SEO or 'Search Engine Optimization' is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine's unpaid results—often referred to as "natural," "organic," or "earned" results. Following SEO best practices is critical to building your online presence and attracting customers to your newly launched website.
While SEO strategy falls outside of the scope of liveBooks support, liveBooks8 has many options and tools to help you with SEO. Below is a list of things we suggest you do to help your visibility online.
Action 1: Redirect Old URLs
If you have an existing website, don't give up on all of that ranking power you have accrued. A permanent 301 redirect will pass on the majority of your former page’s SEO value to your new site. The stronger the rankings for the older URL, the faster you can improve your search rankings on the new site by using these kinds of redirects. Web developers sometimes recommend other options, such as 404 errors or canonical tags, because 301 redirects can be difficult and require intensive testing. However, liveBooks' simple Legacy URL Tool has simplified and streamlined the redirecting process, so you can give your new website a better chance of ranking from the start. See how to use our Legacy URL Tool here.
Action 2: Add Metadata
You wouldn't buy a book without reading its title, and search algorithms feel the same way. Page titles and meta descriptions help search engines understand how relevant a page is for specific keywords, and also help searchers determine if a page will provide the information they're looking for. People also tend to rely on pictures to relay a great deal of this information, but site crawlers can't see images (yet). That's why "ALT" tags for all of your images are necessary to help crawlers understand the content of your pages. With liveBooks, our SEO tools make it easy to add titles, meta descriptions, and alt tags to your website's pages, so users and search engines can quickly see what your website is all about. See step-by-step instructions on how to do this in our SEO support articles.
Action 3: Verify With Webmaster Tools
Webmaster Tools gives you the ability to see your website as Google does. When you sign up for Google Search Console (former Google Webmaster Tools), you're telling Google that your site is legitimate and open for business. Once you establish your website ownership, it’s easier for you or your webmaster to maintain the health and wellness of your site for the long term. Keep tabs on broken links, missing pages, and larger errors or issues that can occur on your website such as DNS and Server Errors. Make sure you verify your site with Bing, Yahoo and Google to keep an extra set of eyes on your website's health.
Action 4: Index Your Sitemap
Indexing your sitemap is another important way that Google Webmaster Tools helps search engines understand the structure of your site. Sitemaps have become even more important after changes to the Google algorithm that has tried to eliminate a great deal of duplicate content on the Web. liveBooks submits your sitemap to index your web pages on the major search engines so they start crawling your website.
Note that search engines won't notice changes to your site instantaneously. Google and Bing offer search tools to help you manage your site's SEO presence. If you make major changes to your site, you can request that a search engine re-index your content by using these services.
For information on doing this, click here.
Action 5: Integrate Google Analytics
Setting up Google Analytics will help you measure how visitors are interacting with your site, how long they spend there, how often they come back and how many end up converting into customers. Diving into your website's user data can help you make changes to your website that increase conversions and can provide valuable insight about what content users find useful, and what sections of the site aren't performing well. Google Analytics provides great training resources if you're interested in learning how to navigate analytics yourself.
Action 6: Manage Your Local Profile
Ultimately, you want your website to convert visitors into customers. You want to raise awareness, answer their questions and bring them to the point of sale. For businesses that have a brick and mortar location, this means bringing visitors to the physical store, so having correct business information across the web is critically important. However, maintaining your local profiles can be a time-consuming task. We recommend using a location management platform such as Yext to ensure your local profiles have up to date information about your business at all times. This is especially important if you’re doing any traditional media such as radio or TV. What’s worse than a potential customer hearing your name only to search online and find incorrect business information? Having correct business information not only helps users contact and find your business but can also increase your credibility in the eyes of search engines.