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Give Your SEO a Refresh for the New Year With These 6 Tips


Dave Manzer
Give Your SEO a Refresh for the New Year...

The power of SEO continues to prove itself year after year. While it may feel overwhelming at times, website SEO is a valuable strategy that can improve your business’s visibility, credibility, and reach when used correctly.

If you want to strengthen your brand’s online presence in 2020, here are six ways you can update your website SEO to start the year off strong. 

Keyword research

Before you can even begin to optimize your website for SEO, it’s important to determine which keywords you want to associate your brand with. Take a minute to brainstorm what your brand does and what potential customers or clients will be searching for to find your business. 

If you own a local coffee shop, for example, then you would likely want to rank for keywords or search terms like “[your city] coffee shop” or “best coffee in [your city]”. Even if you’ve already been optimizing your website for SEO, it’s a good idea to review your current keywords and update them if necessary. There are several free tools available that allow you to see keyword rankings and what people are searching for. 

Competitor analysis

To get an even better idea of how to improve your website SEO, you can do a quick analysis of competing businesses. Conducting a competitor analysis is helpful for several reasons. First, it will give you an idea of which keywords are working for your competitors. It can also shed light on things that they are or are not doing that you may be able to do better. Lastly, doing a scan of your competition’s websites may give you a few ideas for content that you can create for SEO purposes.

Keep in mind that when you’re determining who your competitors are, you can’t necessarily rely solely on your own instinct. When it comes to website SEO, your competitors are the businesses ranking higher than you in the search results. This means that, while you may think the coffee shop down the road is your competition, the search results will tell you who your online competitors are based on what people are searching for. 

Add a meta title and description

Two crucial elements of a website that are often overlooked are the meta title and meta description. The title and description summarize what your website is to both the search engine and to the users who see it listed in the search results. The title is just that, a title of your website or the name of your business. While it’s short, it can also include a keyword. The meta description is longer and should provide more keywords and search terms while summarizing the business.

Going back to the coffee shop example, it would be wise to include your coffee shop’s name, the city you’re located in, and the keyword “coffee shop” in both the meta title and meta description. 

Update old blog posts

You’ve probably already started a blog on your website, but is it SEO-friendly? While blog posts are meant to inform, educate, or inspire its readers, they’re also a good opportunity to improve your site’s SEO. 

Once you’ve determined keywords that you want to rank for, review old blog posts and add in relevant keywords where it makes sense. 

Keep in mind that you should avoid keyword stuffing. This spammy tactic is when you repeat a certain keyword in your post over and over again, just for the sake of SEO purposes. Not only is keyword stuffing obvious and unnatural sounding (not to mention, it won’t fool the search engines), it takes value away from your post. To really improve your website’s search ranking, it pays to create valuable content that people will actually read. Good content results in people spending more time on your site–a metric that truly matters. 

Request backlinks 

Backlinks are a small but impactful way to boost your SEO. Backlinks–a link to your website that’s posted on another website–fall under referral traffic and are valuable because they further prove your website’s credibility to search engines. 

Were you mentioned in an article or blog post recently? If you were, check to make sure that your website link is in the story. If it isn’t, reach out to whoever published it and ask if they can update it with your link. 

Optimize images 

Another element of a website that’s often overlooked when it comes to SEO are the image descriptions. We’re likely all guilty of uploading images without giving them any thought. But, search engines actually read images just like they do the rest of your website so it’s important to add keywords to relevant images as well. 

When optimizing your images, the alt text is the part that matters most. Whenever you upload an image, the alt text is where you should describe the image. If it makes sense, then add a relevant keyword. It’s important not to use this as a chance to add as many keywords as you can as the search engine will be able to sense the spamminess. 

Adding a description and keywords to an image’s alt text is just another small way to increase your website’s chance of showing up higher in the search results.

About Dave Manzer: Dave is founder and managing principal at Swyft, a B2B tech PR firm and digital marketing agency with offices in San Francisco, Austin, Denver and Houston. Swyft specializes in helping tech companies with a variety of services including public relations, marketing automation, PPC and SEO, and much more.

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