Better Search Engine Rankings in 3 Easy Steps
There is a basic rule of search engines - the higher your site appears in the search results the more traffic you'll get. Most people searching won't go past the first page, so if you want to get found you need to be in the top 10! Here are 3 easy steps to boost your search engine rankings without spending a fortune on professional SEO.
1. Choose your keywords wisely
When it comes to finding new clients online, the most important step is choosing good keywords for your web site. Keywords (or multiple word key phrases) are what people type into the search engines to find your web site.
To find your best keywords, start off by brainstorming a list of words that describe what you do, the locations that you service, and the conditions that you treat. Do you work with sports people and athletes? Do you specialise in chronic pain? Are you an expert in stress relief and stress management? Are you a mobile massage therapist? Which towns or suburbs do your clients live in? Ask clients and friends for their ideas too. The Google AdWords keyword tool is another way to find other search terms closely related to your own ideas.
The best keywords (or key phrases) are likely to be very specific - instead of massage, think pregnancy massage sydney. (However don't get too bogged down in specific techniques - how many of your clients ask for myofascial release? Instead, they're looking for someone to take away their neck pain.) Specific key phrases work because there's less competition and also because people are fine-tuning their searches to find exactly what they're looking for.
You can also use a keyword research tool to find out what people are actually searching for. One of the best known is WordTracker which has a 7 day free trial.
2. Create pages around your keywords
You won't get very far if you try to make a single page on your web site rank well for all your key phrases. The best strategy is to create a single web page for each of your main key phrases. Make the page all about the key phrase you're targetting. This leads naturally to keyword rich pages that will perform well in the search engines when people search for that particular key phrase.
If you want to be a little bit more scientific about it:
- You're aiming to mention the keywords frequently within the text (without going overboard, or the search engines will think you're trying to spam them). Use variants of your keywords as well - for example perform under stress, stressed out employees, and relax and destress would all be appropriate if you're targetting corporate stress management.
- Make sure to use your keywords (or variants) in headings and sub-headings on the page.
- Another key place to mention keywords is in link text. So when you're linking to your page, don't say click here, use corporate stress management instead. Links to your site from other web sites are particularly important, so it's really worth trying to get these links to mention your keywords - watch out for an article on this soon!
- Although most search engines don't pay much attention to them nowadays, it's still probably worth adding your key phrases to the meta keywords and meta description tags on the page. The meta keywords should be a simple list of the key phrases you're targetting on that page; whilst the meta description should be a short description of the page, aimed at searchers, which includes your main keywords within the text. Sometimes the description is displayed by search engines under the page title so try and make it compelling! (If you're a Soothed web site customer you can edit your page title, keywords and description by logging in, choosing the page you want to edit, and then clicking the SEO tab.)
3. Make the most of your page titles
Search engines attach a lot of importance to the page title when deciding what a page is about, so this is probably the most important place to include your keywords. (Rather than the page title being displayed at the top of a page, it's actually displayed in the title bar of your web browser.) Each page of your web site should have a unique page title that includes your most important keywords for that page. Because the search engines use your page title as the clickable link to your page, it needs to appeal to searchers as well as the search engines. Imagine you're using Home page or Anne French as the page title for your main page. It's hardly going to compel people to click through to your site is it? Compare that with Baby Massage Classes in Melbourne - Anne French. If you want to learn baby massage, which page title would you click on?
These easy tips can help you boost your search engine rankings without employing a professional SEO firm. Spend some time investigating and choosing keywords that are very specific to your business, then create pages about those specific topics making sure to mention your keywords in the page title, the body copy and the text that links to those pages. There's no way you're going to get to number 1 for health without some serious investment of time and money, but getting into the top 10 for massage sydney might well be within your reach!
PS. If you need help with implementing the ideas in this article, we can provide and implement specific recommendations for your website, charged at a rate of $85 AUD per hour. Contact us to arrange this.
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