Everyone knows that real estate can only be a good investment if you treat it right. If you buy a beautiful house but fail to maintain it, the value tanks and so does your investment.
The same is true for your website. You could build a beautiful website but if you ignore it after the launch, your ROI goes out the window.
Arguably the most important ongoing tasks for your site is search engine optimization or SEO.
For a successful site you don’t just need to have SEO, you need to do it right. Check out these white hat SEO strategies that need to be on everyone’s list.
The White Hat SEO Strategies Every Site Needs
In the SEO world, there are white hat and black hat strategies. Black hat tactics are unethical ways to trick search engines into showing your site in more search results.
As plenty of business owners have found, black hat SEO will backfire. Search engines are always getting better at detecting these tactics and penalizing sites for them.
White hat SEO, on the other hand, involves ways to boost your search result ranking for truly relevant searches. To do this well, you need to institute several strategies at once.
Here’s your checklist:
A search engine’s goal is to show users high-quality information that’s relevant to them. If you want to top that list, you need to have the great content users want to read.
Your site needs to have clear, well-written content that’s easy to read. It needs to be interesting and engaging.
Of course, you also need to write about content people actually want. Think about the questions your customers ask most and answer them in your web content.
Keep in mind that search engines also look at how recently you updated your content. Post new content like a new blog every week or so to keep your site fresh.
2. Boost Your Loading Speed
When a search engine determines how helpful your site will be and how high to rank it in a search, it looks at how much time users spend on your site.
Did you know 40% of users will abandon a site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load? That will tank you average time spent on your site in a heartbeat.
To avoid this problem, look for ways to help your site load faster.
3. Claim Your Google Local Business Listing
Chances are that Google has created a local business listing for your company. The fact that it exists isn’t enough to help your SEO, though.
You need to claim your profile. This involves a quick verification process, but it’s well worth your time.
When they’ve been able to verify your business listing, Google sees your site as more credible. They now know that you’re a valid company with a legitimate local office.
4. Rethink Your Meta Tags
Meta tags are an important part of SEO, but your site may not even have them. These include the coded page title, description, and keywords that search engines read.
Before crafting your meta tags for each page, do keyword research. Find out which keywords are best to include for each topic.
It’s also important to have well-written and interesting titles and descriptions. This is what users see when they see your site in a list of search results.
Your title and description should be relevant and include one or more of those great keywords you found in your research. They should also be exciting enough to encourage readers to click through.
5. Build Backlinks
Another vital piece of information search engines use is the number of sites that link back to yours. After all, if other sites find your page so relevant that they’re referring their own readers to it, chances are that it has good information.
However, building backlinks (links on other sites that direct users to one of your pages) is a challenge. You can’t do it yourself, you need to work with owners of other sites.
One option is to write guest posts for others’ blogs. You can ghostwrite guest posts as that site’s blogger or you can post as a contributing expert in your field.
Guest posts are a win-win. You get a valuable backlink and the other site gets great new content for free.
Keep in mind that quality matters as well as quantity. The bigger the site is that links to you, the more it will help your SEO.
6. Launch a Social Media Marketing Strategy
The more times a page has been viewed already, the more relevant it appears to search engines. It seems like an unfair fight: you have to get page views in order to get more page views.
That’s why a social media campaign is so important. Not only are you making use of a popular medium, but you’re breaking the barrier and getting those initial page views.
This goes hand in hand with producing strong content. Interesting and helpful content will spread like wildfire on social media.
7. Maximize Your Mobile Performance
Ten years ago, mobile was an afterthought for web design. Today, the balance has shifted.
It’s clear that the number of people who use mobile devices to view sites is increased. However, there’s an even more direct way your mobile design affects your SEO.
As of early 2017, Google is putting sites lower in their rankings if their site isn’t mobile-friendly. If you haven’t upgraded to a responsive web design, now is the time.
Boosting Your Views with White Hat SEO
When it’s done right, SEO isn’t meant to trick search engines into showing your site higher up in search results. White hat SEO serves to give the search engine a clear picture of how relevant and high-quality your site is so they can see your merits for themselves.
Keep in mind that your SEO is never done. It’s an ongoing process that should always be in the back of your mind.
If you’re ready to take a more hands-on approach to your site’s success, schedule a free SEO consultation.