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Related Blog: How to Improve Your Local SEO With Citations and Links
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) refers to the techniques that help your website rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) and is often looked at as a very complex thing that most people do not understand. However, SEO is actually very straightforward. Let’s take a look at how Google rank works, how you can improve your website’s SEO and three things you should do today.
SEO 101: Why Would Google Rank You?
In order to attract people from Google searches, you first need to understand their intent. So what is the difference between intent and keywords? The short answer is that you need to understand your audience’s intent in order to use the proper keywords. For example, a business that does hardwood floor refinishing wants to use the broad keyword “hardwood refinishing.” As they use this broad keyword in their pay-per-click ads, they discover that they are appearing in searches for hardwood furniture refinishing. This is why it’s important to understand the intent of your audience and what they are searching for before creating your SEO strategy around keywords that may not be directly connected with the main intent of the searcher. You can find hundreds of keywords that may be relevant to your business and what it does, but the real trick is finding the right ones to target.
The next step is making it easy for Google. Many people underestimate the power of creating a simple website that has the right content, the right development, and the right structure. We recommend using the HubSpot CRM because it is built for SEO. If your website doesn’t have all the recommended SEO features, it can attract the wrong audience or no leads at all.
After you’ve figured out the intent of your audience and made sure that your website is easy for Google to read and understand, the next step is to create a good user experience. If your website loads slowly or it has a convoluted experience and users are wasting time or not finding things on your website, that will hurt your Google ranking. A poor user experience will always cause your website to not appear in searches no matter how perfect the SEO is.
The final step is to solve for the user's intent. Ask yourself questions such as: “Why are they asking these questions?” and “What is important to them to make a decision towards becoming a lead, buying a product, etc.” Then ask yourself how you are solving these questions.
Research, Website Design, Content, and More
So how do we go about answering these questions from our audience? The first step to knowing your audience’s intent is knowing your audience or buyer personas. However, you need to understand who is buying your product, and whom you need to attract to your website. An easy start to this is talking to your salespeople or customer service representatives because they already know these things.
The next step is doing some more research, looking for the keywords and deep questions your audience is asking. A methodology that we suggest is They Ask You Answer, which is a framework with one question at its core: “What is my customer asking?” This is a great way to start building content, designing your website, and working on your SEO.
As you’re designing your website, make sure to use a great template or theme that has been developed to be SEO-friendly and user-friendly. These templates or themes are programmed the right way to save time and money on future optimizations.
Then, with the saved time and money, you can create content and experiences that deliver value. When you understand who your audience is, their intent, the questions they ask, and what keywords they are using, you can create great content that delivers those answers and solutions.
3 Things You Should Do Today
1 - Audit Your Website:
The first thing you can do if you already have a website live is to audit your website or use HubSpot’s Website Grader. You can also use Google Search Console to see how your website is performing. These tools will help you find little things you may need to fix, such as a page having more than one H1 tag or finding issues within the page template.
2 - Simplify Your Website Structure:
The next thing to do is to audit your website or simplify your website structure. When we are starting a new website project, the first thing that we do is scan all the pages that the website has using Screaming Frog. This great tool allows you to scan your website like Google would and see all the pages that your website has. This can help you determine if there are a lot of URLs that aren’t necessary to the structure of the website, such as URLs that are tags or a lot of extra files. From there, you can start to simplify the structure using pillar pages and topic clusters.
3 - Cleanup Your Blog/Tags:
The last thing that you should do is clean up your blogs and blog tags. If you have been blogging for a long time, you probably have blogs that have a few paragraphs and a lot of old or outdated tags. Go back through your content and see what needs to be updated or deleted and start condensing your tags. If you don’t clean these up, it creates a lot of noise around your website.
Join our CMS for Marketers HUG to learn more about how you can use the HubSpot Content Management System (CMS) to create beautiful and high-performing websites. We will guide you through the entire process of developing a website and discuss topics such as how to utilize various design tools, optimize your site, determine messaging that fits your brand, and much more.