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How to Optimize Your Website to Improve Your SEO Ranking

If you own a brand and you have yet to see your website pop up on local search results, don’t be discouraged. All it takes is a few tweaks to your website and a little more knowledge under your belt, and your SEO ranking will be out of this world! You will see your website at the top in no time.

Studies show that the top page of Google has a 33% better chance of getting clicked. This means that if your website is not sitting at the top of Google search results, that you just lost out on a third of your potential traffic! Research also shows that 75% of people don’t make it to the second page of the search results. This means that if your website is not on the first page, then it doesn’t matter where your site is because it will never be seen. 

There are hundreds of simple ways that you can improve your SEO ranking. A few changes here and there will land you a spot on the first page. From there, you will be on your way to more web visitors, increased sales and revenue. Although there are hundreds of ways that you can optimize your website for SEO, you only have to make a few changes to see a huge difference. You’ll be immensely boosting your chances of getting found on Google. Here are five ways that you can optimize your website to improve your SEO ranking.

1. Check your Page Titles 

Page titles are incredibly important for SEO ranking. This is because page titles are the first thing that users see when they search for something online. One effective way to optimize your website is to check all of your page titles. This means that you should check every title on every page, article, and piece of content to make sure that they are engaging, grammatically correct, and loaded with keywords. Your SEO titles should be accurate, meaning that they should accurately reflect what your page is about. Your titles should also be succinct, meaning that they should be briefly and clearly expressed. The most important thing is to make sure that your page titles include keywords.

2. Always Include Meta Descriptions

The meta description on a website is the little paragraph that is displayed underneath the page title in the search results. The meta description is there to provide the user with extra information related to the website, helping users decide whether or not your site information is what they need. One way that you can improve your SEO ranking is to make sure that all of the pages on your website have a meta description. That little blurb of information is more important than you think! Meta descriptions are meant to drive more relevant traffic to your site and keep users sticking around. Make sure that your meta description clearly states what your page is about, contains keywords targeting the right audience, and is written in the right context. 

3. Create Internal Links 

If you haven’t already, you need to be creating internal links between pages on your website. It may seem odd, but linking pages within your website will bring in more visitors and keep them sticking around. Google actually favors websites who have internal links because its web crawlers are able to index the site’s pages much more easily and it creates a better user experience. When you create internal links, you are allowing users to spend more time on your site and locate pages easier. Your users will be much happier, more likely to trust you and also more likely to return in the future. More visitors now will show Google that your page is valuable and will eventually boost your SEO rating. 

4. Insert Alt Text with Images 

Who doesn’t love a good picture with a page of content or informative article? Images enhance the user experience and make your website fun and interesting! But, unfortunately, Google cannot see those images unless you add “Alt Text” or an “Alt Tag” to the image. So, in order for Google to see those images, you have to provide a description, or something that Google can interpret and recognize as a picture. Google needs that text to be able to understand!

Alt Texts are used within an HTML code to describe the appearance and function of an image on a page. To improve your website SEO, make sure that you tag every image that you upload onto your site. You need to make sure that every single photo has an Alt Text tag. This is so important because Google needs to understand the image and index it. Your ideal Alt Text should include keywords relevant to your page and its information. 

5. Make your URLS Clear and Concise

Have you ever paid attention to your page URLs? They actually play a big role in your website SEO! URLs are the addresses on the top of each page. Your URLs actually show up underneath the title in your search results. Because your URLs are actually being seen, you want to make sure that they look clean and easy to read. Messy or cluttered URLs can be confusing to your visitors. They can often appear as untrustworthy, spammy, and unclear. An easy-to-read URL might be your ticket to more traffic, more clicks, and increased sales. The difference between a clean URL and cluttered URL could mean a few extra dollars in your pocket at the end of the year. 

As previously mentioned, there are hundreds of ways that you can optimize your website to boost your SEO ranking. These five tips on improving your website optimization will get you one step closer to seeing your website ranked on Google. Keep in mind that most of this optimization deals with double checking your website for errors and fixing little things here and there. If you don’t see your website or your page of content on the top of the page, don’t give up! Keep optimizing your page and search engines, such as Google, will start to notice. Your website will be on that front page in no time!

What is SEO and Why is It Important?

Did you know that organic search is most often the primary source for web traffic? That places a big weight on the shoulders of search engines. Because organic search is most often used, SEO has become a main tactic for putting websites in the position to be seen by web visitors.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is all about brand exposure, website ranking, credibility, increasing the quantity and quality of web traffic, and creating a better experience for web visitors. 

Search Engine Optimization is a method of increasing a website’s ranking on search engine results such as Google, Yahoo, AOL, Bing, and many more. There are hundreds of factors that go into search engine rankings. These factors help websites get closer to ranking at the top of search results.

Why is it important?

A website that ranks at the top of the search results page will have more web traffic. That is just a fact! This is just one of the many reasons why businesses optimize their website. It is one more way that those businesses can gain traffic. Not only does great SEO increase website traffic, but it also increases yearly sales and revenue. Optimizing your website for SEO is an important step in getting your brand noticed. In its essence, SEO makes your website more visible, trustworthy, and credible.

How does SEO work?

SEO can only be truly understood when you understand the purpose of search engines. 

A search engine is meant to provide impartial search results that detail and present information as quickly and as accurately as possible. In order for a search engine to provide you those quick results, they need to be able to identify and analyze websites all over the Internet that match what you are looking for.

There are over 1 billion websites in existence today. Search engines are working overtime to pick through active, inactive, quality, and subpar websites to display high-quality and relevant results. Just think about that for a second! We do not give search engines enough credit. Nowadays, we just expect search engines to display results in two seconds. We don’t even think about the work that goes on behind the scenes to make those results pull up quickly and accurately. 

For example, let’s say that you typed “Restaurants near me” into Google. You wait a few seconds and local restaurants begin to pull up. You may not have realized this before, but Google is analyzing tons of data from different websites before displaying them to you. Want to know something crazy? Search engines are analyzing data ALL the time! They actually never stop analyzing data. That’s how you know that the websites perched at the top of the page are relevant and high-quality!

How do search engines analyze so much data?

But wait! How are search engines able to analyze so much data on millions of websites everyday?

Their secret? Web crawlers. 

A web crawler, sometimes known as a spiderbot, is an Internet bot that systematically and regularly browses the web for the purpose of indexing. Web crawlers look for specific things when browsing websites. Search engines use web crawler’s information to separate the high-quality sites from the subpar sites. The high-quality sites that use SEO-friendly techniques are ranked higher. Those will be the websites that you see at the top of the page when you search for anything specific. 

The websites at the top of the page are deemed “trustworthy” because they contain most of the necessary information needed to have the best SEO. The websites on the second, third and fourth pages aren’t necessarily “untrustworthy”, but they are missing a few things that would boost their ranking even higher! The ways that you optimize your website have a direct effect on your SEO ranking. There are hundreds of different ways that you can improve your SEO. One way that you can get started is by improving your keywords

What Are The Best Ways To Ask For Reviews?

If you have a brand, you may already know how important reviews are for your business credibility. Reviews are absolutely essential for your business, but actually getting people to leave a review is a whole different story! 

Many people struggle with the thought of asking a customer to leave a review. Thoughts of negativity may sweep your mind, causing you to think that maybe you’ll sound stupid if you ask or maybe they’ll leave you a bad review for everyone to see! Just like anything in life, there are a million different things that could happen, though most of them are beyond unrealistic. 

The only reason why you need to ask for reviews is because people need to be told what you need them to do. The truth is that most people don’t even think about writing reviews for the businesses that they visit or the online stores they shop from. Unless your customer had a beyond horrific experience or an out-of-this-world excellent experience, they will not normally think about writing a review. 

In that case… you need to ask! And just to be clear, there is no harm in asking. Even though it sounds intimidating, you need to push through and ask anyway. It’s better that you try and fail rather than failing because you never tried. We guarantee that you won’t fail by asking for reviews. You will only be helping your business. 

So, put all of those negative thoughts aside and open your mind to new ways that you can approach your customers and ask for that positive feedback! 

The good news is that most customers are more than happy to tell you what they think. All you have to do is ask

1. Product Feedback Email 

If your business sells tangible products, it would be a good opportunity for you to ask for product reviews. This is a great way for the customer to give you honest feedback about product they purchased! Instead of asking your customers to write any kind of review, ask them to write a product review. This gives them a topic and a greater incentive to write about the product! 

2. Link to Feedback Survey 

Make sure you snag the customer’s email address when they’re shopping in store or online! Their email address gives you the opportunity to send them a thank you email and a link directing them to a survey. You might be thinking, “Why would somebody want to fill out my survey?” Well, you will get some people that won’t look at it. But, you will also get some people that will! Those are the people that matter. You will never get survey feedback if you don’t ask for it. Don’t be afraid to send them the link and see what happens!

3. Ask for a Facebook, Google, and/or Yelp Review 

People are already on their phones for most of the day, scrolling online and through social media. Take advantage of that opportunity and ask your customers to leave you a review on the platform that they most use. If they already use Facebook everyday, then why not have them visit your Facebook page and leave a positive comment? Although Yelp clearly states that you are not allowed to ask people to leave a review, you can certainly allude to the fact that you have a profile. With Google and Facebook, it is more acceptable to directly ask for a review. Just be sure to remind your customers that Google reviews increase your brand visibility and that a social media review will help increase your online presence. 

4. Ask in Person 

What ever happened to the good ole fashion way of communicating? Ask your customers in person! It doesn’t matter if you include it at the bottom of your receipt, hand them a reminder card, or just ask your customer face-to-face. Asking your customer directly can be a very effective way of getting that review. You don’t have to make it weird either. All it would take is a “Hey! Thank you so much for shopping with us! It would mean the world if you could leave us a review today and let us know about your shopping experience!” 

5. Add an Incentive 

One partially-genius way to get your customers to write you a review is to offer some type of incentive for doing so. Whether that means you will enter them into a raffle, give them a coupon to your business, or promise to give everyone a free gift when they enter your store; Give your customers some reason why they should give you feedback on their experience. As mentioned before, most people will gladly write you a review. But, an incentive never hurts.

6. Over the Phone/ via Text. 

Another effective way to get those reviews is to ask the customer over the phone! Keep in mind, that calling or texting a customer who had multiple problems with your business may not be the best person to ask. Try to contact people who, while at your business, expressed their gratitude and happiness with your service! Those people will most likely be the most responsive. There may not be a lot of cases where you are face-to-face with your customers. For this reason, asking your customers via phone or email is the most popular way to ask for a review.

7. Use a Review Management Tool 

Consider using a review management tool to keep track of your reviews, send requests to write a review and reply to reviews that have already been written. In most cases, you will not be notified when a customer writes a review on any of the platforms where your business is listed. That leaves you with the job of having to log onto every platform and reply manually. Unless you have more time on your hands than you know what to do with, it would benefit you to at least look into how a review management tool can help your business.

The Hostirian team offer a few tools that will help you with every part of those reviews. Our tools will also show you analytics, offer you the best keywords to use, allow you to send mass messages to customers, and much more! Our tools, Customer Voice and Reputation Management, are worth checking out if you have ever struggled to manage your reviews! Even if you are not struggling, make it easy on yourself! Get some online tools to help simplify your life and manage your reviews. 

Reviews build your brand reputation. The importance of reviews is sometimes swept under the rug. Don’t forget you need them to grow your brand, increase sales, build your credibility, improve your SEO, drive traffic to your website and much more! It has been proven that nearly 4 out of 5 consumers read reviews before making a purchase. You absolutely need those reviews. If you are not getting them, the best thing you can do for your brand is to ask for them. And remember, if you ask for those reviews, make sure that you respond to them! 

What Are Business Listings?

If you have a brand, own a website, or frequently research local businesses, you may be well acquainted with online directories such as Yelp, Google My Business, Bing, Yahoo, Yellow Pages, and so on. As a brand owner, you may have been reminded one too many times how important it is to have your business information listed on many different of online directories. 

If you are questioning the validity of the importance of business listings, then keep reading! Believe it or not, business listings are a major way to grow your business. 

What Are Business Listings?

Local business listings, also known as business directories, are little online profiles that summarize your business information. They serve as powerful tools to help customers find you. There are hundreds of different online directory websites that businesses use to display their information. The common saying is, “The more online directories your business uses, the better!”

It is not only important that your brand is listed on as many directories as possible, but it’s important that your information is accurate. Your business listings should include essential information, such as: 

  1. Your Business Name  
  2. Your Business Address 
  3. Phone Number 
  4. Website 
  5. The Category 
  6. Business Hours 
  7. Description of Your Business

The picture below is a real time screenshot of a Hostirian Business Solutions business listing. This is a real look into how Hostirian is listed online!

You should also consider adding photos, the ability to book an appointment or make a reservation, access to your menu or services, and reviews. It is incredibly important that your business information is accurate across all platforms. And yes, we will repeat this multiple times because it’s just that important!

Why Are Business Listings Important?

The directories listed above, and many more, are places where businesses all over the world can list their information for customers to find. The most important reason why business information is listed is so that search engines can locate your information from the directories, pull it from the website and then display it on local search results (like displayed above). It is absolutely crucial to make sure that your listings are accurate across all platforms, including social media! This is because inaccurate information will negatively impact your search results ranking. If your phone number listed on Google My Business is different than the number you have listed on Yellow Pages, then Google will have a hard time pinpointing who you are.

Your brand listing on Yelp cannot be one letter, number or capital letter different from your brand listing on Google, and so on. Every listing has to look exactly the same. Every apostrophe, every letter in your business name and every number in your phone number means something. Not only will inaccurate and inconsistent listings hurt your SEO and Google search results ranking, but your customers will not trust you. You will be confusing the heck out of them! A lack of trust will result in less sales and a loss of customers. Check out this snapshot of Title Boxing Club’s business listings and how consistent they are across several other directories. They even scored an 86%… Pretty good if you ask us!

As you notice in the pictures above, there are red “errors found”, “not found” or “missing” alerts next to their respective directories. The green “appears correct” alert signals that the business information is correct and consistent across all of those platforms. Like we said, 86% isn’t bad at all!

Grow Your Business

When you have correct brand listing information across all platforms, you are verifying your authority, increasing your SEO, and proving that your business is trustworthy and credible. It is also important that you update your information regularly so that your business can be indexed properly. The directories are designed to constantly ask for your verification so that they can keep the most up-to-date information about your business. This means if you have inputted your business information manually, that you will have to verify every directory in which your business is listed.

We have mentioned this before, but the more listings you have, the better off you are. Think about it. If your business information is listed on hundreds of different websites, you are offering the opportunity for a greater amount of people to view your business information. Business listings are crucial for boosting your local search presence, they help connect you with your community, help people find your business and ultimately help you become more recognized. It’s a very effective way to grow your business. All you need to do is take advantage of it! 

We Have An Incredibly Powerful Listing Builder Tool Just For You

Most online directories are free to use (such as Google, social media, Yelp, etc.), but others require a small fee. We’re not going to lie… Tackling business listings all by yourself is a big task. It’s an important element for your business, but it doesn’t demean the amount of work it takes to keep up with your listings.

It’s an incredibly essential tool but it’s also very time consuming. The time that you are spending on manually inputting information could be used to better your business in other ways!

Good news! There are actually some applications and software that you can purchase to put out your business information on hundreds of different platforms, helping your brand rank higher on Google search results. If you are struggling to get business listings on multiple different directories and platforms, have troubles getting ranked on Google or any other related problem, reach out to us here at Hostirian. We offer a comprehensive tool that will handle all of that for you, and more! With our listing builder tool, we can either handle it all for you or we can let you handle it yourself. The Snapshot above is only a part of what you can expect with this tool.

We can’t stress enough how important it is to have online listings! It is even more important that your listings are accurate and on several different directories. Be honest with yourself and don’t try to tackle this job alone. Let us help you! Click the button below to get started!

We can manage it for you or you can handle it for yourself.