SEO Best Practices from our Search Services Manager
Search engine marketing is a valuable part of any business. It can be easy to get lost in the myriad of available advice and difficult to find the specific information that can help your commercial dealership. That’s why we’ve taken it upon ourselves to bridge that gap by picking the brain of our Search Services Manager, Ruth Johndrow! Ruth shared her top tips for SEO, SEM, and how you should merge the two. We’re breaking down her knowledge in a three-part series, starting with SEO Best Practices.
According to Ruth, SEO Makes your website topical, relevant, and user-friendly. Your website is ultimately for the end-user, a.k.a. your customers. While beginning updates to your search, think of who your audience is and why they go to your website. It’s important to focus on the consumer experience, so emphasize content that is relevant and that answers their questions. Below are Ruth’s top 10 ways to help your customers during the search process:
- Find keywords that your target audience is searching for and that you are able to rank for: It’s no use trying to target keywords that your audience isn’t using. Focus on including short and long-tail queries to make sure you’re reaching anything your potential customers could be searching for. Don’t overload though! Focus each page on only one keyword or topic.
- ATTENTION! Think back to grade school when you had to begin your essays with an attention-grabbing statement. The same goes for your website. Use attention-grabbing headlines that incorporate at least one keyword for the topic being covered. Don’t just stick to the headlines though; use the first paragraph on a page to create hooks to keep your users reading.
- Use sub-heads to break content into manageable sections. This makes it easier for your readers to scan the information and find what they want first. Some easy ways to implement this in your content include using short paragraphs, have only one thought per paragraph, limit paragraphs to 3-5 sentences, and use bulleted lists for more than 2-3 items.
- Backlinks are still relevant and can help you! Incorporate links to related content on your website and to other high-quality websites.
- Did you know that video on a landing page can increase conversion by up to 86%? Adding visuals to content will help keep your users engaged.
- Shop local. Consumers enjoy supporting local businesses so make sure you’re popping up in local search rankings. Claim your Google My Business Page to start off. Adding your website to other business directories will also help improve the ranking of your website. Consistency is key when it comes to local directories so ensure that your name, address, and phone number is accurate across listings.
- Don’t forget about the technical side of SEO. Keep your rankings at the top by making sure that your backend code is crawlable to the search engines can easily find the best keywords. Your website should be mobile-friendly and responsive so your users can check out your inventory no matter what device they’re using.
- Redirect your SEO plan by using redirects appropriately. When redesigning a website, use 301 redirects from the old to the new URLs. Avoid internal website redirects as they add an extra “hop” and may result in a long time until the user gets to the content.
- Customization is key. Add a customized, unique title tag and meta description to each page. For your title tag, incorporate keywords towards the beginning and limit to 48-55 characters including spaces. When implementing your meta descriptions, keep it below 155 characters including spaces and include a snapshot to encourage searchers to click through to your website.
- Utilize heading tags to organize your content. Each page of your website should include a unique H1. Using subsequent levels in order will help you avoid search engines thinking that your page is not well structured.
Regularly keeping up with Ruth’s top 10 tips for SEO will help move your website from zero to hero. Check back soon for an upcoming article from our Search Services Manager about best practices for SEM. If you need any assistance with your search, our Search Services team is here to help.