Step 3: Keyword Placement
In a 300-word document, your keywords should appear in at the beginning of the title phrase, in the first paragraph, and in the last paragraph. Additionally, you may want to put your keyword in a sub-heading and I the alt text of your photos. It isn’t always possible to get the keywords in those places, especially the title, because you want to use that space to catch people’s attention and get them to click on the article or page. Also, you don’t want to sacrifice clarity, and you don’t want to sound awkward for the sake of SEO.
Be careful not to overuse your keyword as it can negatively impact your search engine ranking.
Step 4: Photos and Videos
Search engines cannot “read” photos or videos – at least not yet. Including the description of your photo in the alt text will help search engines understand what it’s about. It will also make your website more accessible for those who experience vision impairment. Your post should definitely have one photo in it, at the top, or as the featured photo depending on your web editor. Posts and pages with photos perform better on social media. The alt text will improve that performance more.
Videos should always have captions, and if the video is the only thing on the page, you should include the transcript. (Every page on your website should have 300 words written for people to read or more.) Search engines can’t read videos yet, either. Adding captions will also allow those who experience hearing loss and those who don’t have headphones and can’t use sound to view and understand your video.
Step 5: Tags, Slug, and Meta-Description
You can add tags to each of your posts and pages, and you should. Tags are a great way to group posts together and build structure into your site. They also tell search engines what you’re writing about. You should keep your tags to a maximum of five per post and stay away from creating orphan tags. (Orphan tags are tags that only occur one time on your website.) It’s tempting to write about Keanu Reeves and his gardening habits, but if you only write one article about him, it’s better not to use his name as a tag. You can still tag him on social media; maybe he’ll share it.
The slug of your post is found in your page’s or post’s address. This should have the appropriate keyword and other relevant information. Some web platforms will create this from your title. Try to keep it short.
The meta-description or excerpt should be a short sentence about the post and a call to action with about 150 characters. If you use more than that, they will be truncated on the search engine results page. If you use less, you’re giving up valuable space that could convince someone to click on your pages.
Step 6: Outlinks, Internal Links, and Backlinks
There’s a reason it’s called the World Wide Web. Search engines seek out web pages that link to other sites and prioritize them. They value connectedness. When you cite a website with an outlink, you establish your website’s credibility and show your interest in being part of the web. Try to get at least one outlink per article, but don’t connect to a site that is trying to rank for the same keyword you are.
Internal links, like tags, provide a structure for your website. They let search engines know how your site is built and what you’re an expert on. They also help increase the amount of time people spend on your website as they go from page to page without leaving your site. This will also improve your site’s search engine ranking.
Backlinks are the hardest links to get. Too many people will use what you’ve created without citing their source, or if they do cite it, without providing a link to it. Most people do this out of ignorance. It’s often easy enough to ask someone to provide a link to your site if they’ve referenced something you’ve written. The key to getting backlinks, however, is creating great content that people want to link to.
Step 7: Your Physical Location
As a small business, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to garner the top spot for a general keyword. However, you don’t necessarily need to if you have a physical location. You only need to garner the top spit for people searching for your products who are near you. Using your location as part of a keyword phrase is a good start, but there is more you can do.
On your website, include your contact information, your address, and a map from a reliable map source (generally, Google). Getting on Yelp and Google My Business are two ways to provide people with the correct information about where your business is located. When you get all of this listed and keep it updated, people will feel more confident about coming to your location. If you don’t keep it current, you could lose customers who might not want to make the trip just to see if you’re open or not.