Distinctly Different

By Keri Morris, Membership Director of the Marshalltown Area Chamber of Commerce

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the phrase of the day…behind COVID-19. While many of us are quarantined, project lists are forming and SEO needs to be on your list! Taken straight from the Google dictionary, search engine optimization “ involves making certain changes to your website design and content that make your site more attractive to a search engine in hopes that the search engine will display your website as a top result on the search engine results page.”

Take this time at home to be analytical with your website. Read it and see if the wordage used reflects words you might type into a search engine to find your business. There are things you can do from your home or office that don’t require hiring an IT person. Below are a few examples of ways in which you can be at the top of the list for searches. 

Long-Tail Keywords.  Look at your website and see if it contains the correct wordage for people to find you. Optimizing your search engine through keywords is so important. Choose long-tail keywords which are phrases that contain three and four words which are very specific to whatever you are selling. An example would be ‘aloe hair product in Marshalltown’. Think about what you type in your search engine when looking for something to buy and apply that same concept to your own website.

Internal Links. The longer consumers stay on your website, the higher your websites’ ranking will be. The goal here is to hyperlink to relevant pages within the entirety of your website. This a. forces consumers to see your other pages and b. makes consumers more familiar with your brand.

Title Tags, Meta Descriptions. Okay, you may need an IT person for this one…but this is not difficult. You, or a person of your choice, will need into the backend of your website software to make sure that all of the page titles have search engine tags associated with them. For example, let’s say I run a dairy farm and one of my pages is titled Farm Statistics. My title tags might look something like this: Lactation, reproduction, rolling heard average, statistics. Website softwares like WordPress and Drupal have the ability to add title tags built in.  It’s fairly easy. Just think of what consumers might type into the search engine to find you.

Follow an SEO blog to learn more. Helpful, free beginner SEO guides include Moz’s “The Beginner’s Guide to SEO,” Search Engine Land’s “Guide to SEO,” and Google’s “Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide.”

In conclusion, search engine optimization isn’t as scary as it sounds and following the above steps can greatly improve your website page visits.