I’m often asked what can a business owner or website owner do themselves to improve their website SEO? Ideally, when your website is built you want to include as much SEO as possible during the initial build process. Here are the top 10 website SEO tips you can do yourself:
1. Rename all of your image files. More often than not, I find images with file names that are all sorts or letters or numbers followed by .jpg
You can easily rename your images yourself but now is where the SEO comes in. Rename the image so that it’s descriptive. For example, an image of a modern home could be, flat-roof-modern-home-toronto.jpg I’ve also included a city name and you could as well if you want to start building a local presence. Don’t use underscores _ either, they’re not SEO friendly and be sure that there are no spelling errors in the words you’ve used.
2. Always use ALT tags. Again, most people aren’t exactly sure what ALT are, or what to write, so here’s the best way to remember. If you had to describe the image to someone with his or her eyes closed, what would you say? Lets look at the example; it’s a photo of a dog. Most people would likely just note “dog” as the ALT tag. However, you may have better SEO by being more descriptive. Consider an ALT tag such as, “6 week old French Bulldog puppy” Which of the two descriptions would you prefer to hear if you were unable to see the image?
3. Meta descriptions are the paragraphs that are used to describe what a specific page is about. If you’re using Wordpress, you can write your own and always write for people and not search engines. Do NOT keyword stuff but where possible use the keywords in your Meta description that are relevant.
4. Internal and external link building is an ongoing process but is important and helps with your websites domain authority. When possible, ask other site owners or managers to link to your website. Maybe you’re helping a charity out, ask if they would place your linked logo somewhere on their website. The more authoritative the site is, the better. You can also link out to other websites and that will help both of you. The one thing to avoid is linking with toxic websites. These are websites with very low domain authority and often are “spammer” sites or websites you wouldn’t show your grandmother.
Internal link building often occurs within blogs, or other pages and guides visitors deeper into your website by having them click on terms or words they want to read and learn more about.
5. Blogs are still very important. Although many people may not have the patience to read through blogs that are more than a paragraph or two long, they are often loaded with your high ranking keywords and over time will increase the size of your website and its domain authority. When writing blogs do your research, find other blogs that may be ranking well and write a better version. This means, if you find a 1000 word blog, you write a 1500 word version. If it has no images within it, you add images and make sure those images are optimized like I mentioned in the first two tips above.
6. If you haven’t already, set up your Google My Business profile and complete as much of it as you can. Google My Business allows users to message you directly from the search engine results page (SERP) and you can reply to them. You should download the Google My Business app and post images, news, offers etc. regularly. You can also list products and services.
7. Ask for and reply to Google reviews. If you’re confident that you would receive a positive review ask for one. You should respond to every review you receive in a timely manner and especially if you receive a bad review. Here are some tips on responding to reviews.
8. Name, address, phone number also known as NAP is a local SEO strategy. However it only works if it is consistent. That means that wherever your name, address and phone number might be listed must be exactly the same. If your street address ends in “Boulevard” but in some listings its noted as Blvd. you’re going to want to update that. If possible, use the exact address that your postal service has listed as your address.
is often done automatically if you’ve used your phone and enabled it to do so. However from a local SEO perspective having many images GEO tagged within your area serves as confirmation that you are active within a specific service area. If you want to GEO tag images after they have been taken there are various sites online that you can use.
10.Having an active social media channel sends social signals to the search engines and proves that you’re an active business engaging with your users. Posting regularly will help you engage and stay top of mind with your customers and hopefully drive traffic back to your website.
These are my top 10 SEO tips that business owners can do themselves without any help. Of course there are many more SEO tasks that you can do on your own and even more that require some technical skill but this is a good place to start.