You are a passionate baker and have finally decided to launch a business. For the last year, you have tinkered in your kitchen and people have even started to pay you to make a few baked goods for them. You choose a do-it-yourself (DIY) website builder to save money, get a website up and running and the site even includes a basic e-commerce store. Several months later, while you are still selling baked goods to family and friends, the website has virtually no sales. Sound familiar?
Imagine what it would be like to start driving traffic to your website e-commerce store.
Do you know this small business, or does it remind you of your own? Imagine what it would be like to start driving traffic to your website e-commerce store. Your instinct tells you that you need a marketing campaign, but the core problem is most probably that the essential search engine optimization (SEO) work has not been done. With a start-up budget, you know that hiring a SEO company can be expensive. Have you considered doing basic SEO yourself? Here’s how.
1. Create a sitemap
Sitemaps list the pages and nesting structure of your website. By creating a sitemap, the robots or spiders that crawl your site for content will understand the organization of the website and all of the pages.
2. Upload the sitemap to Google
To have your website properly indexed by Google, set up a Google Webmaster Tools account so that you are verified as the owner of the website. Then upload your sitemap to Google and have it crawled with the Fetch as Google tool.
3. Follow Title Tag and meta description best practice
Stick to the character count specified in the search engine results page (SERP) guidelines and in the Title Tag, put key search terms first, followed by your brand. If your brand is well-known and may be searched in its own right, then put the brand first. Ensure every page of your website has a unique Title Tag and meta description for Google snippets brought up in search.
4. Optimize Keyword Density
Keyword density refers to the percentage of times a keyword or phrase appears on a website page relative to the total word count. Ensure that you identify the relevant keywords for each website page and improve optimization by having a keyword density of 2 to 4 percent.
5. Submit your URL to dmoz.org
The Open Directory Project is a database that seeks to catalog all websites. Website submissions are reviewed by volunteer editors, and it may take years to get a website listed due to the labor-intensive nature of the editorial process, but it is worth the effort and you can resubmit every few months or so.
These SEO steps may seem straightforward, but you would be amazed at how often they are not done. If you take the time to do them, your website will be indexed for search with optimized Title Tags and meta descriptions. When your clients can find the website, your new business may just get off the ground.
Still looking for SEO guidance or don’t want to consider doing basic SEO yourself? Contact us.