’s another search query, this time with a Google Business Profile highlighted on the right-hand side of the page:
Simply put, a Google Business Profile is one of the most valuable tools available to most agents. Google Business Profiles showcase reviews of you and your business, your contact information, and details about your business. Your profile can also show up when people search for things like “homes for sale near me” or “real estate agents near me.”
It’s important to remember that Google does need to verify every business’s profile, which starts with confirming the address listed is accurate. This process involves a postcard mailing and could take up to two weeks, and then you can start editing and updating your profile.
Pro SEO tip: Don’t make the rookie mistake of verifying your profile and never touching it again. Once you’re live, you’ll need to keep posting and getting reviews regularly to make the most of that SEO benefit.
2. Use strong links to reputable sources
Google takes links very seriously, so it’s important to ensure that each and every link you place on your website has intention behind it. Whether you’re writing a new blog post or adding a link to your home page, make sure that every website you’re linking to is reputable. Google uses something called the Hilltop algorithm as part of its proprietary ranking system, and Hilltop rewards website owners who link to reputable sources by boosting their position on the Search Engine Results Page.
Don’t throw links on your website just for the sake of it, though: Google can tell if you’re stuffing links into your content just for the sake of ranking, and you’ll be punished accordingly with lower rankings.
3. Do your (keyword) research
If you’ve spent any time marketing yourself or your business, you’ve likely seen just how important keywords are to a cohesive SEO strategy. That leaves just one question: How do you figure out which keywords are important?
The answer? Keyword research.
Using a free tool like Keywords Everywhere, you can begin the process of selecting keywords to incorporate into your content. With this browser plug in, you can see search volume and overall competition for any word or phrase you plug into Google.
This necessitates a trial and error approach to keyword research, but by breaking your research down into manageable chunks, you can gradually start to optimize your content around keywords that make sense for you and your business.
Pro SEO tip: When you’re looking for keywords, keep an eye out for:
- High volume – More than 1,000 searches/month is ideal, but the more monthly searches for a given keyword, the more visible content centered around that keyword will be.
- Low CPC – CPC (cost per click) is a metric reserved for paid search ads, but in general, higher CPCs mean advertisers find that keyword especially useful.
- Low competition – Another metric usually reserved for paid ads, SEO-savvy agents can use competition to focus their keyword search. The closer to “1” your keyword is, the more competition there is for that keyword among advertisers. As a general rule, search for keywords with high volume and low competition.
4. Create readable, relevant content
The idea of “great content” isn’t easy to quantify, but at the end of the day, great content (as determined by Google) is one of the largest driving factors in any website’s SEO ranking.
There are several factors that contribute to making a piece of great SEO content. First and foremost, it’s imperative that your content is relevant to your business and your audience. An article about growing flowers might be a great, semi-sneaky opportunity to include some high-volume keywords on your website, but Google is smarter than you think.
Content that’s not relevant to your business or your audience will be seen as a knock on your credibility, lowering your ranking and hurting your overall SEO efforts. Your content should be more than just relevant, though: It should provide readers with some kind of value or knowledge they wouldn’t have encountered otherwise.
Once you’ve brainstormed and identified what your next piece of content will be about, you can start incorporating keywords. “Keywords” is actually a little bit misleading: You should be focusing on a single keyword (or keyword phrase) per piece of content you write. This will help you hone your content while ensuring that you’re not stuffing your article with too many irrelevant keywords.
Don’t “over-optimize” for your chosen keyword, either: Google can tell when you’re using a keyword too many times in the same piece of content, and your credibility and overall SEO efforts will suffer for it.
Finally, make sure your content is free of typos, grammatical errors, and any other flaws. This may seem like a no-brainer, but clean content is more readable for your users and Google’s crawlers alike.