In today’s crowded digital space, SEO (search engine optimization) is more important than ever. That’s because every day there are new brands and websites vying for customers online. While social media and advertising are popular ways to attract potential clients, SEO is an often-overlooked acquisition tool. While not as exciting as, say, a glitzy influencer campaign or social media video, SEO is effective because it matches your platform with a user’s intent. In plain terms, it helps bring clients who are ready to buy or learn about something directly to you. There’s a much higher conversion rate between someone who’s just browsing and someone who is looking to purchase, so if you haven’t optimized your site for search, you definitely should.
Every year search engines prioritize new signals to give certain websites higher rankings than others. Here are some suggestions on how to optimize your website for best results.
1. Get People Onto Your Site—Then Get Them to Stay
You’ve probably heard that content is king on the internet a million times, but in 2019 you need to be thinking not just about how to get them onto your website but also how to keep them there for as long as possible. Dwell time is becoming one of the most important factors in search ranking, and the ideal time to have someone on a site is three minutes. Create content that incentivizes visitors to delve into a topic, whether that means creating a thorough article, embedding video, an infographic, or more. When you’re thinking content don’t just think a short post; consider word count and other assets that will keep people interested longer.
2. Own Your Ingredient (Or Unique Selling Point)
Many beauty brands have a unique selling point — frequently that’s an ingredient. If you have a page describing the unique value of your ingredient, great, but that’s not enough. You need to serve as the bible of that search term and create content around not just that keyword but any questions and related terms pertinent to it. SEO expert Brian Dean of Backlinko says it best in his 2019 SEO content guide: “Publish content that gives someone searching for a keyword everything they need.” Say your brand is famous for its use of rosehip oil. Your content should do more than just explain rosehip oil and its benefits; it should also go into how it should be applied, how it can help with scars, and whether people with acne can use it in on their skin. These are all searches relating to rosehip oil and will make it easier for people to find you online. Ubersuggest is a great resource to see what people are searching for in correlation with your keyword. Just plug in the term and see what else comes up in relation to it.
3. Don’t Forget About Images
Images are very important for SEO, in particular for beauty and lifestyle brands that create high-quality photos. In your use of images make sure to use alt text which helps describe what people can see in the image. This will help you rank higher in search and also improves the accessibility of images on your website. Keep your descriptions precise but short at around 125 characters, and incorporate a keyword pertinent to your brand wherever relevant.
4. Build Relationships and Build Links
Backlinks are one of the most important factors in SEO success. Search engines see links from other websites to yours as a seal of approval and position you as a website that can be trusted. These links are far more important than links shared on social media, as those only have visibility for a short period of time and can be implemented by brands themselves. Links from other websites legitimize your website and, while it takes some work, you should definitely try to get as many backlinks for your site as possible. Some ideas as to how to get backlinks are interviews, content that serves as a resource for others (for example a comprehensive article about antioxidant skincare), or guest blogging.
5. Nail Your On-Page SEO
What’s happening in the backend of your website really influences how people find you. Make sure you are adding metadata for everything you publish on your site so that search engines can “read” what your content is about. Also, pay attention to internal linking on your site—link to other content on your site from one page to another and create a flow for users to move easily throughout your website. For example, when someone is reading an article on your site, give them the option to move to another article easily by implementing a slider with relevant articles to click on at the bottom of the page.
Don’t miss out on users and customers coming to you with the right SEO strategy—these simple tips should help your site rank higher in search.
Photo: Christopher Gower via Unsplash