You’ve Built Your Website, What Now?
Building a website is an important first step to having your company discovered on the Internet. Once your website is built, you need to employ search engine optimization strategies (SEO) in order for your website to appear in Internet search results. The following article describes what SEO is and how to use some strategies to get results. Best of all, these strategies are free!
What is Search Engine Optimization?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a way to improve your website’s standing in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results. This means using techniques that will have your website appear on Page 1 in an Internet search for keywords in your industry.
Why are Keywords Important?
Keywords are words consumers might use to find the goods and services your company provides when doing an Internet search. They need to be used within the body of your website copy and in page titles and tags. Here are three easy ways to come up with relevant keywords:
- Think like a customer. What search terms and geographical areas would you use to find your company? Make a list and test it.
- Use keywords to see if your competitors’ company shows in search results. Which words show your competition on Page 1 and which words show the competition in a high position on that page? These would be the keyword terms you will also want to incorporate.
- Use Google’s Keyword tool. This is a great free tool to test what words are currently popular and also to find keyword suggestions.
Using Website Plug-Ins
When building your website, your web designer can install plug-ins which automatically optimize certain areas of your site for better search engine optimization.
What are Sitemaps?
According to sitemaps.org, “Sitemaps are an easy way for webmasters to inform search engines about pages on their sites that are available for crawling. In its simplest form, a Sitemap is an XML file that lists URLs for a site along with additional metadata about each URL (when it was last updated, how often it usually changes, and how important it is, relative to other URLs in the site) so that search engines can more intelligently crawl the site.”
How do I Get a Sitemap and Submit it?
There are a few ways to submit your sitemap to the search engines.
- Visit www.attracta.com to create a free account and this service will automatically create sitemaps and submit them with the click of a button.
- Create a Google Webmaster account and upload a sitemap that you can create using a free site map generator service.
Using Alt Tags and Properly Naming Your Photos
As a painting contractor, you have lots of great photos to add to your website. But did you know that the search engines cannot read images? Images must be properly named using keywords and alt tags. Images with alt tags allow search engines to match the description to the site’s content helping your website rank better organically. Alt tags are alternative text that can be displayed instead of an image if a visitor to your website cannot view the images in their browsers. Notice when you hover over images a description shows. Depending on your websites template configuration, alt tags can be pulled automatically from your photo description during uploading, after uploading, or manually in the HTML section of your site.
When naming your photos, use keywords similar to what you would use in your website content. Keep your image descriptions brief. Don’t describe the image, just name it.
Using Internet Business Listing Directories
There are a number of free Internet business listing directories where you enter your business information and people who visit that site can search for goods and services by keywords.
Using Social Media Platforms
Using various social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and others will increase your SEO on the web.
Enjoy Writing? Have a Blog on Your Website
Do you enjoy writing and telling stories? Do you like to talk about your industry and business? One of the best ways to continually add new and relevant content to your website is with a blog. Writing blog posts will create additional pages within your website and can be crawled by the “bots” to show your site is adding new information. Also, a blog is a great way to educate and draw the interest of customers and people within your industry.
You may have heard about creating links both to your site and within your site.
- Creating links within your site is simply linking to another page on your site for additional information.
- Creating back links to your site means other places on the web will have a link to your site.
It’s important for your website to be discovered and to be found on page 1 of an Internet search. Working towards implementing these strategies will greatly increase your website’s ability to be found.
Need to outsource some or all of these ideas? Consider hiring a marketing company to take on the work of optimizing your website for searches.
Have you noticed a rise in your website’s position in searches by using some of these strategies? Let us know in the comments section below.
5 thoughts on “SEO for your website. What is it? I’m a painter, why do I need it?”
Great article, Barbara. I truly enjoyed your point-by-point approach to SEO and why it is important and I’ll be using this article as a “checklist” to make sure I cover all points when I write SEO copy for my clients.
Thank you Tess, I’m glad you found this article helpful. SEO can seems like a complicated and labor intensive process, but if broken down into actionable steps it is easier to manage. Thanks for taking the time to comment!
Great article and tips!
Thank you for taking the time to comment and for commenting on my Facebook page!