10 Steps To Start Ranking Today!
If you do these 10 things, you’ll get a head start on your SEO before you hire a search engine optimization company. Using these items, you can start today without a big fancy, full-time marketing team on your staff.
Chances are your online competitors are already doing many of these items. SEO is not hard – just time consuming. But if you’re serious about getting ranked on page 1 on Google and search engines, you need to start taking these items seriously.
Don't think you're going to get easy answers in this top 10 list - some are quick and some are time consuming but, as a whole, these will surely boost you above your competitors (as long as they aren't doing serious SEO). These steps can be done simultaneously.
1. Fill Out Google My Business Page
The best 20 minutes you can spend on marketing your business. If you have all the content ready to go, (including 12 pictures, a logo, and background picture) this should take you 20 minutes to fill out your Google My Business Page.
Benefits of Google My Business:
- Influence Google: Hours, Pictures, Address, and More
- Accurate GPS when using Google Maps on Phones
- Advantage over Competitors
- Eligible for Local Pack Results & Knowledge Graph
- Promote with the full force of Google Power on GMB
2. Add Page Content & Blog
(2-6 hours per blog/page including posting & optimizing correctly)
If you don’t have a blog or news section right now, add one. Every industry can use a blog, no matter how obscure. Generate blog ideas. Add stock photography or original photography, just make sure it’s legal to use. Make sure to optimize your blog. Blog a minimum of once per month but it is recommended to blog once per week. However, if your competitor is blogging more often than you, then blog more often than them. Write high quality articles, 300-600 words minimum with at least 2 optimized pictures and, if possible, add a video or infographic.
TIP: You don’t always have to start from scratch. In fact, updating old blogs and re-releasing them will keep articles fresh so more people online will want to link to your website. No one wants to link to old, outdated articles.
Add Page Content (Text)
Add a minimum of 300-600 words for each one of your service or product pages. Add more than 600 if your competition has lengthier pages. Add 1500 words on the homepage. You may think this looks cluttered but you can break up the text with pictures, borders, white space, bullet points, videos, call to action forms, and more. For ideas, Google your competitors and read their pages or use answerthepublic.com or use questions that your customers frequently ask you over the phone or in person. Include the keyword in the 1st paragraph and throughout the page but do not keyword stuff by adding it too many times (more than 3% of the copy).
3. Download Yoast & Fill Out Meta Data
(15 minutes per page)
If you don’t know what meta data is, it’s what you look at every time you Google something. Yes, you can actually write that blue underlined title and description for each web page on your site. Fill out the following using this article on meta data and make it convincing so your result is clicked:
- Meta Title
- Meta Description
- Meta Keyword
4. FAQs On Every Page
(5-10 Minutes Per Day)
After you have made perfect pages with the right amount of text, pictures, videos, and more, you’re not in the clear. Google will penalize static pages that don’t change year after year. Therefore, you need to add or change each product or service page. An easy way to do this: Add a new picture every 6 months to a year at a minimum. Add new text by answering frequently asked questions daily or weekly.
Use answerthepublic.com to generate FAQ questions or get the questions from your customers. Then, write a short paragraph or bullet points for each question. Have an intern or the front desk answer these questions and post them on your website once per week and rotate which pages they do. There’s no limit on how often you post. The more content the better. You can always update old content.
5. Collect Testimonials and Reviews
(3 Minutes Per Review)
When you have a happy customers, get either a review on Google My Business (using Google Maps on their phone), a Facebook review, or a written testimonial if they don’t have a smartphone. Reviews account for 8% of the reason why you rank on online. Social media accounts for about 5%.
4 Types of Review To Get:
- Google My Business (via Google Maps)
- Facebook Reviews
- Testimonials (hard copy)
- Industry Reviews (Angie’s List, UrbanSpoon, etc.)
You can get reviews through:
- E-mail signatures
- Social shares
- In person on the phone
- Review parties
- Exchange with other businesses you’ve worked with
- 3rd party contractors who have worked with you
- Events you throw
- Networking meetings with people you’ve worked with
- Review Postcards handed out in person
- Calling happy former customers over the phone
Here’s how to most effectively get reviews from customers in 3 minutes.
6. Add 2 Pictures Per Page
(20-30 minutes per picture including optimization)
If you don’t already have 2 pictures per page, add them. Both stock photos and photos that you take are legal to use. Make sure to optimize the pictures by renaming the file name to include the keyword and rename the alt tag LINK HERE to also include the keyword. These 2 names cannot be the same and the alt tag must be written for humans. The alt tag is important because it allows Google to read the picture.
The picture has to be high quality and be a good representation of your business. For example, a doctor’s office should have a picture of smiling staff or patients that are enthusiastic and happy not a dark, dull front room with clutter and the front desk looking down at the desk with the business name blocked in the picture. Resize the picture accordingly. A picture too large (in file size) will slow down your website and you can get huge penalties from Google. Here's where to find free images.
7. Create 1 Video Per Page
You don’t have to hire a professional videographer to hit the minimum requirement for your website. A simple powerpoint turned into a video with a click of a button is easy. Just add voiceover and a music track and you’re good to go. There are also many easy video programs out there you can learn today. If all else fails, make a simple slideshow with music or text on the screen using a plugin.
8. Create Great Contact Information
Be visible. If someone gets to your website and wants to buy (or do the action you want them to do) then you have to have your contact information ready to go! Nothing is more frustrating than going to a website and not having any idea how to contact them or spending too much time finding the contact info. Make your phone number and e-mail available in the header, footer, and contact page of your site. Also make the call to action visible on all your pages. Make it very, very clear.
3 Places for Contact Info:
- Contact Page
- Header Contact
- Footer Contact
Elements of a Great Contact Page:
- Simple Contact Form: Name, E-Mail, Message
- Optimized Picture
- Hours of Operation
- E-Mail address contact written as an alternative Option to form ex: [email protected]
- Interactive Google Map
- Driving Directions written out from multiple surrounding areas
Option for a longer contact form if necessary ex: free quote with more fields or resume
9. Call To Action
Make sure you have a small form on every page that describes the action you want your customers to take. There are many plugins and widgets you can use to add a simple contact form. Make sure it is connected to an e-mail address that you check often.
Examples of Call To Action Forms Include:
- Free quote
- E-Mail List
- Free Download
- Buy Now
- Contact Us
- Donate Now
- Volunteer Today
- Pre Order
Make the form as simple as possible. Remember, you want people to contact you without being intimidated by the form.
- Phone number
- Drop down menu for a subject
- Date range for an appointment
- Industry specific items
10. Social Media
(5 minutes per day)
Choose only 1 social media platform. We recommend Twitter, Google My Business, or Facebook to get the best return on your social SEO. Link it to your website using icons in the top right corner in the header or in the footer of your page. Post a minimum of once per week and preferably once per day on the social network of your choice.
Best Social Media for SEO:
- Google My Business
We recommend adding a picture or video to every post. Get good at 1 social media platform then add them in 1 by 1 instead of signing up for all of them. This will ensure you are active on your social media platforms.
- promote a blog you wrote on your website
- share a picture that evokes an emotion
- announce a new product
- add an inspirational quote
- offer discounts and coupons
- or anything you want your followers to know
TIP: You can write all your posts in 1 day and set them to post throughout the month using many social media compatible programs.