One Keyword Per Service - SEO Basics
If you offer multiple services inside your business and you’re only detailing them out on a single ‘services’ page, you're missing out on a great opportunity to improve your website’s SEO. One of the many jobs of a search engine is to understand what a web page is about and categorize it accordingly based on the words presented on a given page.
If you offer 8 separate services, for example, and briefly list them on a single web page, the search engine is going to only get a broad understanding of what your business is about, especially, if your website contains only a handful of pages. The best practice in this example would be to have a single web page or landing page for each service you provide. So, for instance, if you were a media production company and your services included photography, videography, social media help, graphic & website design, you would create a page for each individual service.
At this point, you may be wondering, How many words are needed on a page for each service you provide to be seen in search engines? To find how many words you need to write about your service you would need to first search for your biggest competitor, look for a similar service your competitor offers and go to that page and run a word count on their page and evaluate the quality of their text. If you’ve never performed a word count check, don’t worry! It’s a very simple process. Highlight all the text of a webpage, right click the highlighted area and click copy, then simply go to: https://wordcounter.net/ and paste your words in where it says, “Start typing…” and it will instantly give you the word count of the post.
Next you simply need to out-write your competitor in word count and provide, at the very least, the same quality of work your competitor provided on the subject. Search engines are getting smarter and smarter and are getting pretty good at spotting rubbish articles. In fact, you may offer the best service in town in your industry but if you get lazy on this, the search engines simply won’t reward you with better ranking.
You can think of search engines as your local town-folk. If you provide a great service in town and are one of the best at what you do, you better believe people will build you up and you’ll be rewarded with new customers for your hard work. However, if your business only does the bare minimum to get by, your doors will open less frequently.
If your website has been neglected for years and it’s not ranking, you’re not alone and, in most cases, you can begin ranking for keywords. To do this, you can hire a local SEO specialist, or if you have access to your business website, you can begin making changes to improve your SEO. Since we’re on the topic of your businesses services, you should start by doing research on your competitor’s website, because good and effective SEO always begins with good research.
To get started, go to google and type in: site://yourbiggestcompetitor.com. Replace “yourbiggestcompetitor.com” with your competitors URL. I used site://focusgroupms.com as my main competitor. What I’m looking for first is the number of results, which is circled in the example image. This is the number of pages Google has indexed for focusgroupms.com. This means that this company has a mixture of at least 287 blogs, pages, and landing pages.
It’s clear to me, looking at the data above, my competitor is serious about their business and is working hard to become an authority on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in Their sector of business. This data gives me a scope of my long term goals. In order to outrank them, I would need to have at least 287 pages of valuable content on my website. I know this may sound like a daunting task and, for some, the back button looks very tempting right now. But, Before you click that arrow, I would like to point out that you absolutely can begin ranking by having a few good pages on your website. You just need to make sure that content is valuable information to the reader and is useful, clear, and concise.
For your short-term goal, consider expanding your website pages to the number of services you provide. So, if you have 8 services, create 8 more pages, and write at least 1,000 to 1,500 words of quality information that will help the general public understand exactly what you do in your industry. Remember to take your time with each page and publish one service a week until complete.
What to include in your service pages
Name Your Page Using Your Keyword -
Although most SEO Experts don’t think there’s much value in this, I believe it’s important to name your page appropriately. For example, if I create a service page outlining my SEO services, I wouldn’t just name it ‘SEO’. Instead of ‘SEO’ I would call it ‘SEO Services in Biloxi MS’. This tells search engines that if someone searches ‘SEO in Biloxi’ that it should consider my website to be a good possible match for that search.
<H1> Tag -
<H1> Tags are usually used once per page. I, almost always, designate this tag for the title of the page.
<H2> Tag -
These tags are just a bit smaller than the <H1> tags. I generally use these tags for topic headers inside a blog post or page.
Internal Linking -
Internally linking on your pages and posts can tell search engines which pages are the most important on your website. Throw one of these on each of your pages and posts naturally. Make sure to use anchor text instead of using the classic click here. For example, if I had mentioned my website design service in a blog, I would create a hyperlink for website design’ instead of saying something along the lines of, “if you need website design click here”. Doing this correctly looks more natural to search engines and users.
External Linking -
I generally use an external link at least once per page or blog. This is used to reference an outside source to give credit for their expertise, sort of like what we had to do in High School with our mid-term papers, etc. It’s wise to give credit where credit is due. I personally think it boosts trust from readers by allowing them to realize the writer doesn’t think they’re a know-it-all.
Rule of thumb is at least 2 - 3 high quality, and if it's at all possible, images you or someone you know have personally taken. Most of us have a great phone that we carry around in our pocket. Get to know it and become familiar with all of the functions. A great resource that will help you is Phone Photography 101. This is a short 18 minute read and will help you gain some basic photography skills.
Alt Text -
Speaking of images, Alt text (short for alternative text) is a way to display what the image is about for people who may find it hard to see the image. Additionally, if a web browser fails to load the images while someone is visiting your website page, it will display the alt text. Be sure to use the keyword in your alt text. For example, if your page is about lawn care in gulfport, ms, you should name your image: lawn-care-gulfport-ms.jpg.
Conclusion & Bonus - Professional Website Foundation
Learning Local SEO can feel a bit intimidating when you’re just starting out. But, just like with anything else, if you put enough time into it, it can be very rewarding for you and your business. SEO is something you can tackle in house for a while when your idea or business is new and will give you a chance to write, in your own words, what you offer. When your business expands, you may want to reach out for professional SEO services to expand your reach.
In closing, SEO can easily be done in the beginning of your venture, in house. But, keep in mind, if you have a new business, you should strongly consider a professionally built website. There’s plenty of companies now who offer a ‘pay-by-the-month’ DIY website builder. It’s cheap and it’s cheap for a reason. When you buy into this and your website breaks, who’s going to fix it? You’ll spend hours on the phone with someone hard to understand and in the end, just become frustrated and a lot of wasted hours. When you have someone build your website professionally, those problems are generally a quick fix or a back up away.
You may be wondering why having a professional website is better for SEO? It’s all about the foundation. When a professional web developer builds your website (not your cousin who built a website 10 years ago) that person or companies main responsibility is to ensure your website has no errors and functions well in all browsers, phones, and tablets upon completion. It’s a part of the checklist upon completion! The best part is, once your website has a great foundation, maintenance and upkeep, will be cheaper down the road. You won’t have to pay for the structure again, just the basic upkeep.