Eight SEO tips you can implement today
Search engine optimization (SEO) is an important tool for anyone who wants to attract visitors to their web site. If you’re not sure if SEO is important to your business, simply answer the following questions. Are you satisfied with your web site traffic? Do you think people come to your web site but are not really sure? If you answered yes to these simple questions, then you need to consider enhancing your site’s SEO.
SEO can be simple or incredibly complex. It involves techniques that individuals or companies use to improve their site’s visibility to search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Unfortunately search algorithms are constantly changing. A web site might rank high for a keyword today only to see their rankings plummet when a major search engine changes the way it filters search results.
Because of this, SEO trends and techniques are fluid. Things that get results today could stop working or even harm your SEO in the future. Use the following SEO tips to help your site’s search engine ranking.
1. Develop an aggressive social media strategy
One of the most important SEO techniques is to develop a social media strategy and utilize all the available platforms to promote your web site. It’s the best way to engage existing and potential clients. A strong social media strategy can bolster visits to your website. Your presence on social media is also a great indicator of your web site’s importance to search engines.
Consider an active presence on Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram. You should also make sure that your social media pages are not lifeless. An anemic social media presence can make your brand look weak in the eyes of potential customers as well as search engines. Don’t forget to provide social share buttons on your site. The easier it is to share your content, the better.
Make sure you are not just going through the motions when it comes to content. Many businesses feel pressured to post frequently, even if means sharing low-quality content. Don’t fall into this trap. If you post the same things over and over, readers may start ignoring your future posts. I’ve seen huge brands with nearly a million followers who get only a handful of likes on their posts, if any at all. This is because they are not providing interesting or useful content. Regurgitating your press releases and print ads is not a strong social media strategy. You should always work hard to make sure your content engages your customers as well as casual visitors who stumble on your pages.
2. Go mobile
Mobile searches continue to grow. They are beginning to rival desktops for the total number of searches by platform. In fact, recent data shows that nearly half of all searches are now on mobile searches. Does that make you reconsider your mobile strategy? One of the first steps in any SEO or mobile strategy is to make sure your site is mobile friendly. Does it resize correctly for mobile screens? Does your site technology work properly? Can you read it without glasses? These are all important things to consider when reviewing your site’s mobile readiness. Start by testing your site on multiple mobile phones and tablets. A good device emulator is Screenfly by Quirktools. Simply paste in your URL to see how your site looks on a variety of devices.
If your site is not mobile friendly, make this one of your top SEO priorities. In fact Google and other search engines may actually punish sites that are not mobile friendly with lower search rankings.
3. Start using Google webmaster tools
If you do not have a Google Webmaster Tools account, visit this link to set one up and start tracking your website. Webmaster tools allows you to track site visitors and analyze a variety of visitor information from geographic location to operating system. You can also find page errors that might impact SEO, submit sitemaps to the Google index and more. Visit your dashboard frequently to check for site errors and correct them as soon as you can. Common site errors can include missing titles, meta descriptions and even duplicate file names. For more analysis of site errors, backlinks and keywords, you can use sites such as Moz or SEMrush. Both sites have a free trial and lots of additional tools to keep your SEO efforts on track.
4. Create a good internal linking structure and sitemap
Internal linking is an important tool for site optimization. Your links should be easy to read and index. You should also look for ways to cross reference relevant content when appropriate. This can help to ensure that dead posts don’t float alone in the search engine wasteland. Have you ever visited a web site and struggled to navigate it? This waste visitor’s time and can be extremely frustrating.
Add a directory page or site map if possible along with a search function. You should also add a XML sitemap to help search engines index your site. Major search engines such as Google and Bing allow you to submit your sitemap for faster indexing. Don’t neglect this simple step. If you need a sitemap and do not know how to build one, visit one of the many sitemap building sites on the web. One to consider is slickplan.com.
5. Analyze any content that is not ranking
If you have content that is not ranking well, go back and review the page or post. Does it include keywords in the URL, title, description and body copy? If not, you may need to add the missing information. Just be sure you do not stuff keywords into your copy. You should also try to build natural backlinks to your page using keywords in the anchor text. This needs to be organic and natural. Lastly, make sure your images have keywords in their name as well as in their alt tags.
6. Regularly carry out keyword research
If you still can’t rank for a keyword, do your homework to find out why. You may never rank high for a competitive national keyword but you can impact local search and long tail keywords. Use the Google tools or one of the free or paid web services to discover who is ranking for your keywords. Once you have this information, check their backlinks, page authority and site content. Chances are it will be pretty simple to see why they are outranking you. Remember SEO can take patience and time. You just have to keep working at it until you see results.
7. Make sure your website is user friendly
One of the most common mistakes that website owners make is not creating a user-friendly website. Remember, search engines need to know what your page is all about. Use clear fonts, relevant headlines, sharp graphics and simple navigation to help visitors use your site. Strive for good content that readers will share.
Avoid articles or posts that are nothing more than a bunch of keywords buried in boring copy. Give your visitor a reason to stay and they may come back to your site and even share it. Of course they can’t share it unless you have social share buttons on every article, blog post and page. Remember, make it easy and you make it user friendly.
8. Build Local Citations
This can be one of the most time consuming and expensive aspects of a strong SEO strategy. Citations are mentions of your business name, address and phone number address on other web sites. These can include sites like Yelp, Trip Advisor and YP.com. These citations are important ranking factors for the major search engines and they can also improve your organic website traffic. Citations can be built manually, by using a service or organically over time.
Whatever strategy you employ for building local citations, pay careful attention to accuracy across sites that list your business. Make sure your business information is consistent to get the most impact.
These eight SEO tips are ones you can begin to can implement on your website. Start optimizing your website today to move your site higher in search results and the browsers of more potential customers.