Us business owners spend a lot of time crafting our websites and tailoring them to perfection. An entirely customizable display of our brands, products & services AND the ultimate hub for clients considering an investment, our business websites act as the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for both the business owner AND the audience. The problem is, much like that pot of gold, your website’s value quickly diminishes if no one can ever seem to find it. But, what exactly do I mean by that?
As you probably already know, working in such a competitive market, it’s only natural to spend ample time trying to out-do your competitors & master your marketing on a level that appeals to your target audiences — the thing is, this diverts our attention from another extremely important aspect of website growth: appealing to the search engines & algorithms. That’s where the term SEO comes in (or, Search Engine Optimization). In short, SEO is what improves & amplifies how your website presents itself to search engines like Google, thereby giving you a boost that makes your website rank higher in user searches. Of course, you’re absolutely going to want to attract your ideal clients with your web visuals and content — but, keeping that pot of gold in mind, treating this as your sole tactic doesn’t fare too well if you’re never even crossing their desktop screen in the first place. It’s easy to assume otherwise though, and we certainly made that mistake ourselves when beginning our business journey. The illusion that a carefully & intentionally sculpted website is all you need to be off the charts is a tricky one. So, to help YOU avoid this accidental self-sabotage, here are SIX tips we wish we knew about optimizing SEO before launching our own website over ten years ago (P.S. Speaking from experience, it’s never too late to make these changes, so don’t worry about if you’ve passed the deadline for a killer site — cause you can’t):
01 Create & Use a Customized Title and Tagline — Let’s start with the basics. Your website title seems pretty self-explanatory, right? Well, yes, but as one of the MAIN things your search engine will be looking at when indexing your website, you should never underestimate its value! It should thus not only be correspondent with your actual business name, but consistent across all platforms for your biz. Similarly, a catchy & straightforward tagline is a fantastic way to add some more specificity to your website design that will increase your biz’s chances of being shown to its target audience (a surprising amount of small business owners fail to take advantage of this!).
02 Start a Blog — Okay, hear us out on this one. A lot of small business owners are quick to write off the idea of starting a blog because it doesn’t fall within their niche & may even feel irrelevant to their offerings and sales. A lot of people also think that blogging is dead....it's not. This is something you’re going to want to get on top of right away if you really want to see a difference in your SEO. The main idea here is that, by consistently uploading new content to your website, search engines will categorize you as an active page. In doing so, they’ll push you up closer to the top of search results to maintain that users are seeing fresh and relevant content. Plus, it’s a whole lot easier to get going than you might think! For example, if you’re selling fashion, try starting a blog that shares styling tips, updates on new trends, brands you love & endorse...etc!
03 Use Headings — Once again, the goal here is to ensure that you’re always one of the FIRST websites seen by your target audiences. Next to a quality tagline, headings are crucial in this respect. This is where you’ll want to be as descriptive & relevant to your web content as possible, that way the search engines know exactly which users to be providing with your page. As an added bonus, headings allow your readers to scroll through your content with ease, keeping them fully engaged.
04 Differentiate Page & Navigation Titles — As the name suggests, your navigation titles are what appear in your website’s navigation menu. You’ll want these to be short and straight to the point so visitors to your website know exactly where to find what they’re looking for & deal with no hassle in the process. Your page titles, on the other hand, will appear in your browser tabs, and can be more detailed and long to appeal to search engine algorithms. Remember: the more detail you provide, the more easily the search engine can push you towards people that will actually appreciate your content!
05 Use Tags & Categories EVERYWHERE — The beauty of learning about SEO is discovering how many hidden places there are on your website to reap its rewards! Your tags and categories, as opposed to your page titles and headings, allow search engines to get right down to the nitty gritty of what it is you’re all about. Categories are the more broad side of things, and only one tends to be applicable to things like blogs, products, and images; this is important in helping visitors narrow their exploration of your site to their liking. Tags, on the other hand, offer a whole lot more creative liberty — when putting these together, think “the more the better.” But of course, with that said, make sure they’re all still relevant to your actual material. Both tags & categories should be uploaded with your images, blogs, products… everything!
06 Add Alt Text to Images — If you want your images to act as an additional asset to your SEO, alt text is a must. Since search engines can’t interpret images on their own, they’ll rely on the alt text you provide to determine more information about the content of your website and it’s particular pages, enabling them to generate your content in a search. The alt text will appear to visitors when hovering over images with their cursor.
And that’s that! These few minor changes may not initially seem to have that much value because of how easy & straightforward they are, but that’s a major underestimation you’ll quickly come to regret. Just a little extra handful of work & your website can start reaching numbers you’ve never even come close to in the past — why wouldn't you want to give it a go? If you’re familiar with SEO, we’d love to know which strategies have worked best for YOU so far in your business journey. Feel free to comment below or reach out to us on our socials @themintstudio_ . Plus before you go, be sure to subscribe to our weekly email list on our home page and keep an eye out over the next few weeks for some super exciting announcements coming up!! We can’t wait to grow with you this summer & see where the season takes you and your amazing biz.
Best of luck friends,
Natalie and Ron