Competing in the online space is an important part of any business strategy. To compete websites need to be easily found in online searches on Google and other search engines. This is accomplished through Search Engine Optimization (SEO). While there is a great deal of time and work that goes into an effective SEO strategy, below are 10 tips that can get you started on the right path.
Add unique meta tags to each page
Meta tags are important in communicating to Google and other search engines what your page is about. They also display to consumers in search results and are used to determine whether the page will give the consumer what she is looking for or not. Make sure to add unique title, keyword and description tags to each page you create that accurately reflect your content.
Rename your photos and add proper alt tags
Search engines can’t see an image the way you and I can, relying instead on context clues to determine an image’s content. You do this by giving your image files descriptive names (such as two-story-house.jpg instead of image1.jpg) and adding descriptive alt tags to your images.
Create great content
Focusing on creating content that is original, targeted, local and consumer-friendly will send signals to Google that you know what you’re talking about and is one of the best strategies for long-term success.
Update your website content regularly
Google also wants to know that your site contains fresh, relevant content. By updating your website content on a regular basis, you are sending that very cue to those Google bots. Make an effort to add new content to your site and review and update existing content on a regular basis.
Target specific long-tail keywords
Having quality, consumer-focused content is key to SEO success, but you also want that content to have focus. Tailoring your content to specific long-tail keywords does this by targeting terms for which people are actually searching. Determine what keywords are best for your specific topic by doing keyword research using tools such as Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush.
Optimize your site for mobile/tablet users
At the core of great SEO is a great consumer experience and that means having a great mobile website experience. Deliver that experience by making sure your site and your content is optimized for mobile devices (think smartphones and tablets). Using responsive design to create an all-in-one solution is Google’s preferred method, but a separate mobile site can also be effective. The good news is there are tons of free responsive design templates available for WordPress, making checking this off your list easier than you might think.
Create catchy titles that people will want to read
You search. You scan. You click on the first title that grabs your attention and seems relevant, right? Entice more users to click on you by creating catchy titles that people will want to click on and read.
Include links in your posts
Another element of solid SEO is having a link strategy. Start by including internal and external links on your site. Internal links will send signals that your site is full of relevant content, and external links to additional quality sources will communicate authority. It also shows linking goodwill to others, which will be important for the next tip. Just make sure your links make sense and fit your content.
Get others to link back to you
The most powerful part of any linking strategy is your back links. When other websites respect your content enough to link to it, it shows Google that you know what you’re talking about and increases your authority score. Don’t be afraid to ask for back links. When you see an article on another reputable site that you know your website would be a great reference for, email the site owner and ask. At worst, they say no, and at best you’ve created a quality back link to your site.
Use social media and e-newsletters to drive traffic back to your site
Another way to build your back link portfolio is to use social media and e-newsletters to drive traffic back to your website. It’s referred to as the hub-and-spoke model (think like the hub and spokes on a wheel). All the places all over the internet that link to you are the spokes, and the one website that you drive all those links back to is your hub. Posting your content on these types of distribution channels gets your content in front of more people, too, driving more traffic back to you.