Search Engine Optimization. It may be a daunting-sounding phrase, but SEO is one of your website’s best friends. Optimizing your website content for search engines increases the chance potential customers will find your site and open the door to learning more about what you have to offer. And these SEO tips will help make it easier.
There are many different factors that the search engine algorithms consider when determining how a site is ranked in the search engine results pages – an upwards of 200, in fact. These SEO tips cover three of the easier ones to apply, perfect if you’re just starting to implement an SEO strategy or need a refresher on what might be going on behind the scenes of your website. They can help make a difference between a site that’s visible in the search engines and one that’s not.
We often hear from clients during the website design phase, “I don’t want many words on the home page.” They’re more interested in gracing the home page with big, beautiful photos. But in the world of SEO, a picture isn’t worth 10,000 words. While photos and videos are great for grabbing attention once you have visitors on the site, they’re not so great at feeding information to search engines and bringing people to the site.
That’s where written content comes in. At least 300 words or so on a page helps Google and other search engine bots determine the topic of your site and its pages, feeding information into the algorithm that ultimately leads to how sites are ranked for an entered search term. If the search engines decide your site is a good fit for what a searcher is looking for, your site will get a boost in the rankings and be more likely to sit within clicking distance higher up on the page.
If you’re concerned about aesthetics and big blocks of text, you don’t have to present the words in one big chunk. Break up the content into smaller sections to highlight your primary products and services, some great reasons for working with your organization, a teaser for your blog, etc. Clear calls to action to give your visitors direction on what it is you want them to do (e.g., click here to talk to someone, download our free ebook, etc.) are helpful as well. Make sure you include links to help visitors dive further into the site with minimal effort.
Each key page within your site should have a single, focused topic. Related to that topic is that page’s primary keyword. Even though your home page may – and should – have some secondary keywords that then serve as primary keywords on other pages within your site, one primary term should reign and dominate in the content on the page.
Doing some research up front can help you target your keywords so the terms you use within your website match the terms that searchers use. There are plenty of free tools available online that can help identify frequently searched terms, how your site ranks against your competitors for given keywords, opportunities for new terms, and more.
Once you determine your primary keyword for a page, ensure it is present off the page in the page web address (e.g., yoursite.com/keyword), in the title tag, in the meta description, as well as in the ALT tags for your photos. It should also be included on the page as well in page headings and dispersed throughout the content on the page. There are many free SEO tools available that make this process of adding keywords in key areas quite easy.
And as an aside, adding a list of keywords for a page does nothing for the page’s SEO value. Before the search engine algorithms got so smart, a list of keywords added to pages using the meta keywords tag did help guide searchers to the right page. But then the spammers quickly figured out how to use fake lists of keywords to get visitors to their sites and the whole thing went downhill.
Once you make updates to better optimize the content on your website site, free analysis tools such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console allow you to follow the results of your efforts. These tools help you understand who your visitors are (to a degree), how they get to your site, and which pages they go to once they get there. It just takes a little code added to your website to get started.
These tools can help troubleshoot your site from a user’s perspective. Are your visitors missing a key page on your site? Maybe the navigation isn’t clear. Are they clicking from your emails to your site but not responding to your offer? Maybe they’re not finding what they were expecting. Are they reaching your site using a keyword that’s not really applicable to your content? It might be time to take another look at how your pages are written.
Putting our SEO tips into action will lead you to better optimized website content with little effort.
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