Now that you understand the importance of Google rankings to your business, the next step is to do a quick assessment of your website’s rankings.
1. Determine what keywords your website ranks for.
2. Determine what keywords you should rank for.
3. Optimize your web content.
There are lots of paid SEO analysis tools available, but you can use SEMrush to get a quick picture of your website’s SEO performance for free. SEMRush is the easiest way to check your website’s rankings quickly and easily.
1. Determine what keywords your website ranks for
To check your website’s search rankings, visit SEMRush and follow these steps:
- Go to SEMRush.comand put your website address into the search bar. This will pull up the Domain Overview Report.
- Click on the View Full Reportbutton on Top Organic Keywordsto view your website’s rankings. This report will show you the top 10 keywords your website ranks for using the free report. Make note of these keywords.
- Do some quick thinking about these keywords:
- Are they related to your company’s brand name and main services or products?
- Are they keywords that you would want your website to rank for?
- Click the SERP(search engine results page) in the second to far right column to see a screenshot of the result page. Does your website rank above your closest competitors?
- After looking through some of these SERPs for keywords your website ranks for, you’ll have a good idea of who your competitors are in search results. Scroll to the top and put the website addresses of your competitors, one by one, into the report bar.
- Note the keywords they rank on top for.
- Are there any keywords you should rank for, but don’t? Make note of these keywords.
Keep in mind that search results are personalized. That means when you enter a keyword in Google, your results might not match findings from SEO reporting tools. Use a reputable tool to get the most accurate results.
Editor’s note: Need help? GoDaddy’s Search Engine Visibility tool analyzes your website for SEO opportunities, walks you through suggested improvements, and automatically publishes your approved changes on your website.
2. Determine what keywords you should rank for
Now that you have a better understanding of your business’s search ranking in comparison to your competitors, it’s time to determine the keywords you want to rank for overall (beyond the keywords you’ve already found).
- Besides your business name, what is the most important phrase or search termsomeone might use when looking for a business like yours?
- Consider your industry.
- Consider your geographic location.
- Consider your unique selling proposition.
Pro tip: Keywords can even be whole sentences.
- Go to SEMRush.comand put this phrase or keyword into the search bar. Scroll down to the Related Keywords report and click the View Full Report button.
This report shows other keywords you might like to rank for, with the number of monthly searches for that keyword and the difficulty for ranking. Most websites can successfully target keywords that are below about 70-percent difficulty.
- Make note of keywords you’d like your business to rank for.
- Repeat this process — looking at different keywords and their related keywords — until you have a list of the most important keywords you’d like to rank for in Google search results.
3. Optimize your web content
Armed with your keywords, the next step is to start putting them into the right places on your website to improve its SEO.
- Page title.Google uses the title of your page to rank your content. Make sure your page title has your most important keyword incorporated in a natural way.
- Meta description.Google doesn’t use meta descriptions to rank websites, but meta descriptions that include target keywords can help your website score more clicks from search engines. In addition to using keywords in your description, including a strong call-to-action to get the searcher to click through from search results.
- First sentence.Incorporate your main keyword at the beginning of your website’s home page copy to indicate its importance to Google. Try to use it in the first few words of the first sentence.
- Incorporate keywords in your H1 and other headings. Use synonyms and secondary keywords in your headings to avoid being repetitive. You should only have one H1 heading per page.
- Image file name.Before you upload images to your website, be sure to name them with descriptive file names that use keywords.
- Image alt tags.In the HTML behind the image, include keywords into your image alt tags to give Google more context about your images.
- Page URL.Try to incorporate your keyword(s) in your page URL. Remember: Create a redirect if you change a URL so you don’t lose any SEO!
- Website copy.Website pages should contain at least 300 words. Use your target keywords, as well as synonyms and secondary keywords, throughout the copy. Be sure to only use as many keywords as feels natural and without being overly repetitive.
Pro tip: Don’t jam keywords in simply for the sake of adding keywords — that’s called keyword stuffing, and it’s a definite no-no.
No matter what the results show, it’s a starting point for using SEO on your website and can help give you a base for discussion with SEO professionals. Use these steps to get a picture of your website’s search rankings and what important steps you can take to improve your ranking in Google search results.
While there’s a lot more to SEO than just keywords, these three steps will give you a strong start. If you’d like to learn more about SEO, be sure to visit TriveoMedia.com.