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According to HubSpot, a top CRM, Automated Marketing, and sales tool, there are over 100 billion searches a month on Google. More important to us than that is that according to the same statistics page, over 50% of search queries are four words or longer. As an online marketing agency, and web design company our top focus is improving inbound lead generation from business websites and helping those organizations achieve more informational conversions (like collecting email addresses and contact information from potential customers) and actually creating on-site sales for e-commerce companies.

For a lot of companies making the decision to hire someone to help with their SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (search engine marketing) needs can be a big step. It’s often a sticker shock for organizations when they begin receiving quotes, and with those expensive quotes, there are often few guarantees. With the prevalence of SEO firms, there is also a new difficulty in determining the quality of services the company provides.

At DEVUPP our focus as an SEO firm is a little different than many of our competitors. We focus on a more effective online marketing approach that utilizes SEO, SEM, and Social Engagement to help bring traffic and conversions to the companies we work with. We also understand that not all companies can afford to engage in regular SEO and online marketing efforts. To do our part to help companies get there, we’d like to offer up these 7 free SEO tips, that you can start using today to improve your position, ranking, and ultimately your websites ability to convert lookers into buyers.

TIP 1: Think Mobile First
   More and more users are starting their first contact with companies from their mobile device. In some cases, this may mean a mobile app is a good target for your company, but for everyone, it means that thinking about the mobile user first is likely to net you better traffic to your site. If your site is slow or cumbersome on a mobile device users will simply go somewhere else. With nearly everyone having a smartphone these days, access to mobile versions of websites is PARAMOUNT.

So how do you do this? Take a look at your existing website. If you built it yourself, or haven’t built it yet, make certain you are using a “responsive” template. Responsive means that the page will automatically adjust its parts to fit on different screen sizes. Quite a few templates for major web building engines like Shopify, WordPress, and systems like them are already responsive. Buyer beware, there are still quite a few templates that aren’t, and even those that tout responsiveness, that really aren’t.

If you had someone build your site for you, reach out to them and find out if the site is responsive, or better yet check it yourself. Make sure the site fits on your own mobile phone, loads fast, and is easy to use. If it isn’t, think about making some adjustments to make it so.

TIP 2: Analyze, What Gets Measured Gets Managed
   One of the most potentially dangerous issues when it comes to SEO and website operation is not understanding or trying to gain insight into your site’s performance. This effectively leaves you blind, and creates a situation where you have no idea as to what direction to take to improve traffic, conversions, or ultimately leads and sales.

Get Google Analytics installed today. Take the brief training they provide you and start to understand what the traffic on your website looks like. Look for trends in the data they give you and figure out through the tools they provide how long people are staying on your site when they fall off, and most importantly where they fall off. This can expose flaws in your site’s content, and relevant to the SEO world expose where potential customer’s experience isn’t great moving from one piece of content to another. Changing their expectations dramatically can cause users to abandon your page quickly. Find those pages, fix them and make sure you provide a consistent experience to your potential customer throughout your site.

TIP 3: Get a Google + Page
  Google has their own social media platform if you didn’t already know. Although Google+ isn’t the most popular social experience, it does provide some amazing benefits to your company from a search engine perspective. First, if you have a local business, or want to target local customers, setting up a Google+ page now works through Google’s My Business tool. This lets you set up your business, verify it’s existence via a postcard and helps Google know that you are a real business with a real location. This will get you presented in local searches and show up on mapped results when Google users search for a place in their query.

On top of that, it does something else great, it associates your search results with your Google+ profile photo. If it’s a photo of you this can make your link on Google very clickable, and even get you link clicks than the company that ranks at the top, even when you are in third or fourth place!

TIP 4: Get some reviews
   With most of the companies, we work with we suggest a plan for getting reviews. Reviews (REAL REVIEWS) carry a lot of weight and power with Google, and with your potential customers. Set up a Yelp Page, and talk to your customers about leaving a review. Make sure the experience is good, and be careful not to offer rewards for a good review, as this can be seen as fraudulent.  The challenge here and the task is to look at your competitors, and see how many reviews they have. If you can get more than them, and score better than them your likelihood of taking the top spot in local searches will go up by 100%.

TIP 5: Optimize your Images
   Big images on your site can beautiful but they can also hurt you in two different ways. Google has a tool to measure PageSpeed which you can check for both desktop and mobile versions of your site. The lower this score, the higher the likelihood you will fall in search engine rankings. You can check your score for your website right here. If you rank less than 50% this is a MAJOR NEED for you to fix. Many people we work with will often find themselves scored with a big fat 0. Just one or two big banner images and you can kiss that fast load time goodbye.

For help, there is a free image optimizer tool online that can help you out by creating smaller versions of your images. Simply upload the original, tweak some settings and an optimized image will be created for you automatically.

TIP 6: HEADINGS AND TITLES MEAN A LOT
   This is one that should be easy, but many people, especially those who put design over function, really didn’t do this right. Believe it or not, Google cares about how your sites headings are marked up. There are tags (<H1>, <H2>, etc) that should be around your headings and subheadings. Google sees these and gives content in them more weight when analyzing your page and checking it against their search algorithms. Make sure your relevant keywords and appropriate headings and subheadings are using these tags!

On par with this, you need to have a good title for each page, and a great one for your home or landing page. We recommend between 25 and 70 characters. If you go less than 25 you aren’t utilizing this field enough, and if you go over 70 your title is likely to be cut off by Google anyway. Search results return this title, so use it to help people understand why they should click when they see you in search engine results.

TIP 7: SEE WHAT YOUR COMPETITORS ARE DOING
   One of the tools we and many other SEO firms use is SpyFu. If you already know who your competitors are, or want to find out a little bit more about your website their free information can be tremendously informative. They can show you what keywords your competitors are targeting, how much organic traffic they are getting, and even estimates on how much they are paying for search engine traffic.

You can use this to know what kind of content you need to focus on to start driving your search ranking position and making your external links more attractive to click on.

Do you need more help, or have you decided you don’t want to go it alone?

You can reach someone from our customer success team at 888.884.8459 and we can start helping you today. Our team has some good monthly plans, as well as one-off services that we offer than can help you with ranking. Also, if you don’t like talking to warm, fuzzy, human voices you can also reach out to us at sales@devupp.com, and we’ll get back to you as quickly as possible!