10th January 2017 Claire Hawes

Here are my new year’s SEO resolutions… What are yours?

My SEO resolutions start with a review of my website content. Learn how I intend to give my site visibility, boost traffic and connect with potential customers.

Back to work. One week in. And I’m determined to fulfil my new year’s business resolutions. Top of my list is SEO.

My business is marketing communications. Yet although I am great at giving my clients advice, I am acutely aware that I am somewhat neglectful in practising what I preach.

My excuse, I am a freelancer with small children. I simply don’t have the time.

But the truth is, by neglecting my SEO strategy, my business:

  • Has little visibility
  • Is missing out on valuable Google traffic opportunities
  • Is missing out on opportunities to learn about, connect to and engage with potential customers

So with the New Year upon me, I have decided that this is the perfect opportunity for me to kick-start my own SEO strategy. To get my site ready for me to promote it (use it for marketing purposes), I am going to start with a simple review of my website content.

If you are like me a small business and unsure of where to start with SEO, then do take note of these initial 5 steps I am taking to optimise my website content for search.

Step 1: Review my keyword/key phrase strategy 

Google is now supposedly so clever that it can identify searcher intent.

What this doesn’t mean is that Google is so clever that keyword strategies no longer matter. (When I say keyword I mean words or phrases that help search engines match my pages to appropriate search queries.)

What it does mean is that when doing your keyword research you should keep your user’s intent in mind.

For example, if I type the keyword or search term ‘copywriter’ into Google, the search results provide me with:

  • Various web pages answering the question: ‘What is a copywriter?’
  • Various copywriter firms
  • Copywriter jobs and vacancies

Unsurprisingly the search results are rather broad. To narrow down the results I need to give the search engine a bit more information. In other words I need to let it know my ‘intent’. For example, my intent could be to:

  • Learn about how copywriting works
  • Seek specific services, such as SEO copywriting, blog writing and so on
  • Locate local copywriters

Although Google is getting clever at matching my ‘user intent’ based on my search queries, I strongly believe that website owners should not allow their potential visitors to rely on Google to drive traffic to their websites. Especially when it is easy for you to help Google point potential visitors in the right direction.

This means when I review my site I will not only research the keywords my visitors are most likely to use when seeking my services, but I will also think about their ‘intent’ when creating my list.

Ultimately this will help me to:

  • Create pages that will be found when my audience asks questions
  • Be best able to answer my audience’s questions
  • Make Google love me!

Step 2. Review my meta titles and meta descriptions

Did you know that your meta titles and meta descriptions are your first opportunity to sell?

Why? Because having run a search query, combined they form the content of the search engine results pages (SERPS).

Therefore when I review my site for SEO I am going to review my meta titles and meta descriptions to ensure they:

  • Accurately and concisely convey what my individual pages are about
  • Are keyword/key phrase rich
  • Written in a persuasive way to attract searchers to visit my website

Top tip: In May 2016 Google extended its meta tag (titles and descriptions) character limits. Meta titles have been increased to 71 characters. Meta descriptions can be up to 160 characters in length. If you haven’t done so already, take the opportunity to revisit your meta data to see if you improve it by exploiting the extra characters available.

Step 3: Review my website copy for SEO, customer focus and conversion

As an SEO copywriter, I know that SEO is more than just about clever coding.

To be found in the search engines is my first priority. But to generate leads, my content must be clear, customer focused and above all written for conversion.

Therefore it is worth taking some time to review your pages to ensure they answer the questions:

  • Who are you?
  • What do you do?
  • How do your products/services help me?
  • Where can I find more information?
  • What do I do next?

Step 4: Make sure Google can identify my images

We live in a visual world so it is important for me to include images in my content.

However I know that search engine crawlers find it difficult to identify images. To address this I must provide a text alternative to my images, otherwise known as ‘alt text’.

You will find that most website content management systems provide fields to allow you to add short and precise “alt text”. This concise text must describe your images and how they like to your page topics.

Step 5: Review my local SEO strategy

It’s all very well having a nice optimised site, but I know there are hundreds of thousands of copywriters out there. How can I ensure that I can be found by the people most likely to use my services?

This is where Google My Business fits in. It is a free listing that is super easy to set up. Most importantly it is specifically geared to making it easier for local prospective customers to find you.

On my to do list this week is to revisit my listing to ensure that it is still accurate and to see if I can improve it.

And that is it!

Once I have carried out these simple steps, my next step is to build a simple and manageable content strategy around my visitor’s needs.

But that is another story… So stay tuned.

Of course if you need assistance in conducting a review of your website content then do get in touch to find out about The Content Boutique’s website content audit services. A full review of your site will uncover ways for you to:

  • Drive more traffic to your site
  • Drive more enquiries to help you to achieve your business goals

Thanks for reading. And do let me know how my tips worked for you.

Until next time…

Claire Hawes, copywriter and owner of The Content Boutique About Claire Hawes

Claire Hawes is a marketing communications copywriter. She enjoys writing engaging copy that helps businesses to get noticed and attract enquiries. Claire’s experience mainly lies in the business to business sector. Her clients include both businesses and digital marketing agencies.

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