An Essential Guide for SEO in 2019

Posted by ImageWorks Creative Team March 05, 2019

Creating a website is only half of the battle when trying to scale your online presence. Getting users to your website can turn out to be the harder and much longer battle to wage.

There is always one constant factor that will force you to maintain and optimize your SEO strategies…Competition. Depending on the services or content you are promoting, you could be entering the arena with hundreds or thousands of other sites. To overcome this obstacle, you’ll need to think about how to optimize your website for search engines. Search engines are built to provide users the most relevant and helpful content. You win by promoting content that is clearly helpful, answers questions, and is statistically backed by shares and external links. In other words the amount of quality content and search rankings are usually directly proportional.

Even though content is king, you want to make sure your website’s content is presented clearly to optimize engagement and shareability. We’ll go over a quick and easy checklist you can implement to your website today.

1. Make sure your website is responsive on all devices

  • Search Engines tag your site as mobile friendly
  • Provides a cross functionality to any device, reassuring that all visitors experience the same user experience.

2. Use Google Search Suggestions

If you want to rank high on searches, you have to start with specific search terms. An easy way to do this is to use Google’s search suggestions. If I am writing a blog post on SEO I’ll put in a search for “Best SEO practices”. Immediately Google suggests more specific subjects that I can focus my article around.

Google Suggestions Imageworks Creative

Now I have ideas for narrowed topics that will have a better chance of ranking high. The more times you can repeat this process, the better chance you have ranking high in a search.

3. Add Meta Tags and Headers to your page.

Once you have specified what to base your content around you need to add your titles and descriptions properly.

     1. Meta Title - The Title that will appear in a user’s search

     2. Meta Description - The description that will appear in a user’s search

     3. URL - Includes the page name/title

     4. H1 - Main header of the page once  (<h1>Why Review Marketing is Important to All Businesses</h1>)

     5. H2 - Review Marketing Topics/Subheaders  #1, 2, & 3

This is standard practice and an easy way to optimize your SEO structure.

4. Replace the word “it” with descriptive search terms

  • After you are done writing your content, hit control F and see where you can replace “it” with a noun that better describes what “it” is. Quick and simple way to specify and optimize your content.  

5. Use 301 Redirects

  • As your websites design and structure becomes outdated, you may want to delete pages or move them to new locations. Whenever a change like this comes around, use a 301 redirect. This will direct traffic trying to reach your old URL to your new or updated page. This way your updated page can receive the same search results as your old page. 301 Redirects are also common practice when switching to a new domain to preserve precious SEO.

6. Use rel=canonical for duplicate content.

  • If you ever republish content onto your site, make sure that you add a rel=canonical to the version you want to rank for. Google takes duplicate content very seriously and will dock your rankings for it. By adding a short line of code to the original page, you won’t have this problem.

7. Add alt tags to images

  • Make sure to give your images targeted titles with their alt tags instead of leaving them blank.

8. Google My Business

Make sure you’ve registered your business with Google. Google My Business is a free tool that allows business owners to manage their online presence across the Google search engine and update their growing portfolio of services.

  • Make easy updates, like holiday hours, menus, phone numbers, and directions.

  • Upload snapshots of your business easily to make you stand out.

  • Lead conversations from customer reviews and respond to their compliments or concerns.

  • Pin frequently asked questions so you can answer questions before they are asked.

Make sure your managing your GMB correctly by going through these steps

  • Fill in and detail everything about your business. For local searches, Google’s search engine will favor the most relevant results for every user search. Businesses that have the most descriptive information have a better chance of coming up first on a search over another business with only a short description.

  • Just like on your business website, you need to include Keywords into your business listing. As mentioned in the first step, be descriptive, and fill in your information with the most relative search terms.

  • Add photos. Businesses with posted photos receive 35% more click-throughs to their websites than businesses who do not include photos.

  • Encourage and respond to customer reviews. Responding to customers shows that you value customer relationships. Positive reviews are always a win and help convert potential customers faster than businesses without feedback. Ask us about using Signpost to get more customer reviews.

  • Managing and applying GMB listing insights. As you can imagine, Google attains a TON of data about your business listing. This includes how and where people find your listing and customer actions (what they do after they find your listing).

9. Google Search Console

Optimize your SEO by tracking your site and traffic performance with this intuitive free tool from Google. With GSC you will be able to view what search terms are drawing the most traffic so you can position your content to attract the most engagement.

  • Get your content noticed by Google by submitting sitemaps and individual URLs for crawling.

  • When Google notices issues on your page, you will receive alerts on where they are and how to fix them.

  • Improve mobile usability with custom reports.

10. Monitor your Rankings vs. Competitors

Monitor how you compare with your competitors using software like SpyFu and SERPs.

  • With SERPs, check global and local rank fluctuations, receive suggested keyword terms, and view every aspect of your SEO performance to plan and analyze your progression.

SERPs ImageWorks Creative

  • Monitor competitor keywords and ad spend to avoid mistakes and make their successes your own with SpyFu.

SpyFu ImageWorks Creative


11.Researching and Picking the Right Keywords With Google Trends

The Data shown in google trends will help you gauge the popularity of your search terms. This data will help you prioritize your keywords and more importantly filter keywords that you can successfully rank for while bringing valued traffic to your website.

Google Trends ImageWorks Creative

12. Set up Google Analytics

Google analytics will not directly affect your rankings but it will help see how users are interacting with your website. Tracking data like traffic, page views, and device sources will help you structure your website centered around the user.

Most importantly, know your audience. Build and curate content to your ideal user and structure your content with tips from this post. SEO is always a hard game to play alone, especially if you are new to the field. To fully optimize your website’s SEO, many companies will outsource to a professional company that can hit the ground running. To learn more about professional SEO service please feel free to get in contact with us to give you more insight on how you can boost your progression.


Scott Margenau & Luke Miller

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