The Farm SEO Checklist: 5 Tips to Get Started
Have you ever asked "how do I get my farm to rank on google?" Getting your farm's website to show up on the first page of Google, or other search engines, is vital to your customers being able to buy from your online store.
This article covers 5 things you can do today to improve your rankings and ensure you come up on the first page when people search for your farm. Here are the 5 tips to help you get started:
SET UP A GOOGLE BUSINESS PAGE
This is one of the easiest yet most rewarding steps you can take. By registering your business with Google you can start showing up in location based searches and on Google Maps.
It doesn't take much to get registered. You will need to have a physical location and verify your address. Google will send you a postcard with a code that you will use to finish the registration process. When setting up your business page be sure to connect your website URL.
OPTIMIZE PAGE TITLES & DESCRIPTIONS
First, you will want to make sure all of your page's titles and descriptions are SEO friendly. The title and description will show up in the search engine results, and keywords in your title can help that page show up higher in results.
You can easily edit a page's title and description in GrazeCart from under the SEO tab for each page.
Some best practices on title & descriptions
Titles should be short and sweet. Most search engines will only show the first 70 characters of a title, so it's best to make sure your title is 70 characters or less. Include keywords in your title if you can, but above all your focus should be on describing what the page is about.
Try to write it in a way that will entice people to click. Think about what motivates you to click on a link and apply that to your own titles.
Descriptions will appear below your title in search engine results. Do not try and stuff a bunch of keywords in your descriptions, as most search engines will not take the content of your description into account when ranking your site.
What you want to focus on is writing a description that will entice people to click your link. Use keywords where they naturally fit, give people a reason to click your link instead of someone else's. Also, try to keep them under 165 characters.
SUBMIT YOUR SITEMAP
Next, you will want to make sure Google knows how to crawl your site. You can give Google some help by showing it a map of your GrazeCart site. The good news is that a sitemap is automatically created for you with GrazeCart. It will automatically add any pages, products, blog post, locations, etc. Your farm's sitemap is located at yourfarm.grazecart.com/sitemap.xml
A sitemap will help Google know about all the content on your site. Once Google has this information it can begin indexing your site faster so it shows up in search results. You can submit your site map to Google by using their Search Console Tool.
To learn more about setting up your site with Search Console see this article.
SUBMIT YOUR SITE TO DIRECTORIES
One of the best ways to get Google to notice your site is to have backlinks. A backlink is when another website links from their website to yours.
These links help search engines not only know about your site (which will speed up your indexing time) but they can also improve your rankings by letting search engines know your site is legitimate enough to be linked to.
There are plenty more out there, including ones locally for your area. Doing a quick Google search for something like "Local food directories" is a good place to get started.
START LINK BUILDING
As mentioned earlier, backlinks are an integral way to boosting your rankings. Link building is the process of acquiring those backlinks. This is a huge topic and there are tons of articles and books on the subject, so I won't go into much detail here.
Basically, you just want to get other relevant sites linking to your site. The key here is quality over quantity. Stay away from link farms that will offer to link to you for a fee, those are a sure way to get your site marked as spam.
Instead, reach out to bloggers or other legitimate websites that are complementary to what you are doing. It's helpful to use the law of reciprocity: link to them and ask them to link to you in return.
Create a reason for people to link to you. If you don't have interesting content to link to, then you will have a harder time getting backlinks. Write an original blog post or an interesting recipe, then share this content on social media. If you write interesting original content people will naturally link to it.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
1.) Keep your information consistent. Be sure to always use the same phone number, email address, street address, and website URL when referring to your farm.
2.) Choose the website URL you want to use early on and stick with it. Keep in mind there is a difference between "www.yourfarm.com" and "yourfarm.com". These are technically two different URLs so choose the one you want to use and stick with it.
These 5 tips are a great starting point with SEO, but to start seeing your site consistently show up #1 in Google will, of course, take time and a lot of effort, especially for competitive keywords. I suggest learning as much as you can about SEO. There are plenty of free articles and resources on the internet that can help.
One useful source we like to use is Moz.com. They have helpful tools and a lot of free educational material.
Remember, SEO is not a one-time thing, it is something you will need to constantly be working on. Look for opportunities such as link building and posting original content.
There isn't any silver bullet that will deliver great results overnight, but if you put in the effort and time, it will eventually pay off.