10 SEO Habits That Are Easy to Implement Right Now
What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear someone talk about SEO or when you see the words search engine optimization? If you’re immediately overcome with gut-wrenching dread, you’re not alone. The majority of creative business owners choose to prioritize what they know when it comes to taking action with their business, and they end up ignoring SEO altogether.
However, here are a few stats I found that show just how big of a disservice these creative side hustlers are doing their business by ignoring this crucial element of online marketing success:
81% of people perform some type of online research before making a large purchase or investing in a service.
75% of online searchers don’t even look past the first page of results.
72% of online marketers describe content marketing (blogging) as their most successful SEO tactic.
If you’re not familiar with SEO, it seems daunting and overwhelming, and considering you're already working with limited time and a full schedule, it’s easy to dismiss it as a “one-day” project or something you will hire out later “when you have the budget”.
Instead, I’d like to propose an alternative option: reading this post and starting to educate yourself. This post contains 10 new habits that you can start implementing into your existing routines right away that will immediately start improving your SEO, without any hassle or stress on your part. Sounds great, right? It truly is, and I can’t wait for you to see your new and improved search engine rankings!
It’s all well and good to read a post that explains in-depth the benefits you can receive from optimizing your website with high-quality content, but I get it: you’re a SIDE hustler, and you don’t have a ton of time right now to focus on a website overhaul or improving your education in this department. Your main priority is just getting your client projects done before the kids wake up.
Instead of a broad overview, I’d like to propose these ten new SEO tidbits as things that are easy to implement and don’t take a lot of your time to adjust your processes and start utilizing today. I’ve broken them into two groups: on-site and off-site optimization.
I hope that simply by implementing these ten new strategies you’ll see a huge uptick in rankings and site traffic and maybe be inspired to learn more about SEO when you do have the time, or as it gains priority in your online marketing strategy. Let’s begin!
1 | Name your images with relevant keywords.
This is such a simple fix that you wouldn’t think it would have that big of an impact on your rankings. But really, naming your image “Black and gold notebook on an organized desktop.jpeg” is going to give Google a much better idea of what kind of content is on your site than “IMG_0075.jpeg”.
Rename your images before you upload them to your website and they will retain that new name as part of the image data, allowing the image to give Google more information about your site and also allowing it to potentially rank in Image results on Google, as well.
2 | Add alt tags immediately when you upload images.
Another habit I recommend starting is taking a couple of seconds when you do upload your photos to add some alt tags. Alt tags are what search engines display in place of a photo when it doesn’t load, or what the computer will speak to a vision-impaired user who can’t see the content of your image for themselves. Simply including this alt tag on an image is like checking off a box of things Google is looking for and wins you favor in the eyes of the ranking gods.
3 | Add a page description to each of your pages.
Your page title and description is what displays in search engine results along with your website URL, so not only is this a great place to spell out to Google what you’re all about, but it’s also a location you should be sharing your sales copy to win over prospective visitors as they are scrolling through search results!
Some platforms, like Squarespace, actually play advocate for you and fill in this data with their best guess if you don’t include it manually, which helps you appear more established to Google. Of course, writing your own page description is always going to be more accurate, but it’s nice to know that Squarespace is looking out for you, right?
4 | Blog on a regular schedule.
I feel like a broken record about blogging lately, especially blogging for Pinterest, but this tip is particularly regarding the schedule on which you post content.
One thing Google likes to see is regular updates to your website, and content marketing, or blogging, is one of the best ways to routinely share high-quality content regarding your business, filled with tons of natural keywords related to your business, and ultimately telling more of your story to the search engines so they better understand how to rank you.
If you’re already blogging, try to time it to a routine content marketing schedule. The more you stick to that schedule, the more Google will trust your updates and offer you greater validity in the form of higher rankings on search results. And if you’re not already in a blogging rhythm but would like to be, hit us up!
5 | Write naturally to produce more quality content.
If you ever feel like your writing is beginning to sound a little cheesy with too many purposely-placed keywords, then check yourself before you wreck yourself. Google likes to see high-quality content with plenty of keywords describing your site, but it delivers major penalties for “forced” optimization like this.
Honestly, if you write naturally about the topics and subjects shared on your site, describing your services and products to your readers as you would a friend, you’ll naturally include plenty of references and descriptions filled with keywords that Google will recognize to piece together the puzzle that is your business.
6 | Upload images that are web-optimized to improve page speed.
Have you ever gotten antsy and left a site before all the content loading, simply because you were impatient? We’ve ALL been there, and the last thing you want is a potential client missing out on all the incredible content that you’ve worked so hard to put together simply because your images were slowing down your site speed.
A good rule of thumb is to only upload web-optimized photos and graphics to your website. Some more tips for saving these photos:
upload photos as .jpegs and graphics as .pngs.
export them using Save for Web where possible.
use a resolution of 72dpi to 92dpi.
large images (like backgrounds and banners) should be no larger than 1 MB and most other smaller images and graphics should be less than 300 KB.
7 | Get rid of duplicate content, and refresh existing content regularly.
Did you know that Google’s algorithm can pick up on cloned pages on your website and as well as any plagiarized content? As if you needed a different reason to avoid copying page content from another site other than the fact that it’s stealing and super lame, you can now skip the copy+paste action because you know it will harm your search engine rankings. One thing Google is looking for as it scans websites is unique, high-quality content that gets updated regularly.
My suggestion for this? If you find body copy that perfectly illustrates what you’re trying to say, look at it as inspiration, but speak those messages in your own words. Find new examples, new introductions, and new words to carry the same message. And also, make it a habit to update some of the text on every page on your site when you’re on it. Updating a picture on your homepage? Give your About Me intro paragraph a little attention, too, before you hit save. Linking to a new blog post in an old one? Freshen up that intro text and a couple of the middle paragraphs before you move on to your next task.
8 | Create a Google My Business page.
For how simple this is, it sure gets overlooked a lot — and even by me! It took me like four years in business before I FINALLY created my official Google My Business page and deleted the duplicates that had sat around for years with my old addresses.
The benefits of creating and claiming your Google My Business page are: (1) it tells Google that you mean business, literally. You’re here to stay, and you want your customers to learn the most accurate information about your business, from the source; (2) it helps your customers and clients find accurate info about your business right when they need it, as these Google My Business pages are what shows first in search results, which is a big deal for searches on mobile devices; and (3) it creates at least one accurate instance of your business info from a trusted source, and since a lot of other local listing sites pull information from Google My Business pages, you’re giving yourself a good shot at populating that correct information onto other search platforms and listing pages to expand your online presence.
To create a page for your business, visit google.com/business and follow the easy tutorial steps. To verify your business, Google will either call you with an automated message containing a code to enter on your screen, or they can send you a postcard in the mail with a code to enter online.
I recommend optimizing your Google My Business page by filling out as much content as you can, including photos, descriptions, and applicable service areas.
9 | Shoot for a lot of external links.
Did you know that the links to, from, and between pages on your site tell Google more about your business? Receiving links to your site from websites that Google already views well, or sites with high domain authority, helps to communicate the validity of your business, and ultimately helps Google to see you in a more positive light.
Links between pages help the Google bots crawl your site and understand the organization and hierarchy of pages within your website structure.
To get more of those external links that pass on a lot of value to your site’s potential to rank in search engine results, you can try getting more traffic by sharing blog posts on social media and encouraging followers to share your links, and also by guest posting on websites with high reader counts. Find a niche site in your industry and find out if they’d be willing to take you as a guest poster, of course with a couple of links back to your own website.
10 | Create/update/claim listings for your business on trusted sites like Yelp.
One way you can create a strong local signal for your business on local searches using Google is to create local listings on trusted sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, Manta, City Search, etc. If you’ve been in business for a few years, you may be surprised to find that local listing bots already went ahead and created listings for you! These sites want their information to be helpful to their users, so they make it easy for businesses to come in and claim or update the listings about their businesses.
Creating these local listings takes hardly any time and contributes to the validity of your website, in the eyes of Google’s ranking algorithm. Having multiple local listings all with consistent information sends some strong signals that you are currently operating and care enough about your online reputation to claim and update inconsistencies.
Overall, it would probably take you about an hour or two to implement all of these new SEO strategies at once, but want to hear the good news? You don’t have to implement them all at once! You don’t have to be an SEO expert to start ranking well! Take the most applicable suggestions here and start incorporating them into your side hustle as you are able, and you’re sure to see a positive uptick in your status in the rankings of Google searches.
Feeling short on time, but wonder what SEO can do for your business? We'd love to help you take your website to the next level but blogging for you! Check out our Blog Management services to see if we can alleviate some of the online marketing pressure for you.
PIN THIS POST!
free business & marketing tools
Take your hustle to the next level!
Subscribe to our email list today
to download your free copy of
5 WAYS TO RUN A MINIMALISTIC BUSINESS