I've been helping small businesses for almost a decade now with building powerful websites that allow for simplicity in their daily workflow, but there are three letters that seem to freak out my clients more than anything else I say... SEO. Search engine optimization is like that workout routine that you know everyone says you should be doing, but don't they understand that you are a busy business owner that's lucky to sit down for lunch without interruption let alone dedicate time and energy to getting noticed by Google.
To that, I say I get it. In fact, I find it difficult to work our own SEO into the daily grind from time to time, but I give myself grace when I need it. As we all know, life and business can sometimes seem like a triage on the battlefield where picking what gets your attention can feel painful, but necessary.
Allow me to help you with three simple steps to daily SEO that will improve your rankings and usually take less time than that pot of coffee takes to brew. That's why I call it brew time tips, you guys.
A quick back story on Brew Time Tips. This is a new series of blog posts that is specifically helping those of us that are too busy with everything else out there. If that's not you because you find that everything seems to fit easily in your schedule, then this isn't for you. But, for everyone else this series will help you with quick impactful tips and that's it. A quick read that lists actionable tasks to achieve ideal results.
So, you should know that this is not the detailed focused stuff that will blow you up the results page, but it is something that you can do in a brief amount of time and it will help your SEO out. If you want intense SEO techniques, then reach out to me and I'll be happy to get you enrolled in our DIY SEO training where the results of our previous clients speak for themselves.
For now, though, let's get to easy stuff that Google likes...
There are tons of online resources that will give you a free website audit, but I have yet to find one that is as easy to understand for the novice that Neil Patel's SEO Analyzer tool. I mean it is legit easy, thorough enough to give you a breakdown of site errors and issues such as load time(more on this later) improvements based on device, word count analyzer, keyword suggestions, backlink breakdown, and more. It's thorough, fast, and FREE!
Once you run the audit, which is less than three minutes usually, you can view a list of simple improvements that are ranked as being easy, moderate, and hard tasks plus the audit tells you how much of an impact each error plays into your SEO ranking. I mean, it doesn't get easier and faster than this because you can find the simple tasks that give you the most bang for you buck regarding effort and time needed.
Page load speed has become an increasing point of emphasis when it comes to site rankings. Simply put, Google wants to recommend websites that site visitors are willing to engage with, explore different pages, and spend time getting answers to their questions. It's pretty easy to understand why because if Google recommended websites to you that loaded really slow, you'd get frustrated and start using Ask Jeeves (shout out!) all over again.
With a fairly easy series of edits to each page, you can make your site load quicker than before and keep site visitor focused on yoru content and not your slow loading. The easiest of these quick fixes is compressing your photos as these are BY FAR the biggest culprits in page load speed. Here's your simple task.
That entire process should take you less than a couple of minutes per image and that's even a stretch. I figure you can get two to three pics done during Brew Time. Sweet.
If you are not working on getting your site ADA accessible, then you are potentially exposing your website to litigation as seen by many larger companies over the past few years. Dominos jumps to mind as the highest profile case.
Here's the deal, websites are not as easy to navigate for site visitors that are visually impaired, physically disabled, etc. Making sure your website is still accessible to this sector of the population, 20% by many measurements, is smart business and honestly it's the right thing to do. Just like a physical business needs to have ADA compliant building structures, websites are expected to soon have similar protocol when being built.
It is also expected that search engines will start ranking accessible websites higher just like they did with websites that have SSL certificates a couple of years back. For those that don't understand SSL certificates, you probably have one if your website begins with HTTPS instead of HTTP. Most platforms provide this service for free these days.
So, now you know the why. Here's a simple way to get your site accessible for free. But, let me preface this with a simple statement:
The plugin I'm about to recommend does not make your site fully accessible, but it will make your site more accessible and that's the point. For a fully accessible website, contact us and we can get your site covered. It's going to cost money, so here's the free version...
Userway is a free software that let's you add some code to your website to show a popup widget which those with an impairment can use to better navigate your website. IT'S NOT PERFECT and you should understand that there is a real chance litigation still occurs if your site structure is not properly configured. But, again, it's free and it is better than nothing.
It works by analyzing your site's existing code so that it can offer an easy interface to edit the way a site is viewed, heard, and more. I know I've said that this tool doesn't cover you from a possible lawsuit, but it is a big step forward for businesses and the web in general. I fully expect better tools to come along, probably at a cost. Until then, there is no reason to not have this tool on your site and it will take you less than five minutes to follow the simple steps to get your site up to date.
We all need a little love sent our way and this is my chance to highlight some of the people out there that are working on their websites to make them just a bit better which is better for everyone. This time around, I'm going to mention my girl, Brittney Rossie. She's a brand strategist that helps businesses with complete branding, site design, build, and more all on a very easy to use platform, Squarespace. I still use SS for small projects, but Brittney really helps businesses use Squarspace's suite of tools to the max. Love this girl!
"Derek has blown me away with not only his insight and excellent service but also with his patience and teaching style. He has made sure I understand exactly what is happening with my site and visibility efforts and after just a few months working together, I see improvement already."
I worked with Brittney for a few months and that's all she needed to start seeing results. Shoutout to her and all the good she's doing for businesses across the U.S.
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We will explore the basics of AI, how it works, and what can be expected in the next 5 years. We will also discuss what businesses can do to prepare themselves for the future and stay ahead of the curve.