Ten Tips to Boost Your SEO
Getting your website on Google, Yahoo, MSN, and other search engines is not difficult if you know where to begin.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is fast becoming an important factor in any website's success. Here are ten tips that can give your site that extra boost.
1. Research your keyword phrases extensively
You may be surprised by the number of people who find your site through a major search engine. Tools such as Google's Keyword Tool, KeywordDiscovery, or Wordtracker can help you discover what keywords and phrases you should be using on your site to attract the type of audience you’re after.
Create several lists of relevant phrases that relate to your goals and choose a few for each page on your website. Try to avoid general phrases such as "car" or "engine" since they are usually not a great reflection of your overall site. Also stay away from fluffy buzzwords such as “cutting-edge” or “phenomenal” because they hold very little weight. When was the last time you used “cutting edge” in a Google search?
2. Search engines love unique content
If you are a retailer, try to create your own descriptions instead of using the default ones supplied by a manufacturer – especially for your most profitable products. If your site is informational, make sure you are providing something different. Google, Yahoo, and MSN are always searching for new content to distribute to their users. Take advantage of this!
3. Provide an XML site map and help the search engines locate your content
It sounds incredibly technical, but an XML site map is just that – a map to your pages. A site map is a simple data feed provided to a search engine such that pinpoints the location and importance of every page on your site. Visionary Services can help build a site map for you if you need a little help.
4. Check for canonicalization issues
Go to your website using the “www” and also without. In other words, if http://www.domain.com and http://domain.com are the same page choose one and redirect the other to ensure you are not duplicating your website's content. You want search engines to know they are the same page even though the URLs may be slightly different.
5. Optimize for your target audience, not for the search engines
This may sound counter-intuitive, but search engines are looking for the most relevant keyword phrase when someone uses their services. If those people (a.k.a. potential customers) are typing search words that relate to what you offer, then they are probably your target audience. This relates to the tips in the first item above. You need to optimize your content to fit their needs.
6. First come, first served
Google and the other major search engines read webpages just like you – from top to bottom. Put your content and basic navigation towards the top of your pages to give it more importance. Luckily, the wonders of web design allow you to place content were you want it visually, but still keeps it at the top in the source cod, which is what the search engines look at.
7. Maintain a blog or write articles to create fresh, unique content
Web users are hungry for human interaction. Satisfy their needs with news articles or other interesting bits about your company and services. Search engines are also trying to fill this desire and often give special ranking to sites that provide fresh content. Don’t worry about how many blog posts you’ll be able to churn out in a week. Set a reasonable schedule and stick to it. Your audience will value consistency over quantity as you build up your readership. One great resource for blog material is your CEO! Influence from upper management is incredibly valuable because they are the voice of your company.
8. Create unique page titles using your keyword phrases
Similar to the point above, if your titles are unique, new traffic will be driven to your site because you’re likely using keywords and phrases that people are actually searching for.
9. Apply titles and labels (alternative text) to your internal links and images
Your site's visitors and search engines examine the clickable portion of your links (a.k.a. the anchor text) to determine what to expect after they click on them. Don't make them guess by using generic phrases such as "Click Here" or "More.” Be descriptive and make sure you use the landing page's main keywords in the anchor text.
10. Monitor your SEO success
As with any expense you need to measure your return on investment. Use tools such as Google Analytics or the Google Webmaster Tools to check your traffic and ensure search engines are browsing your site successfully. Analytics tools quickly provide clear data that charts your website’s past SEO work.
Ultimately, search engine optimization boils down to four important aspects: text, links, popularity, and reputation. Don't be afraid to contact someone for help. We've just barely scratched the surface of all the SEO tactics – more is to come!
If you want to learn how we can boost your website’s SEO; contact us today!