In last week’s post about getting your website ready for the holidays, we mentioned adding a page or pages of content as a strategy to improve traffic flow to your website. Today we’ll get into a little more detail about how — and why — to go about doing that.
First, come up with some keywords and key phrases you think your target audience might use to find what they’re looking for on search engines. Once you’ve got that list, think of ways you can modify those phrases to make them more specific to you. Adding things like your location (Des Moines Cupcakes) or something unique about your product (Des Moines Vegan Cupcakes) can make you more likely to rank on the first page of results because competition for those terms is not as stiff.
Of course, you’ll want to make sure those terms are found on the relevant pages of your website. But today’s task is to add new, fresh content to your website that search engines like Google will crawl in addition to the pages you already have. You can add a stand-alone page to your site, or you can create blog posts. If you’re adding a stand-alone page, you’ll want to make sure it’s as search-friendly as possibly since that is its main purpose on your site.
There are lots of ways to optimize your new page for search engines. Today we’ll focus on four of the most essential. These items also appear in keyword targeting post on Moz, which goes into far greater detail. If you’d like to really jump in headfirst, it’s a good read. When you’re just getting started though, the following four items are your essentials:
1. When setting up your page, put your very best keyword phrase in the page title. This is the text that will appear at the top in web browsers, and as the title of your search result listings. This needs to be relevant and specific for two reasons. First, it will get you the best search ranking results when crawlers view your site. Second, your page title also needs to work well for humans. When people scan their search results pages, you want to stand out as the obvious choice.
2. Make sure that the headline (or H1, if you’re into coding) closely resembles the keyword phrase that your visitors clicked on in their search. Not only will this reinforce your content to search engines, it will also immediately assure visitors that they’ve come to the right place, and they’re likely to find what they’re looking for on your site. Leave any ambiguity here, and they will almost certainly click that dreaded ‘back’ button to try another result.
3. Now for the body of your page, or the page content. Your mission here is not just to stuff your page full of keywords, hit save, and move on with your day. Although the purpose of this page is to attract search engines and get you ranked for certain terms, you also need to fulfill your part of the bargain with the people who click your link. Provide useful, relevant, high-quality content that answers a question, informs them about something, or offers suggestions or helpful ideas. Whether it’s a holiday shopping list, gift ideas for certain people in their lives, or a recipe for homemade cupcakes, provide something of value and you’ll reap the rewards.
4. Don’t forget to add the images! A page of solid text might be informative, but not if it’s so dense that nobody is going to read it. Your images can explain something, show an example, or just reinforce the mood or message. From a human standpoint, they’ll make your page appear more professional and leave a positive impression of your brand with visitors. From a search standpoint, your images have the potential to show up in Google’s image search results, which provides another avenue through which visitors can find you. Make sure that you give them logical file names (pumpkincupcake.jpg vs. image3.jpg), and alt text that describes their content.
When you’re all done, come back and post a link to your new search-optimized holiday page! We’d love to see what you come up with.