Learn about what SEO is, why it matters, and the 7 first steps you need to take in order to optimize your business’s website to rank high.
Everybody wants their website to show up on the first page of Google. But not everyone knows how to make it happen, because they’re afraid of the big, bad, overwhelming concept that’s designed to help them get there: SEO.
Now, you’ve probably heard the term “SEO” thrown around before, but do you really know what it means? Or do your eyes just glaze over whenever the term is used?
If your answer is more of a shrug and an “um, I’m not sure…” then you’re in the right place! In this post, you’ll learn what SEO is, and how to implement SEO strategies to optimize your website and work your way to that top search result spot.
Whether you’re DIY-ing your wellness website or hiring a web designer, having a basic understanding of search engine optimization will make taking that step a little less scary — and who knows, maybe even fun!
First things first: what is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This mystery of a term refers to the process of maximizing the number of visitors a particular website gets, by ensuring that the site appears high enough on the list of results returned by a search engine.
Let’s break that down a bit.
Your goal as a business owner = more website traffic = get more clients.
And how do you get more clients? By increasing your visibility, and drawing your target audience to your website, where they’ll hopefully contact you about your services or purchase your product.
How do people find your website? Search engines like Google.
And do people often search all the way to the 42nd page of Google? Nope. They’ll likely browse through the options that are available to them on the first or second page of Google. This is why everyone competes for that coveted first-page rank.
If your website is optimized for search engines, you’ll be one of the lucky ones to show up when your target audience searches things like “hot yoga studio Miami” or “health coach for vegans.” But before we move on to the 7 steps you need to take to optimize your website, please note that SEO is a long-term game. These action items are stepping stones, not guarantees. A lot goes into creating a solid SEO strategy, and these 7 to-do list items are your building blocks.
7 SEO Tips to Optimize your Website for Search
Create engaging content for your audience
Optimize your images
Include keywords on every page
Keywords are the foundation of SEO. When it comes to choosing the right ones, it’s important to keep in mind what your ideal customer or client will actually search when they’re looking for a business like yours. A lot of people tend to overthink keyword research, because they feel that SEO is such an elusive, hard-to-accomplish element of marketing, but in reality — all you need to do is put yourself into your audience’s shoes and think about what they’d search to find you!
Then, once you’ve brainstormed a bit, narrow it down by specifics. If you think someone would search juice bar to find you, keep refining that term. How about juice bar open on Sundays or juice bar Boston MA or green juice place near me? Make a list of 10 to 20 keywords to use across your website.
Let’s be real: SEO doesn’t matter all that much if your viewers are confused by your website. Your goal as a wellness professional should be to connect with your ideal clients and make them feel at home with you.
A few years ago, some website owners began to experiment with an SEO tactic called keyword stuffing. They threw keywords in wherever, just to (hopefully) get a small piece of the Google love. However, those random keywords throughout their page didn’t help their clients resonate with them at all — and Google caught on to this cop-out.
Nowadays, search engines are much more concerned with the quality of your content, because they have the user’s best interest in mind. And the best way to create a positive experience for your user? Create content that’s tailor-made for them!
Instead of trying to figure out how to game the system, spend your energy figuring out what your clients will relate to. Are they interested in learning more about how yoga can benefit them? Do they need your essential oils for stress relief? Think about the problems you can solve for them, and you’ll be automatically tapping into what they’re searching for without trying too hard to get search engines to notice you.
Metadata basically translates to “data about data” — which, in the case of websites, refers to the information about a certain web page. Your metadata is your title tag, and your meta description.
The title tag is your page’s message to the world, and your meta description is what gives that message context. When you search for something on Google, a bunch of pages come up in the search results. Each page has a title and a description carefully written to convince you to click on it.
Let’s say you’re shopping for a new couch. You type in “couch” on Google, and millions of things come up. One of the first pages is Lovesac, advertising their sectionals:
Their title tells you exactly what the page is, and then their meta description does its best to convince you by claiming that their couches are “the world’s most adaptable,” that they’re easy to wash, and that they’re guaranteed to last. Who wouldn’t want to buy their couch after reading that? *click!*
If you forget to add your title tag and meta description, search engines will automatically populate one, and they may not be as accurate or convincing as the metadata you would have written yourself, which is why you should always write your own rather than relying on third parties like Google.
TIP: Every single page on your website should have its own unique, customized title tag and meta description, because every page is different. Don’t forget to include metadata for your unlinked pages (aka the pages that aren’t linked in your header, but are still public), too!
Your website pages aren’t the only things that are searchable! Believe it or not, Google’s image search is a great way to get views on your site. By naming your files something readable (as opposed to the automated “DSC_089.jpg” format), you’re optimizing your images for SEO — which, in turn, will likely gain you more clicks.
Speaking of images… make sure you’re not getting in your own way by adding them. Remember when we said that SEO values a user-friendly site more than anything? Websites that load too slowly are a huge turn-off to Google. Make sure that when you upload photos, the file sizes aren’t too large.
If your website is taking forever to load, your images are likely to blame. Make sure your pictures are no more than 500KB in size, and that your pages are under 5MB.
Remember the keyword research you did? Well, now it’s that list’s time to shine! Including your keywords on every single page of your website is necessary to help Google understand what you’re offering, so they can better recommend you to their users.
TIP: Your keywords must always make sense when present on your website. After all, your website’s main purpose is to engage your prospective clients and customers, not please Google’s algorithm. Plus, Google can tell when you’re simply throwing random keywords around, and it won’t help you in the SEO department.
Think of link building as building your network. If someone recommends your services to their friend, that person is probably going to view you as trustworthy, because they value their friend’s opinion.
Same goes for websites. When Google sees another website linking back to yours, it takes that as a sign that your website is worthy of recommending. The more “backlinks” that lead to you, the more likely Google is to recommend your site in a search. These links are called external links. Essentially, external links let Google know that you’re popular and relevant.
While there are tons of factors that will help you optimize your website for SEO and help you on your way to the first page of a Google search result, taking these 7 steps will allow you to build a strong and sturdy foundation.
We understand that it can be easy to get overwhelmed by things like SEO, but at the end of the day, all that matters is that you write content that is engaging for your audience. The kind they’ll wanna come back for.
If you want to chat more about some ways you can optimize your website for search, don’t hesitate to get in touch.