Originally published in our Food and Beverage Whitepaper: Food Innovation: The Push and the Pull of Consumer Demand. Download your copy here.
One of the primary goals of creating a website is to publicize your products and services, but if you are not ranking in search-engine results, your site is missing its mark. Below are three ways to make sure you are getting the most out of your site and are truly optimized for search engines.
1. PUBLISH RELEVANT CONTENT AND UPDATE IT REGULARLY
The term “content is king” is especially true when it comes to websites. In order to get people to your website, you need to have relevant content they want to look at. This content needs to contain keywords customers would be searching as well as valuable content that they would want to read. A helpful way to approach creating content for your site is to think about things your customers regularly ask you about. These topics often directly correlate to what people are entering into search engines. The closer your content is to the words and phrases people are searching, the more likely it is to come up organically in a search. When it comes to search engine rankings, it helps to be specific rather than vague with your content. Additionally, once you identify items people are looking for and develop content around those topics, be sure to identify a few keywords and phrases for each page and then repeat them throughout the text. Be sure to do so in a way that fits naturally with your content so you provide real value to your readers. It is important not to sacrifice good writing for search engine rankings or people will not click your content or stay on your page and actually buy products.
2. CREATE A BLOG
Blogs are a great way to direct traffic to your site. While it might not make sense to have a page or section of your site dedicated to certain topics (such as industry trends), you can address them in blogs. Good blog content not only has the benefit of showing up in searches and directing people who might not know about you to your site but also promotes your company and people as thought leaders in the industry. Blogs are a way to brand your company and get your name out to new customer bases. One of the most important parts of blogging is providing regularly updated content without revamping your site every week. Search engines respond well to sites with regularly updated content as it is viewed as an indicator that your site is relevant and not stale. Blogs also provide the perfect way to supplement your social media pages with relevant content that can pull your audience back to your website and hopefully lead to future sales.
3. UTILIZE DESCRIPTIONS
When designing your website, having the right wording is key. Whether it is for links, metadata (titles/keywords/ etc.) or photos, including descriptions will help make your site content more readable to search engines. For links, it is important to have more detailed descriptions of what pages you are linking to that a simple “click here” text button. Click here (or even image icons) cannot be read by search engines ranking your site. It is important to include more detailed and relevant descriptions rich in keywords to improve your rankings on Google and other search engines. Use descriptors such as “Our Sustainability Focus” or “Commitment to Sustainable Farming Practices” to hyperlink rather than “Click Here” or “Learn More Here” to improve your rankings when including links in text.
There are also several forms of metadata (data that gives information about elements of your website) such as:
• Title Metadata: Page headlines displayed at the top of a browser window or in search engine results
• Description Metadata: Short descriptions that lays out the content on the page (about two sentences)
• Keyword Metadata: Not as big a deal as the above two when it comes to rankings, but adding one to three word descriptions for page content can help
These all should be available in the backend of your website. Your web team (whether external or internal) should be able to help make sure this content is populated. It is important that these descriptions use keywords that offer concise descriptions of the content on each page. The better the description, the more likely the page will come up when someone searches that item, and it will help getting people to click onto your page when it comes up in searches.
For photos and videos, it is especially important to include alternative text descriptions (alt tags). This not only helps make your site more friendly for the visually impaired, but is crucial in allowing search engines to read and properly sort the visual media on your site.