Boost your search engine optimization today and get the attention you deserve
Aaah, the search engine. Did you ever imagine such a nebulous thing would wield so much power?
In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to kowtow to Google bots, and we’d be free to post whatever and however we want on our blogs and websites. (Actually, let’s get real: in a perfect world, I’d be drinking daiquiris on the Riviera.) But the fact is, search engines drive results in today’s online marketing realm. So, whether we like it or not, it pays to play along.
Fortunately, there are some basic things that you, me and the next guy can do to help increase our websites’ SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and they don’t involve having a degree in computer science. I’m talking about content – yup, good old words.
But before I get into that, it might serve us well to know a bit more about SEO and then look at how to improve it.
Some SEO basics
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the science behind improving your website’s ranking on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) when someone types in a search phrase that’s related to your business. Search engines, such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc., use complex algorithms to determine your ranking. Though these algorithms are closely guarded secrets, we know they look at things like the popularity of your site and its relevance to the words/phrases entered in the search query.
Relevance is the key here, in that it’s based on the quality of your website’s content and how well it’s tailored for optimization. Notice I said “quality;” gone are the days of keyword stuffing (thank God). As search engines have evolved over the years, they have become more sophisticated, and they can tell if your site is a mish-mash of recycled articles or provides actual value to visitors. So if you want to improve SEO, take a good look at your content and make sure it provides real value to real people.
3 Easy ways to use content to increase SEO
1. Create quality content
It used to be that people could get away with keyword-laden copy that didn’t have to be particularly well written, but that’s no longer the case. “Path-breaking” algorithms can weed out the good from the bad, which means quality content is more important than ever. Duplicate copy taken from other sources or sites, and thin content with errors, can hurt your SEO ranking. By creating original and engaging content, however, you not only make good connections with readers, you make the right impression with the engines.
Another thing quality content does is encourage people to share or “like” your information across social media platforms. It can also result in other websites linking to yours. Both of these things increase your popularity, which is noted by the search engines.
2. Use key phrases, but don’t go crazy
Your copy should include key phrases that users are using to find products/services like yours, but avoid overkill, lest you be considered spam. Say you sell cheap sunglasses and you want people to know that you sell cheap sunglasses. But your cheap sunglasses don’t look like cheap sunglasses, even though they are cheap sunglasses. . . get it? Nobody, robots included, likes that kind of thing.
Use keywords in the title and in the body, with slight variations and long-tail versions sprinkled throughout – moderation is, well, key.
3. Keep your content fresh and plentiful
Search engines like something new, and they also like something of substance. So keep adding and changing your content, and try to hit at least 300 words or more on each page. Both of these things will help to increase the amount of time a visitor spends on your site. An increase in the duration of time spent on your site will indicate to the search engines that users have a positive experience, which helps boost rankings.
Other “more-techy” things that contribute to good SEO
- Keep it speedy: Adjusting internal links and navigation processes can enhance your website’s load speed and, in turn, its SEO.
- Make it mobile friendly: Mobile searches are steadily increasing, and Google gives higher rankings to websites that work on all platforms.
- Use key phrases in formatting: Make sure to put your key phrases in page URLs, image file names, image ALT tag names and page title tags (these are format things that aren’t typically seen by browsers but are detected by engines).
As you can see, there are several things you can do to climb the Google rankings, some easier than others. Don’t feel up to task? Not sure where to begin? We can help if you’ll let us!