Start with a professionally-designed site
I know it sounds self-serving, but you cannot succeed at SEO with an outdated website. To get found by the robots, your code and your content has to speak their language. There's a lot to SEO that we won't address here, but you should know these basis starters as you manage your website with our CMS platform.
Mobile is king
Not that long ago, Google announced that if you did not have a mobile website, it would actively and directly punish your search rankings. Say no more: If your site doesn't change its layout when you look at it on a mobile phone and tablet, there is no SEO that will save your fate.
That's why, when we design a website, we use mobile-first methodology. This ensures that our clients' customers get a clean, professional experience on their smart phones and tablets—and our clients' websites get found on Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, YouTube and Bing.
Research proves that the more, and more in-depth, content you can put at your website that is "local" in its focus, the better you'll perform in search. Even better, if your business has multiple locations, create web pages for each locale, and continually populate those pages with content that is unique to that locale.
If your business has multiple locations, try to present those locations in multiple, logical places at your website (by state, and then by city). Sometimes we even put this sort of listing in the footer of the website, so it appears on every page of our client's site; We've discovered that this has an immediate and dramatic impact on search rankings regardless of search terms.
You simply can't be too local for Google, Yelp and Facebook.
Keywords are no more
About two years ago, all of the major search engines began to ignore keywords, due to the fact that it had become too easy for computers to fake out Google with keyword robots. So, if you've got someone scouring the web for keywords, stop now.
Page titles matter
Page titles (the words that appear in the middle of the top bar of your browser) are hugely important to Google. Google looks at your page title, and checks to see to what degree your title exclusively matches the content on that page. There are no shortcuts here: The first, best way to improve your SEO is to go page by page through your site, and clean up page titles and content that is too broad, and does not match.
Clean up your HTML
You may not want to look at the HTML your site renders. That's cool, because that's what we do. Make sure your most important heading is first on the page, and is wrapped in an H1 tag. And then make sure your content is wrapped in paragraph tags. That tells Google what you think is important, and helps them match your site up with the right searchers. Finally, check all your images for alt tags that tell screen readers what is in your website pictures.
Run timely—and time-sensitive—promotions
Google looks for event-specific content that has a very strong, time-driven focus. That's why we tend to think a lot about promotions that include countdowns and limited time offers—and (of course) we put this fresh content on its own pages, with unique page titles, headings, photos and videos.
Coordinate your promotions on social
It's not entirely known how important social media is in SEO, but most experts are fairly confident that if you match your social media postings to your short term, local promotions, it dramatically boosts your search results. So if you create a web page for a sales promotion, provide matching photos and videos to post at Facebook, Yelp, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media outlets.
Refresh, refresh, and refresh again
What's new today is old news tomorrow. Successful SEO is all about new pages (with correct titles), text, photos, and most important of all, videos.
Inbound and outbound links still seem to matter
One thing that tells Google how popular you are is the degree to which you link to other popular sites, and vice versa. Getting "link-backs" requires a strategy and (yeah, I know) good old fashioned hard work. But a well-linked site pays long term dividends in SEO.
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