Three quick tips to increase the effectiveness of your website.
You may not want to take the time to learn everything there is to learn about making your small business website search engine friendly (if you do, start with this SEO guide from Google), but you do have time for these.
“SEO” means “search engine optimization.” You want your website to show up in search engine results, so you do things to “optimize” the site.
Set WordPress Permalinks
“Permalink” is shorthand for “permanent link.” Think of it as a name, or an address. Each and every page on the internet has its own unique address, called a URL, and a permalink is a type of URL. The default WordPress permalinks are ugly. No kidding, they say so, themselves.
Ugly means it isn’t user friendly (i.e. it’s hard or impossible to read), and it returns no SEO benefit whatsoever. One of the great benefits of using WordPress, though, is the built in ability to define a permalink structure that will be automatically applied. You set it up once and you’re done.
Here’s an example of a good permalink structure in action, it tells WordPress to put the post name after the title of the site. As a result, this permalink gives you a pretty good idea of 1. where the page is located, and 2. the information you’ll find on that page:
A good permalink structure can be combined with smart use of key words to form an easy to read “phrase” that becomes the permanent internet address for that page (it’s URL).
Use Keywords and Phrases in the Article
The search engines “read” each page and decide which words on that page are relevant, are the most important, to the people who are searching.
In other words, it’s the job of the search engines to try to figure out what you’re talking about, so they, in turn, can make it easy for their users to find. Hence “keywords.”
The search engines want to know what you’re talking about, so make it easy for them to figure it out…
When you write for your site, include specific words and phrases that are naturally key to your topic. If you’re discussing problems with lawn mower engines, you’ll naturally use those words a few times in the article. The search engines will notice.
And find a couple of ways to repeat the keywords. Work them in, in a couple of places. Don’t sound artificial, because you’ll drive your readers away.
Use Keywords in the Title
If you see an article titled, “Great Tip – Must Read!!!!” you have no idea what it’s about. If you have no idea what it’s about after reading the title, neither will the search engines.
No one looking for information or services or products will use “great tip” as a search term.
Think about your topic. What question would it answer? What problem would it resolve? What desire would it satisfy?
Let’s say you’re writing about closing down your pool for the summer, the idea being that folks would find your company and hire you to close the pool down for a fee, rather than do the work themselves.
Do NOT title your article “Are You Ready for Fall?” Who would know anything about your company, based on that title?
Instead, look for a title that might come close to the words or phrases people would put into a search engine.
If you were looking for help closing down a pool for the season, what would question would you ask?
When you have an answer to that, pick out the keywords or phrases, and include that in the title.
For example, if your market is owners of swimming pools, maybe you’d use “Five Critical Pool Closing Steps.”