Why SEO Makes All the Difference
For those of you who spend a lot of time perusing the internet, you’ve probably come across the acronym ‘SEO’ at one point or another. Like most people, you’ve probably not cared about it until you started a business that requires an online presence. So here’s the break down on 10 Ways to Improve SEO:
For starters, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which – as the name suggests – optimizes the way your website is ranked on search engines such as google.com. SEO is geared toward increasing your website’s search visibility through what marketers call ‘an organic’ or ‘non-paid’ means. This is accomplished by using keywords, content and your website’s backend structure to improve search rankings and direct more web traffic to your website. It’s really important to understand how to properly use each of these to successfully improve your website’s ranking. Before we get into the 10 Ways to Improve SEO, here’s a brief background on search engines:
How Search Engines Work
When you think of a search engine, you assume that it’s simply a way for people to look up a query, then receive a list websites that may provide an answer to your query. At a fundamental level, this is how search engines appear to work, however – behind the scenes – search engines are actually doing a lot more work. You see, search engines use crawling bots which – as you guessed – are like little critters that go through your website to collect information to better understand its purpose. Now, although search engines are quite intelligent, they aren’t able to determine how effective your website is, given a specific search engine query. This is why it’s so important that you have strong SEO on your website. Strong SEO will tell your search engine exactly what you offer, and why you should show up when someone searches for a topic you specialize in. Read the 10 Ways to Improve SEO below:
10 Ways You Can Improve SEO On Your Website
- Keyword Copywriting
Let’s start by thinking of a few keywords you would like to identify your website or specific blog by. The goal here is that you want people to find you right away when they search those specific keywords in Google.
- Know Your Audience
Make sure that your content is not only SEO appropriate, but also engages your target audience. The last thing you’ll want is a blog or website with great keywords, but boring content.
- Page Content HTML Structure
Once you’ve determined your focus keywords through research you’ll want to start optimizing your website by pushing out lots and lots of relevant content with a strong basis in your keywords. Essentially, you’ll want to incorporate your keywords into your headers (H1), sub headings (H2, H3, etc…), and your page paragraphs.
- Optimize Your Images
In addition to improving the load time of your page by reducing image size, you will want to consider the file type and keyword relevancy in your images. To do this, you will want ensure that your image file name, alt tag, and title all make use of your keywords, either in slug format or as regular text.
- Meta Descriptions
You’ll also need to look into your meta-descriptions to make sure that they contain your focus keywords, are quite descriptive, and also have between 80 and 120 characters. This should also be done for your page URL as it will significantly improve your search ranking.
- Effective Title Tags
Make sure that your title tags also match the focus keywords used in your meta description. It’s essential that these titles are specific to your target audience.
- Consistent URLs
Consistency in URL slugs, is quite important, and is oftentimes overlooked. It is crucial that your slugs always match your title tags, as search engine bots will use this – and your meta-description – to determine your ranking. For effective URL slugs, you’ll want to make sure that the focus keyword appears at the beginning just as it does in your title. However, make sure that each word is separated by a hyphen, and that you keep the URL as short as possible. Make sure to do this for all pages and blog posts throughout your website.
- Use Links From Other Websites
To make your content more useful and relevant, you can link out to authority sites in order to provide your readers with more in-depth information.
Linking out to well-respected authority sites will not only increase the relevancy of your content and time readers spend on your site, but it is also believed to send trust signals to Google and improve SEO ranking.
However, more is not necessarily better. Too many outbound links can be distracting and make the content hard to get through.
- Share Your Content
Make sure to share your Relevant Pages and blog posts on as many social media outlets as possible. This will help to increase your reach to people you would otherwise be missing out on. I find that the best way to do this is to have Social Share links – twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, etc. – on your website, either in the header or footer for main pages, or on each blog post.
- Content, Content, Content
The last of the 10 Ways to Improve SEO is definitely one of the most important. Remember to constantly post new, relevant content to your website. You should also consider reposting old content, as you should expect to gain new customers every cycle. A good rule to follow is to push out at least one strong, content driven blog post a week. This will keep your existing and potential clients interested without drowning them in redundant content.