The Key To Successful Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a method of making your site look better to the search engines. That’s it. Not much else to it… Well, if you want to be found by the search engines, you should take the time to understand SEO and learn how to use it on your site. In this article, you’ll learn some valuable tips that will help you use SEO effectively.
The first step for successful search engine optimization is following the proper structure that Google and the other search engines want you to follow. The steps are easy, but time consuming. Plan out what keywords you want to be found for and make sure that those keywords are in the correct places throughout your pages. For example, make sure that you have placed the keywords properly in your title tags, your H1 and H2 tags and throughout the copy on your page. The copy needs to be relevant and provide value to your readers. Using keywords for search engine optimization is crucial to successful SEO results. The best placement of keywords are at the top of your web page include in the title and headline. Also include keywords in specific headlines and within the paragraphs themselves, preferably in the first and last paragraph.
Unleash the power of your URL’s, by including your site’s keywords and phrases in them. This increases the density of keywords on your web page and highlights the relevance of each component of your website. There needs to be focus. Don’t use too many phrases in the URL. For instance, as a user, how much would you trust a URL like this: www.domain.com/pets-zoo-dogs-training-cats-animals-furryfriends-housepet-comereadthispageandhaveitrankhighinsearchresults-pleasegoogleplease? Seriously, your URLS need structure and need to be logical. Something like www.domain.com/services/type-of-service.
As you begin to learn about SEO, you will run across many terms like in-page SEO, On-page SEO, iframes, etc. If at all possible don’t use iframes (sometimes called frames). They can be an attractive feature for your site, but they also cause your site to load very slowly. You don’t want to make the search bots have to work extra hard to crawl your pages.
On your website, always include a physical address where people can see you are a real company where they can send letters, questions, and concerns about your company. Have a place where reviews can be placed on your site or link to the reviews your customers have placed on sites like yelp.com. The more feedback that you get, the better your search engine results, but more importantly you will have a better understanding what your customer’s preferences are. If you listen, your customers will show you the path to improving your products and services. Our customers make us better.
Be Relevant – Create What Your Visitors Want to See
When it comes to gaining higher positions in search engine rankings, you have to focus on relevancy. You can only raise your position over the long haul when search engines notice that your site is valuable to visitors. If your traffic has high bounce rates and low interaction with your content, your pages will lose rank. Just solely relying on randomly inserting keywords will not help your ranking. It’s a trick/gimmick and Google is spending millions to make their algorithms smarter. Write for humans, the bots will follow… As long as you are following the basics of on-site structure for SEO listed above.
Many site developers make the mistake of assuming that duplicate content within their own domain can increase site visibility. The opposite is true: repetition of content makes the site less efficient in terms of search engine evaluation. Remove all duplicate content from your site to make for fast indexing by search engine spiders.
Now that you have pages written well with some juicy content, you’ll need to take the time to properly submit your site to search engines. The search engines can’t rank something it doesn’t know about. All of that effort will be wasted if the search engine doesn’t know your site exists. Most search engines today use spiders, but doing manual submission speed up the process.
Interaction – Play Nicely With Others
Things called ‘backlinks’ are important. They are like votes for your site. The more people like you, the more votes you have. The more votes you have, the higher you will rank in the search engines. Now the issue with backlinks is that it isn’t as easy as getting tens of thousands of random sites and people to link to you. Google has cracked down hard against this kind of spamming which hurt tons of legit businesses. The good news is that you can increase the number of links to your blog by including an option for readers to post content from your blog onto their own blogs or social media profile. This increases relevancy in site rankings and also has the potential to generate a great deal of traffic.
Using social media such as FaceBook and Twitter is a great way to share content with others and generate interest for your website. The more active you are on social media sites, the more like-minded customers you can. Social media is a fantastic, free way to put your message and your product before the public. The problem with social media is that there are so many sites and it is difficult to interact with all of them all of the time. For our clients, we post all articles to Google+, Pinterest (when relevant), Delicious, Diigo, FriendFeed, Instapaper, LinkedIn, LiveJournal, Reddit, Scoop.it, Stumbleupon, as well as Facebook and Twitter. It can also help to create videos and post them to YouTube.
Whether you are a long-time website owner or have yet to create a site of your own, SEO is an important skill to learn or at least understand. Hopefully, now that you’ve read through the tips in this article, you have a better understanding of SEO and how to properly use it. Remember, search engine optimization only means making your site visible and easy for the search engines to index. To rank on the first page takes a great deal of work and takes some time. SEO is not a process that will show you immediate results. It takes weeks or even months to see any changes. Create a plan for a minimum of three months and you’ll be successful. The key to successful search engine optimization is following the basics and being consistency.
Please let me know in the comments below what you have used to see successful results!
photo courtesy of Jason Kristofer