Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a great way to increase your website’s online presence (and hopefully your revenue, too!). Optimizing your website helps to put you on the top of search engine results… You can have the trendiest, easiest site to follow, but that won’t matter if nobody can find it!
So just exactly how do you do this? Here is a Top 10 List to get your started. These tips are in no particular order, but they are all extremely important!
10. CONTENT, CONTENT, CONTENT: Did I Mention Content?
Blogs are KEY to not only increasing your SEO rankings, but in maintaining them, as well. Algorithms read consistent and unique content as one of the key indicators or a website’s pertinence. If your blog isn’t fresh and clean, your rankings will slide.
- Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5 times more traffic than companies that published between 0 – 4 monthly posts.
- Please be aware, too, that just like “keyword stuffing,” Google strongly punishes plagiarism. Their algorithms sniff out content that is not unique and reduce SEO rankings.
9. BUILDING A STRONG BASE: URL
A good website has concise and relevant URLs that are also applicable to the page’s keywords (and thus topics). Again, this is because simplicity is what allows search spiders to readily find and read content. Additionally, the URL is one of the first things these search engines use to rank a page.
- URL’s help to categorize your page, so make sure it is relevant and concise.
- KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid. The simpler and shorter it is, the easier it is for the spiders to sniff it out YOUR URL for the search engines.
8. JUST THE RIGHT AMOUNT: Keywords
This is important; almost an art, really. It is VITAL that your keywords are sprinkled throughout your website; however, “keyword-stuffing” will get your site marked as spam. Algorithms are setup to detect the deliberate overuse of keywords, and doing this will actually lower your SEO ranking significantly, especially if the keywords are not related to the content in your site.
- Make sure your keywords are relevant to your site.
- Include the names of local cities or metropolitan areas as an easy way to optimize your rankings in your area.
- Never “keyword-stuff” as it will hurt your rankings.
7. A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME MIGHT NOT ACTUALLY SMELL SO SWEET: Title Tags
“Search Spiders” – Sounds like a cheesy Sci-Fi flick… In all actuality, these are what search engine algorithms use to find your website. They search out title tags, which search engines then use to not only tell the searcher what your site is all about, but also to display results. These title tags are the text that appears at the top of the user’s browser.
- Since Search Engines display only 60 characters, max, it is imperative to keep your titles relevant, compelling and concise.
- Always highlight keywords and page topics towards the front.
6. MORE THAN ONE WAY TO SKIN A KEYWORD: Alt Tags
Do you have different media on your page? Pics, videos, audios, and the like can be included in that. If not, it’s time to start adding! If so, it is important that you maximize these to the fullest extent. You can do this by adding descriptions to your media’s imprints. Also called “alternative text descriptions,” the search spiders will seek these out using the keywords in your pics and videos. It adds to the text used on your website, therefore increasing your rankings.
- Make sure the Alt Tags keywords are relevant to your site and to the media.
- As with text, it is important that you do not “keyword-stuff” your alt tags, either.
5. ARE WE THERE YET? Sitemaps
Just like a map is important when you are driving, a sitemap is a way for both users and those little search spiders to swiftly and easily navigate to and around your pages. A sitemap not only lists your pages, but also creates links to other major pages on your website.
- KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid. The easier it is to navigate, the better for users and search engines.
4. GROW YOUR FRIENDS NATURALLY: Inbound Links and Backlinks
One of the best ways to grow your credibility in Google’s algorithmic eyes is to have the support of third parties. This is done any time another website posts links to your site. Think about it… If your friend recommends a restaurant, you are more likely to try it out. Links to your website are essentially another website’s recommendation of your page’s credibility to not only its users, but to Google, as way.
- IT IS VITALLY IMPORTANT THAT YOU MONITOR YOUR INBOUND LINKS AND BACKLINKS. If a spam page or any page of ill-repute attaches to you to like a parasitic leach, it could cause Google to see your page as spam, thus sucking out your life’s blood in the form of SEO rankings.
3. FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY IS PROHIBITED: Say “No” to Flash and “Yes” to WordPress
Flash is attractive to small business owners because it isn’t expensive and it is relatively easy. That being said, Google is not a fan. Why? There are several reasons, the biggest being the fact that users cannot link to an individual page. Plus, it is often gaudy and seizure-inducing.
- Opt for a WordPress platform as opposed to Flash to quickly and easily jump up in rankings.
- Flash is so 1995.
2. THE FUTURE IS NOW: Mobile Sites
Hold onto your hats, you may not believe this, but (drum roll, please!) … Approximately 40% of organic traffic in 2015 came from mobile devices, such as smart phones and tablets.
Ok, you can breathe now, and let go of your hats!
Not only did this probably not come as a shock to you, but it also did not come as a shock to Google, who is now working on making their apps and interfaces more user-friendly to customers on their mobile devices. Therefore, if your website is mobile-friendly, Google will be SEO-friendly to you in return!
- Make sure your website is not just PC-friendly, but mobile device-friendly, as well.
- Making life easier for Google users makes Google happy. And when Google is happy, SEO rankings increase.
1. BIG BROTHER IS YOU WATCHING: Monitor Your Effectiveness
As with anything else, coming up with the wrong solution to the right problem won’t help you get ahead. If you cannot identify the issue, then how will you know the best way to fix it? The most popular to track your progress is via Google Analytics, but there are many other tools you can keep in your tool box. While this is by no means an exhaustive list, it can be a good place to start!
- If you aren’t sure what you are doing right or wrong, it is a lot more difficult to figure out what to keep doing, and what adjustments should be made.
- Monitoring your traffic is the best way to know how effective your web page is and to track conversions.