How to increase your Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

As people’s comfort level with technology increases, it’s essential to create an online presence that enables your target audience to understand your offering, engage in the channel of their choosing, and locate your business. As a business owner, you want your company to have high visibility. It is important to cut through the noisy competitive marketplace and stand out from the crowd.

When customers are seeking to learn about a product or service, the majority of these efforts starts with a search. Being found on the first page of a search engine’s results page is where every business wants to end up. While it may appear to be luck, the companies who end up in this coveted position have invested time and resources into Search Engine Optimization or SEO. SEO is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.

In the context of small to medium-sized businesses, SEO plays a key role in the leveling out of the marketing playing field creating the opportunity for the small guys to play with the big guys. Previously, a small business needed access to resources (money and time) combined with a generous dose of luck in order to even attempt to keep up with the large companies. However, with a smart strategy, sound implementation of SEO techniques, and some hard work, a small business cannot only compete, but actually thrive driving a steady stream of high-quality traffic to the business.

There’s no denying that big businesses start with an edge in SEO. Don’t attempt to capture customer interest for brand names or common keyword phrases. Instead, we would recommend that small businesses start with a niche strategy. To determine your niche strategy, ask yourself these questions:

·       Are there services or products that you carry that make you unique?

·       Do you have expertise in your specialty?

·       Do you have a unique approach or perspective on your product or service?

These are just some of the examples that can provide you with the ability to create content (video, stories, white papers, infographics, slide shows, etc.) that can be keyword rich and aligned with the customer intent when searching. With a bit of experimenting, you should be able to identify where unique opportunities exist to get your business ranked and in front of your potential customers.

Search Engine Optimization is a strategic process of optimizing your website and complementary digital marketing efforts for desirable keywords in order to appear in results and receive search traffic. SEO targets multiple factors search engines use to rank pages, including:

·       Website Set-Up

·      Content

·      Update Frequency

·      Blogging

·       Backlinking

Website Set-Up

Have a clear website structure The organization of your website architecture and its navigation is important for both SEO and your visitors. Search engines navigate through a link structure to search and index pages. If your site is well-structured, all the pages and subpages can be easily found and indexed by search engine crawlers.

Having intuitive navigation is key for SEO as it will help your visitors find what they are looking for and directly link them to the information they are seeking.

At the individual page level, it is beneficial to determine a keyword strategy. Take into consideration what and how the customer would be searching for and ensure that these keywords are included within the content on the page.

In the development of the website, content consideration should be given for keyword density. When creating the content ensure the percentage of times a keyword or phrase appears within the page compared to the total number of words in the content is logical and does not make the content clumsy or repetitive. The careful use of keyword density can be used to determine whether a web page is relevant to a specified keyword or keyword phrase but the use of keyword stuffing (repeating over and over) can cause the content to be deemed irrelevant and ranked lower. Lastly, ensure your site includes an XML sitemap. The sitemap provides the search engines with an overview of all of the pages on your site. Modern websites often have pages without any internal links pointing to them, making them hard to find through a crawl of the navigation. The XML sitemap lists a website’s important pages, ensuring search engines find and crawl them and helping the search engine to understand your website structure.

Page URL

Chances are that the web pages in your domain may be optimized for several different keywords. The best practice is to focus only on one keyword phrase and use it directly in the URL address.

Use hyphens instead of underscores in URLs

Using underscores to separate words in a URL name makes search engines read it as one single word. For example, the_best_seo_practices will be assumed by search crawlers to be ‘thebestseopractices’. That one is difficult to read, right?

Choose a URL address that is brief, descriptive, and relevant

A quick glance should tell your visitor all that they need to know about your website. Choosing to edit a URL address yourself will work in favor of the keyword optimization, in addition to making it easier for a visitor to understand what they can find on your website. This convenience will help enhance the user experience of the visitor.

Create a title tag for each page of your site

A title tag conveys what each page within your website is all about. This is one clear sentence where you succinctly describe what the page is about. This appears in various places, such as the search engine results pages, external pages, social media, and in browsers.

The title-tag should be crisp, catchy, and original enough to be relevant to the audience performing the search. Speaking their language will go a long way and presenting your website in a way that would be attractive to your audience will yield better results.

Present your brand better with meta-description

A meta description is a short paragraph that can be found displayed under a title tag on the search engine results page listing. A meta-description presents you the opportunity to provide more information about the content of the page even before a searcher pays a visit to your website and allows you to convey information about what they will find on the page, should they click.

Use ALT attributes for all the images on the website

Search engines cannot read images, they read the ALT text instead. One should use an ALT attribute to assist engine crawlers better comprehend the meaning of a picture and what it represents. It’s always good to use keyword phrases you desire to target to describe the images on the web page itself.

Geolocational information

Also, keep in mind the importance of Geolocated searches. Geolocated searches are searches made when the searcher is physically located in a particular city or neighborhood. Instead of looking at keywords that contain certain areas, location targeting focuses on searches made within an area. Tracking geo modified keywords is a good way to gain insight into how your website is ranking for those searches specifically.

Make sure your ‘Contact Us’ or ‘About Us’ pages include all of your business information. Improve your business’s appearance in local search results by completing your Google My Business profile.


Content plays an important role in creating awareness, attracting visitors, and increasing results and relevance in search engine results. Frequent content updates that are focused on providing your customers and prospects with valuable information related to products or services stand to better your chance of being found. When creating content, understanding ‘customer intent’ is fundamental to aligning to the different phases in the customer journey and presents an opportunity to relevantly engage with your audience. Creating content that aligns with the customer intent enables your business to be returned in relevant results throughout the entire customer journey.

However, the quantity of the content on your website should not come at the expense of quality. The key to being favorable to both search engines and visitors is to have high-quality content on your website. This could be in the form of Videos, Blog Posts, Industry Articles, Tutorials, Infographics, Podcasts, etc. Quality content can engage visitors making them share it on social media, which can lead to even more visitors.

Update Frequency

If you visit a website that hasn’t been updated in a long time, there is a natural tendency to question the credibility of the source. The potential message you send to the visitor is that the brand or company it represents could have shut down completely or the website is no longer relevant as they are presenting information that appears dated.

Most search engines do not want to return search results for content that is not relevant or current. Websites that regularly update their content send a clear message to the search engines that the website is functional and offers fresh content. Also, frequent updating of content provides the search engine algorithms with a good reason to index your website on a recurring basis as they view the website as an authority and increasing the relevancy and credibility of your brand and improving your chances of being found via search.

In all likelihood, updating your homepage frequently without a good reason would be impractical, in addition to being a counter-productive business move. This is where a blog becomes a practical tool for updating your website with fresh content on a regular basis.


On a simple level blogging is an effective means of adding fresh content to your website. The higher the ratio of up-to-date content on your site, the higher traffic you’ll get, the better chances of links you’ll attract, and the more ‘domain authority’ you’ll build, provided the content is relevant, meaningful and high quality.

Blogging is good for attaining good SEO rankings because it achieves a number of ‘dos’ that are important ranking factors. Having a blog that’s updated regularly with fresh blog posts that are high quality and relevant to your audience can make a world of difference to the overall performance of your website in the search engines.


When another website links to your website, it is called a backlink. Experts consider this to be the gold standard of SEO. In addition to benefiting from the traffic that another website is sending you, this process improves your search rankings when search engines see that reputable sites are linking to you. Think of ‘Ranking at the top of search results’ as an audience poll - The links are akin to votes in favor of your website to be ranked highly.

By Webware

June 22, 2020

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