Five Things to Focus On for SEO in Laramie – A guest post from Atmosphere Marketing
By Caitee Cooper of Atmosphere Marketing
When you hear the words ‘digital marketing,’ what comes to mind?
Most people think of things like email campaigns, social media posts, and paid advertisements like Google Adwords. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Over 75% of Wyomingites have an internet subscription - and you can bet that many of them use it to research products and services as well as find places to eat, shop, sleep, discover recreational opportunities, and more. While social media, emails, and Adwords are all good things, your number one priority should be to get your business found in the first place.
And that’s where Search Engine Optimization (SEO for short) comes in.
Essentially, SEO is all about getting your business to show up at or near the top of search engine results so that people who are looking for your services can find you. While that sounds pretty simple on the surface, there are a surprising number of factors that go into making it happen. Because of its high visibility and huge level of internet traffic, we’ll use Google as our example in this article as we talk about five things you can do to move your business up in the search rankings.
Note: the algorithm Google uses to rank websites is bafflingly gigantic - and on top of that, it changes every day (if not multiple times a day). But don’t let that discourage you from at least picking up some SEO basics. We’ve picked five simple things that are always important factors in Google’s calculations. If you do them, you’re moving in the right direction!
Get A Website
Google can’t put you at the top of their results if they don’t have anything to show the people who did the search! That’s why step one in boosting your ranking is to have a clean, professional-looking website. Once you do, search engines will have a place to send potential customers.
Besides providing somewhere to send people in need of your services, a website will help them understand more about you, and can be a great tool for marketing your business. Describing products, highlighting services, writing helpful articles, and posting positive reviews from customers are all excellent ways to engage people who visit your site. And more engagement equals more business for you!
Claim Your Google My Business Listing
This one is pretty simple and will only take you about fifteen minutes to do. Google My Business is a great place to connect with current and potential customers. There, you can publish basic information such as normal hours, holiday hours, your address, your website information, and your phone number. Not only that, but you can also upload pictures of your products or services as well as read and respond to reviews. Many potential customers look to your Google My Business listing for quick, convenient information. The more you’ve got on it, the better off you are!
It’s Google’s job to help its users find relevant, reliable answers to their searches - and they take that job seriously. Claiming your business listing verifies that it does, in fact, exist, which gives it credibility. And that makes Google confident enough in it that they’re willing to send potential customers your way. This is one of the easiest ways to kickstart your SEO, so if you haven’t claimed your business yet, put that on your to-do list.
Pick Good Keywords
If you’ve already done the first two steps on the list, you’re probably doing pretty good. But the fact that you do actually exist isn’t the only thing Google looks at when deciding where to send searchers. They also consider what the words on your web pages are saying.
Keywords are words or phrases that searchers use to find the services they’re looking for. Some examples of potential searches include “Laramie veterinarian,” “Laramie lawn care companies,” “family dentist,” or “defense attorney.” When it comes to keywords, it’s best to start with one primary one to focus on, though you can certainly pick two or three more to include. Over time, you may want to add more and continue to build your visibility. However, as you’re planning out your keywords, be sure think about how they will fit into the text on your web page. Don’t try and cram too many into too small a space, otherwise your writing won’t flow naturally, and potential customers could become confused!
You will want to include the primary keyword you choose 2-3 times on your web page - but no more than that. It’s possible to have the keyword in there too many times, which will contribute to user confusion and possibly even lead Google to flag your website, thereby decreasing your ranking.
Make Sure Your Website Loads Fast
This one is also pretty straightforward. The faster your page loads, the more likely Google is to send searchers to it. Internet searchers aren’t known for their patience - they want quick information that they can use to make decisions. If your page doesn’t load relatively fast, potential customers may be tempted to click away and head to your competitor’s website instead.
One of the sneakiest culprits in making web pages load slowly are the pictures on your site. The bigger they are, the more time they’ll take to load, so you’ll want to make sure you’ve compressed them as much as you can while still making sure they’re clear. You’ll also want to make sure your website is hosted on a quality server that’s capable of quickly processing information.
Next, it’s important to make sure your website uses browser caching. This can get pretty technical, but we’ll break down how it works in its simplest form here. First, your hosting platform or browser essentially takes a picture of your website and saves it. Then, when people go to your site, their browser can pull that nicely packaged little picture out and use it as a sort of quick-reference, which significantly cuts your load time. Though browser caching may sound tricky, there are all sorts of simple ways to go about doing this without hiring a professional SEO. If your website is built on WordPress (or a similar platform) there are plugins that you can get that will do all of this for you.
Use Good Pictures
When it comes to good web design, pictures are some of your best friends. Use ones that are engaging and fit with your business’s persona. We previously discussed how important it is to keep your pictures compressed to decrease load time. Make sure you remember to do that!
Picture titles and alt text are also helpful for boosting your SEO. Putting location words (like Laramie or Albany County) and keywords into picture titles where they make sense is a great way to climb higher in search engine rankings, while also helping your pictures show up when people do image searches
Have questions or comments about SEO? Leave a comment below or get in touch with Atmosphere Marketing by calling 307-851-7250 or visiting atmospheremarketingwy.com.