Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your website to make it easier for search engines to read and to improve your search engine ranking. A good SEO strategy will help you increase your readership, internet presence, brand authority and sales. While many people are intimidated by SEO, the truth is that basic SEO techniques are not difficult and can bring you fantastic results.
While the exact algorithm search engines use to rank pages is a well-kept secret, industry professionals have discovered many ways that company owners can improve website SEO. These techniques change over time, and it is crucial that website owners keep up with the latest techniques. Here are ten ways to improve your website’s SEO, according to the experts.
1. Post-Quality Content
Quality content is crucial to SEO. When you post quality content, people will naturally read it and share it with their friends. When others link to your page and spend a significant amount of time on your website, your search engine ranking increases. This in turns helps more people find your page and the cycle continues.
2. Update Frequently
If you update your website infrequently, people will have no reason to return, and they will have nothing new to like or share. Plus, having stale information will lower your search engine results ranking as well. While this is more important for some niches than others, frequently updating with quality content is usually essential for SEO.
3. Use Internal Links
Using internal links accomplishes a few different purposes. It makes it easier for web bots to crawl your website and find your information. It increases the time your website visitors stay on your page, as they click on one link after another. Ideally, web bots and people should be able to get to any page of your website with just a couple of clicks.
4. Encourage Others to Link to Your Website
When others link to your website, it helps establish your credibility with search engines. You can encourage linking by posting quality content and by adding social media buttons that make sharing easy. Avoid purchasing links, however, as this practice can harm your search engine result page rank.
5. Use Long-tail Keywords
Using longer, more specific keywords helps ensure that your target audience finds you in searches and then visits and stays on your page. For example, the long-tail keyword “where to buy coffee cups” will bring you better visitors than “cup,” which would bring many visitors that would not find your page useful. Plus, the more specific your keyword, the less competition you will face.
6. Avoid Keyword Stuffing
Years ago, search engine algorithms considered the frequency of a keyword in determining webpage rank. Now, however, webpages that include too many instances of keywords often get marked as spam and lose some or all of their page rank. Rather than stuffing keywords in everywhere, place just a few keywords in prominent places such as title and heading tags.
7. Format Your Content Correctly
Websites do not look the same to search engines as they do to human eyes. For example, many search engine spiders cannot read or simply ignore flash files, images, Java applets and other non-text content. While these things can still be added to help produce quality content, website developers should be sure to include meaningful information and keywords in HTML format as well.