Finding the keys to search engine optimization (SEO) can seem as difficult as decoding the Enigma machine. Businesses today clamor to solve the riddle, figure out the formula, and rise to the top of that first page on Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
A high ranking in search results for relevant keywords secures more than online real estate, it secures profits, because many consumers and businesses use search engines as the first step in a purchasing decision. Informous sees this in action every day: our industry specific search engine has already generated scores of qualified leads for our listed companies, most beginning with links from search engines.
Our business deals with packaging and plastics companies, but in many industries, search rank for relevant keywords can be the difference between leads going to your company—or to your competitors. Leads can come from broad terms such as “cartoning machinery,” as well as very specific ones such as “vertical insert injection molding machines,” so search engine optimization is a great first step to increasing sales.
Excelling at SEO involves a lot of time and expertise, but there are some relatively easy ways to begin to improve your results. A lot of what Informous does to improve search rankings for our listed companies is proprietary, but we’re sharing a few secrets today to get you started.
Below are some initial ways to get better SEO results:
1. A little keyword research makes a big difference. Keyword research can be as simple as a team brainstorm, or as complex as using custom, proprietary tools. When you think about keywords, don’t just think about your company name—think about your products, and how people would try to find them. For example, if you sell labeling equipment, think about keywords like “buying labeling equipment” or “labeling equipment [insert your geographic region].”
If you want to go beyond a brainstorm, but don’t want to break the bank, Google Adwords and KeywordSpy are great resources. Google Adwords‘ free “keyword tool” displays both the search volume and competition for keywords. KeywordSpy shows the keywords that are working for your competitors—some KeywordSpy tools are free, others are not.
Once you’ve identified the keywords you want to target, you should use them throughout your SEO efforts. Optimizing your site with the right keywords will drive more qualified traffic, and get your business more leads.
2. Change up your titles. Make sure that every page on your site has a different title that showcases the relevant keywords for that page. This sounds simple, but it’s often forgotten. Not only are titles highly important in search algorithms, they are the first thing that people see when they look at a page of search results. Changing the title of each page can give a website a huge boost in search engine rankings.
By title, we mean the text that goes on top of your browser, not the title on the page itself. Illustrated below:
3. Make sure you have the right metadata. The titles mentioned above are one kind of metadata, but meta-descriptions and keywords are also important. Many web designers will not include meta-descriptions and keywords in their code. These descriptions and keywords aren’t visible to your visitors, but provide important clues for search engines as to what information is contained on the page. Meta descriptions are especially important, because they usually appear on search engines, right below the title (see below picture). Those descriptions are your first chance to grab the attention of a potential client or customer.
4. Link building. Search engines determine their rankings partly by relevance of content, and partly by how many other sites link to your site. Whether links are on a site like Informous, on social media properties, or in a comment on a blog, links back to your website will help your search engine rankings. Also make sure that your website is linking to itself. Wikipedia does so well in search rankings party because it is chock full of internal links.
5. Grade your website. Use the fantastic free tools available to help you analyze your website.Woorank.com gives some great SEO advice, as does HubSpot’s Website Grader. These tools analyze almost every aspect of SEO on your website.
Though SEO is a highly complex and constantly changing field, the basics, such as the five outlined above, remain keystones of success. Without a solid foundation, advanced SEO strategy has nothing to stand on.
If you are a packaging or plastics company, and you want to let Informous do some heavy lifting for your SEO efforts, you can get a free listing today, or invest in one of our upgrade packages. Other industries--look out for our future plans!
And last of all, we want to hear from you. What SEO tactics have worked for your company?
Post originally appeared on the Informous Blog.