It’s important to mention one thing right off the bat: SEO is not easy.
There is simply no fast, quick and cheap way to move your website up the search engine rankings. High-authority websites like Wikipedia dominate question-based searches, whereas it is almost impossible to beat retail giants like Amazon in any sort of product search.
The best way to see results with your website is ongoing, consistent, well-strategized SEO work. However, there are a few common things that can be quickly fixed and start you on a great path toward search-engine success.
Use Alt Tags
Raventools, a marketing-automation platform, estimates that 78 percent of all issues its site-audit tool has collected since 2013 were image-related. And of that 78 percent of image-related issues, almost 25 percent had to do with missing alt attributes.
Alt tags serve many purposes - they are helpful for the visually impaired web user, they help Google figure out what the picture is and they can make your pictures more likely to come up in Google Images searches. However, it is obvious that many webmasters are simply not utilizing them. Alt tags should be a brief but descriptive summation of the image, using relevant keywords. Imagine you were verbally describing the picture to someone - what would you say?
When deciding on a heading tag, you have to take into account both design and SEO. Your H1 tag is the most important tag on your homepage from an SEO standpoint. It is also often the first piece of text someone will notice on your site. This means you have to weigh your need for compelling copy (i.e., “We make magic happen.”) with your need to indicate to search engines what your product is (i.e., “Child princess gowns and tiaras sold here.”)
This balance is one you will have to determine internally, but the biggest mistake you can make is to ignore heading tags entirely. Check out your website to be sure your H1s and H2s are being utilized.
Get to Know Google Webmaster
This is less of a fix and more of a tip for you: Become familiar with Google Search Console, Google’s free service to check the indexing of your website. We have had so many conversations with web owners who are confused because they aren’t ranking for their business name, or a new website seems to have caused a drop in rankings.
A quick check to the Google Search Console often shows that Google hasn’t even found their website yet. This can often help you understand what you are seeing in search results. You can also ask Google to crawl and “fetch” your URLs, hopefully encouraging the Google bots to index your pages faster.
Add Page Titles and Meta Descriptions
People sometimes devalue page titles and meta descriptions, because they will not directly affect your ranking results. It’s true that you may not be able to bump up your Google rankings by stuffing your description full of keywords. However, it’s been shown that having accurate meta descriptions can increase your click-through rate from search engine results by more than 20 percent!
Think of meta descriptions and title tags as a sales pitch. You’re explaining to the user why he or she should choose your website over all the other websites in the search results. It should be persuasive and fact-based and include important information like your company name or business location.