Now that you have selected your keywords and used them effectively, your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy should be well on its way to helping you increase your visibility online.
There are still some “finer points” that can boost your rankings, says Cara Crosetti, Los Angeles-based account director and web specialist with Wickware Communications Inc. of Toronto.
“Advisors want to capitalize on every opportunity they can get to market themselves,” Crosetti says. “Knowing how SEO works is a great way to do that.”
Crosetti offers three final tips to help you turbocharge your SEO efforts:
1. Complete your meta description tag
Your meta description tag is an “offsite” tag, which means it won’t appear directly on your page.
It will appear when your website shows up in a keyword search.
Say, for example, a user is searching for a definition of “exchange-traded funds.” When he or she types that phrase into a Google search, three items will appear for each search result. The first is a hyperlink that will direct the user to a website. On the line below that will be the webpage’s URL.
The next section is what is called the meta description, a snippet of text that gives a kind of preview of what will be on that webpage. Your meta description is crucial because it could help a user decide whether to click on your link.
It is your job to create a meta description, Crosetti says, and not that of your IT specialist. If you don’t include your own meta tag, the space will be left blank, or Google may pull random text from your site.
Keep your meta tag short and on point. You have about 170 characters in which to persuade the user to choose your site.
2. Measure your keyword density
Keywords are effective when they are included in various locations in your website. But inserting them seamlessly into your content without disrupting the flow of text can be a challenge.
Crosetti recommends that you tread carefully when placing keywords in your site, to avoid “stuffing” — excessive, disruptive insertion of keywords that appears unnatural to the reader.
As a rule of thumb, she says, keep your keyword density — the percentage of keywords relative to other words in your text — to about 5%. Anything more could be seen as “stuffing,” which is frowned upon by search-engine companies.
3. Tag your photos
Adding visual elements such as photos or infographics to your website is an effective way to attract visitors.
To take full advantage of the SEO potential of your visuals, you must complete “image ALT tags.”
An image ALT tag is the text that is displayed when a visitor has chosen to not see — or cannot see — an image on your website.
Your image ALT tag should describe what is conveyed by the corresponding image. These tags are important because Google will read this text and use it to determine whether your site will appear in search results.