SEOBusiness slow? Website traffic down to a trickle? Googled your business and found nothing until the fourth page? Answer yes to even one of these and it might be time to update your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. A well thought out, fresh approach to SEO will help you climb the search engine rankings, so your business is in its rightful place — on page one.

Keywords

The factors and criteria that go into the coveted rankings seem to be a moving target, but getting back to basics is a great place to start. Brainstorm new keywords for your business. Be general and specific so you get exposure to both your passive and detail-oriented customers. We recommend you do a search on the keywords you select and see what related terms pop-up — if they make sense, add them to your list.

Once your list is complete, take a close look at it, clean it up and prioritize what keywords you’ll feature. Google Adwords can give you historical statistics and even a look at how your proposed keywords could perform.

Now that you have an effective keywords list; you’ll need to use them correctly. Fight the urge to add all of your keywords to your homepage. Add a few of your highest priority keywords to your homepage and then use others throughout your site to up your rankings. Remember, pages that link to your homepage also count toward your search engine rankings. Also, have a page for each service you offer; this gives you the space to add more relevant, searchable content — a plus when your site is crawled.

Links

One of the true killers of a better ranking is a site featuring broken links. If a link isn’t working, remove it and replace it with one that is. Use one of the free tools to check if a link is broken because a customer may lose faith in your business when they come across a broken link on your site.

A valuable link strategy that some small businesses fail to use is linking to their site on their homepage. Internal linking allows you to link to and promote services you offer to someone on your homepage. If you’re talking about how you carry organic coffee, link out to the page featuring your coffee selections. But do it where it fits, wedging it in hurts readability and could affect rankings.

Page Design

A user-friendly, well-designed website is shared more than a formulaic, tired-looking site. Sites with impressive photos, videos, pertinent infographics and other images will add to the overall quality of your website.

Your homepage should be an executive summary of your business and your site. Offer content on the goods and services you offer, feature contact information, so customers know where you’re located and how to get ahold of you. Remember, your homepage is important to your rankings because it is the page that other sites will link to, and if you’re offering bad content you’ll not only affect your rankings but those who have linked to you.

We’ve covered a lot in this blog about SEO strategy, and there is so much more to learn. But if you keep your link structure strong, content quality high and use the keywords you came up with correctly, you should see your search engine ranking climb. Good luck and we hope to see you on the front page!