Minor SEO Differences Can Result in Major Changes
Minor Differences Major Changes
Every business with a website should make Search Engine Optimization — trying to get your site ranked as high up as possible on Google, Bing, and Yahoo search-results pages — a part of their growth strategy.
At its most basic, “SEO” is the process of optimizing web pages or whole sites in order to make them more search engine-friendly, thus getting higher positions in search results. This generally means more traffic to your site and more sales.
While intense SEO can involve complex site restructuring with a firm (or consultant) that specializes in this area, there are a few minor strategies you can take yourself that can result in major increases in your search engine ranking.
All it requires is a little time and effort, and some re-thinking of how you approach content on your site.
Monitor Where You Stand
You won’t know if your SEO efforts are working unless you monitor your search standings. There are many online monitoring tools available, but a good place to start is with Alexa.
It’s also important to check your referrer log regularly to track where your visitors are coming from and the search terms they’re using to find you.
The Most Important Part of SEO is Keywords & Key Phrases
Keywords are by far the most important part of SEO for every search engine; when a spider crawls your site, the keywords tell the spider what your site is about and what to index it as. The title tag and page header are the two most important spots to put keywords.
Start with a keyword analysis to determine with keyword phrases will be most effective on your site. There are online tools to help you determine how much competition you have for specific keywords, and how often people are searching for specific phrases.
BEWARE: Putting ridiculous amounts of keywords on your site will get you flagged as a spammer, and search engine spiders are programmed to ignore sites guilty of “keyword-stuffing.”
Links Make Me Mighty (Inbound & Outbound)
There is probably no more basic strategy for SEO than the integration of internal links into your site — it is an easy way to boost traffic to individual pages.
You should make it standard to link back to your archives frequently when creating new content. Also make the anchor text is search-engine-friendly: “The more relevant words that point to a page, the more likely that page is to appear in search results when users run a query with those terms.”
As with all other SEO approaches, be sure your links are appropriate, and be careful not to cross the line into excessive linking — you don’t want your visitors to get annoyed.
Create a Sitemap for Better SEO Results
A good site map shows search engines a quick, easy-to-follow overview of your site. It also provides a pathway for the robots to follow, provides text links to every page of your site and quickly shows visitors where they need to go.
Make your URLs more search-engine-friendly by naming them with clear keywords.
Use Image Descriptions for Better Search Ranking
Every image you place on your web site could help drive traffic and visitors to your site. Spiders can only search text, not text in your images — which is why you need to make the words associated with your images as descriptive as possible.
Start with your image names: adding an “ALT” tag allows you to include a keyword-rich description for every image on your site.
The visible text around your images is valuable for SEO: Adding captions to all your pictures and being descriptive with the text in immediate physical proximity to your images.
Keep Content Fresh to Boost SEO
Having fresh content on your site matters — updating regularly and often is crucial for increasing traffic. “The best sites for users, and consequently for search engines, are full of updated, useful information about a given service, product, topic or discipline.”
One way to ensure that your site gets new content on a frequent basis is to integrate a blog. “Get the owner or CEO blogging. It’s priceless!” An executive blog is an excellent way to reach out to your clients, create more opportunities for internal and external linking, while giving your site a more personal voice.
Use Social Media to Increase Rankings
Social Media can also increase your rankings on the major search engines. This is done by how often you post, tweet, get likes, etc. Anytime you post something to these sites always make sure you leave a backlink to your site. The more backlinks you have the better.
Whether displayed on your company’s account, or recommended, re-tweeted, and re-distributed by someone else, this strategy exponentially multiplies the number of places where visitors will view your links.