Learn five ways to improve your local SEO and rank higher on search engines!Read More
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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can seem like this mystifying thing that requires tons of work and lots of insider knowledge. While SEO has gotten more complicated over the years, there are easy things you can do right now to improve your search engine rankings if even you're not an SEO expert.
1. Add "Alt-tags" to all of the pictures on your website.
This is a really easy thing that helps Google and Bing read your website better. Alt-tags are a bit of code attached to an image that tells search engines what the picture is depicting. Since search engines can't actually SEE and understand the context of the picture, this text is designed to help search engine bots know exactly what the image is about quickly so they can index it.
How to add an alt-tag to your picture.
HTML: Say you want to add this image to your site.
Add this line of code - <img src="pocket-watch.jpg" alt="Vintage Pocket Watch on Black Background">. The "img src" part is the name of the image in your CMS and you can that the "alt=" states exactly what the image is - nothing more and nothing less. You don't want to get too long when writing your alt-texts. Learn more about adding an HTML img alt attribute here.
Squarespace/Wix/Wordpress/Etc: If you're using a CMS and design system like these, they make it super easy to add an alt tag. In this example, I'll show you using Squarespace since that's what I use for my website. Add an image to your page or post like you normally would on your Squarespace site. For this example I'm uploading a picture of dyed eggs. Once you upload your picture the "Filename (Optional)" will say the title of image you've uploaded. Sometimes the file name can be used as an alt-tag, but if you've downloaded a stock photo you'll want to rename the file here. Squarespace automatically uses the filename as the alt-tag. It's as simple as that! For more information about adding alt-tags in Squaresapce, click here. If you're unsure of how to add alt-tags to your site, please leave a comment down below this article and I"ll help you out!
2. Claim Free Business Listings
An important part of boosting your local SEO is to claim free business listings from various directory sites online and make sure the information is accurate. You especially want to claim your Google and Bing listings through their webmaster tools. This will allow you to verify your business page on their map pages when people search and it will also allow you to control the information so it's 100% accurate. When a page isn't claimed then anybody can suggest edits to the page so the accuracy can be a little iffy sometimes. You'll also want to claim your listings on sites like Yahoo, Foursquare, Yelp, MapQuest, Superpages, Local.com, Merchant Circle, etc. There are a lot of directory sites out there, but you can do a free scan of your website at Yext PowerListings. It's free to scan for your business, however if you want to change things directly from Yext it is a paid service. I mostly use it to see a list of sites that are available to claim or create a listing and then screenshot it so I can visit each site individually. You can do what is best for you.
3. Check your websites for broken links.
A negative factor affecting your SEO score is if there are broken links on your website. That means at one point you had a link to a page, image, etc, and changed the link without properly redirecting and now Google and other search engines can't find the content. Whenever you change a page link you should always submit a 301 redirect, which tells search engines that your content has moved and anyone trying to find the content can find it on the new page. To check for broken links you can use a free service like Broken Link Check. Once you've found any links that need fixing you can work on redirects. Depending on how you set up your website and what service you use, you can search on Google for the best way to manage 301 redirects on your site.
So there you have three ways to improve your SEO right now! I hope you found this helpful and if you have any questions or comments, let me know in the comments!
I’m attaching a link to my new client SEO questionnaire, which asks questions about a client’s previous and current SEO efforts, as well as starts to establish some goals for the future. If you’re in the market for an SEO specialist, these are some of the types of questions you can expect to answer. Feel free to download it and use it for your own purposes.
I’m always looking to improve and tweak this. If you’re a marketing/SEO specialist, what questions should I add to the form?