There’s no denying that a website is critical for your business. However, if you want people to discover your website, you must leverage Search Engine Optimization(SEO). SEO includes processes that webmasters use to boost their website’s chances of ranking higher in search engines.
In this article, we share 7 SEO tips that will help people and search engines to find your site.
1. Build an attractive and functional website
Whether you have a new website or a website that contains many multimedia files, you must consider creating a sitemap. A sitemap provides search engines with the information they need to crawl and index site pages, audio, and videos. In fact, your site must have a sitemap to appear in Google News.
If you are selling products, make sure your homepage highlights at least a few optimized product images. If you have a blog section, link the latest posts and marquee essays. Though simple, these actions appeal not just to visitors but to search engines as well.
On the backend, make sure that your site’s title field includes the site name and relevant keywords as that’s what appears in the search results. So, it is important to choose your site’s name and keywords if you want to attract people and spiders to your website.
That said, don’t undermine the value of an appealing website. If your website looks dull and boring, people will leave and may even search for professional-looking websites. In short, you will not just lose visitors but valuable external links, social media links, and revenue.
2. Focus on relevant keywords
Keywords are nothing but words that lead people to your website. To use the keywords properly, you must take various elements of your website such as images, videos, articles, and podcasts, and summarize them in SEO-friendly terms. These keywords also must be included in your site’s URL, header tags, meta descriptions, and alt attributes. All you need to is, access your website’s backend and place the terms in the keyword field if you are using a website builder or edit code if you are tinkering with HTML.
Optimize the keywords to match people’s searches. If you are selling hand-made soaps, then “soaps” and “hand-made” could be your keywords. There’s no denying that these keywords will pull up other sites when someone searches for those keywords. So, you should back up standard keywords with long-tail keywords that are more specific searches. For example, “best hand-made essential oil soaps”, can be a relevant, long-tail keyword. You can use Google’s Keyword Planner to help find potent keywords. However, try not to be too obscure as you don’t want to use keywords that only a few people key into search engines.
3. Optimize your images
Images are important as they make a website inviting. So, you must ensure to optimize them. Additionally, images highlight the product or services you want to sell.
To optimize the images for the web, first shrink them down to a manageable size. Try and keep the image size under a megabyte in size or even smaller if you have an image-heavy page. For pages to load quickly, make sure to resize your images to a maximum 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution and use images in JPG or WEBP formats. Remember, search engines do not like slow-loading sites.
In addition, ensure that your images have proper Alt attributes. As Google can’t see the images that you upload to your site, Alt attributes enable it to categorize the photos. Alt attributes should include a description of around 125 characters. For example, WordPress has Alt fields that allow you to type in an image keyword easily.
4. Include informative meta descriptions
A meta description or a snippet is a short paragraph within your page’s HTML code. Meta descriptions appear beneath page titles in search engines and give a brief explanation of the page’s purpose.
Unlike page titles, you can write longer descriptions of approximately 150 characters in the Meta description. However, make sure that you don’t include all your keywords here. That will be keyword stuffing and search engines don’t like that. Try and keep your meta descriptions as simple as possible. Also, if you can edit HTML, drop the meta description in each page’s “Head” section.
Note: Meta tags for description and keywords are the primary areas you should focus your SEO efforts.
Many content management systems allow you to edit meta descriptions without tinkering with HTML. For example, if you are using WordPress, there are several plugin-ins such as Yoast SEO or One SEO Pack that allow you to add meta descriptions without digging into the HTML.
5. Internal Linking is a must
The best way to gain search-engine authority is to get more links (backlinks) from other sites(trustworthy and popular of course). While you have no control over the backlinks, you can hope they find you. That said, internal linking is important for your site.
In general, you want to link to anchor text or words that visitors click to move from one page to another. For example, if you have a post about car engines and you want to link it to a post about engine maintenance, use the hypothetical anchor text- “replace your old engines” for more SEO juice.
Make sure that the backlinks fit naturally and are used sparingly. Search engines easily dismiss a paragraph that contains nothing but links. Also, make sure your links work. Broken links imply that you are ignoring your site maintenance, so search engines will penalize your site. You can use Dead Link Checker to scan your website for broken links.
6. Create quality content and be consistent
Relevant and quality content is an important aspect of SEO. Search engines prioritize websites with fresh and informative content. Avoid copying content from another site as search engines can penalize your site. Instead, focus on creating high-quality and original content.
Additionally, make sure to update your website content consistently. Visitors like to return to a site that has informative and original content and share it across various social media handles like Twitter, Facebook, etc. Search engine spiders are also always on the lookout for fresh content.
Simply put, backlinks help build the authority of your website. Also, search engines look for links from trustworthy or highly trafficked websites. For example, if your site offers quality content that results in you winning a link from The New York Times, search engines will definitely see your site as important and boost its rank.
That said, remember you can’t make it happen artificially. The content must appeal to people first. And you must make sure to present the content clearly and update your site regularly to gain SEO traction.
7. Reduce site load time
Google research reveals that 53% of mobile audiences leave a website that takes more than three seconds to load.
Analyze the speed of your website using Google PageSpeed Insights, Pingdom, or Google’s Test My Site. These tools provide you with detailed information on how you can improve your website’s load time including images or scripts that may be taking a long time to load.
If you are using WordPress, you can use WP-Rocket, a plug-in that caches pages for faster load times. Additionally, you may want to remove any plug-ins that aren’t important to your site.
While these tips are just the tip of the SEO iceberg, they are great to start with. Remember, ranking well in search engines won’t happen overnight, so you need to be patient.