SEO Basics: Create Authority for Your Association's Website


January 26, 2023

One of the influential terms in marketing, SEO or search engine optimization, can seem daunting and a bit of a mystery. I mean, how can you guarantee that your association’s website can rank above your competitions? Simple answer is you can’t. But your marketing team can do everything they can to enhance your websites SEO and ensure you’re using the right tactics to stay top of mind to your industry and target audience. 

Something that can be done in-house, is customizable, and low-cost, SEO should be added to each association’s marketing plan. It involves adjusting webpages to get the most organic traffic to your website via search engines, like Google or Bing for example. By working with the algorithms that search engines use to analyze webpages, organizations can maximize rankings, leading to increased visibility. 

With the association landscape constantly evolving, SEO is a key area that associations need to stay on top of to remain visible and relevant. If you’re not already doing so, consider these 5 steps to begin your SEO journey. 
  1. Keyword research. Keyword research is one of the most important aspects of SEO. By doing keyword research, you can identify the keywords that are most relevant to your industry and create content that is optimized for those keywords. When your research is complete, you'll want to make sure you're using industry-relevant keywords in your domain name, meta description, title tags and URLs.

  2. On-page optimization. Once you've identified the right keywords, you need to make sure your website is optimized for those keywords. This means using the right keywords and phrases, as well as making sure that the website is easy to navigate and informative. Note: Using too many keywords can hurt your ranking, so keep it simple. To truly optimize your page, consider some of the following:
    • Use an H1 tag for your page title
    • Use H2-H6 tags for subheadings
    • Write a compelling title tag
    • Write a compelling meta description
    • Set SEO-friendly URLs
    • Optimize your images
    • Use external links

  3. Link building. Link building is the process of creating links from other websites to your own. This is important because it helps to improve your website's visibility and search engine results, which builds your authority. Think of links as a vote in an election, the more links you have the higher you’ll rank within search engines. There are several ways you can get a website to link back to yours including:
    • Manually adding links to websites through business directory submissions, social profile creation, blog commenting, communities, forums, and more. 
    • Reach out to the website owners directly to see if they’d add a link. You could do this by guest blogging, testimonials and case studies, link inserts and more.
    • Purchasing links, which isn’t the best recommendation, but nonetheless, an option. We wouldn’t be doing our due diligence if we didn’t tell you about this one, but you could end up wasting money on links that have no value. Do your research if considering this option.
    • Get organic links from individuals who visited your page. This happens when you have content that other websites will genuinely want to mention on their own. 

  4. Content creation. Content marketing involves creating high-quality content that is relevant and valuable to your target audience. This includes creating engaging blog posts, videos, infographics, and other forms of content. You should also aim for relevance: if someone searches "how do I grow my business?" then don't use an article about how to grow roses!

  5. Technical SEO. The more complex of the tools but is the process of optimizing your website to help search engines find, crawl, understand, and index your pages. To successfully do this, you’ll need to look at the following:
    • Site structure
    • URL structure
    • How your site is built and coded
    • Redirects
    • Your sitemap
    • Your Robots.txt file
    • Image delivery
    • Site errors

It's true that SEO can be difficult, but it's also true that it's one of the best ways to get more traffic to your website and grow your business. If you're not taking advantage of SEO tactics, then there are plenty of other people who are!

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