10 Easy Ways to Optimize Your Site for Search
SEO is a necessary part of operating a successful website, but for novices it can be confusing to understand. So why is SEO necessary? It helps make your site more visible, which means more visitors down the line. But it’s also about making your pages more readable for people too. If keeping up with the changing formulas sounds complicated, you’re not alone. But there are numerous ways you can easily optimize your webpages so users—and customers—can find you. Here are ten suggestions to help you successfully optimize your site.
1. High Quality Content
The quickest path to a high ranking on search engines is one you’re hopefully already taking: creating high quality content. Users don’t want to see a page stuffed with repeating keywords—though it’s important to use some—they want engaging and informative writing that tells them what they want to know. If they like what they read, they’ll link to it. Links help prove your page’s popularity and increase your visibility on search returns.
2. Word Count
It’s true that Internet users have notoriously short attention spans, but the spiders that crawl through your pages need to know you have enough content to be useful and while including keywords they can utilize. Plan on creating articles between 300-700 words. This keeps it short enough for quick readers and long enough for spiders.
3. Content to Query Matching
This is where keywords start to matter. You want your content to include common search terms, but only ones that are appropriate to your website and page composition. Take some time to play around on the popular search engines, Google, Bing and Yahoo, and find out what phrases real people are using to search for things related to your field. Include these, in a natural way, on your pages to increase your rankings within that subject.
4. Unique Page Titles
It’s essential for you to include keywords in your page title, just as it is in your page content. Search engines will compare the title to the contents. Keep it short and sweet, and try to avoid using stop words, these include: to, a, if, the, then, and, an.
5. Meta Tags
Here is where many people start getting confused. What the heck is a meta tag? It’s data that is in addition to the title and content. It doesn’t affect the layout, like an HTML tag, but it provides additional information on what the page covers. Try to use 5-10 keywords in your meta tags that directly correlate with what’s on the page.
6. Header Tags
There’s a lot of tagging when it comes to promoting a website properly. And header tags help search engines figure out which keywords are the most important. Emphasize keywords by marking them H1, the second most important one H2, and so on. Though you can determine which keyword or phrase is the most significant, it helps to jump back on those searching sites and include the exact phrases people are using.
7. Proper Navigation
Every page on your website should link to every other page on your website, if possible. This isn’t just for spiders, it’s also for your readers, who will appreciate the ease of navigation as much as the web crawlers do. Most sites feature a navigation bar for this very reason. You can make yours stand out by using a web template or adding personalized graphics.
8. Human Friendly URLs
Nobody likes looking up to the address bar and seeing a bunch of nonsensical numbers and letters. Optimize your URLs with keywords that are easy to read. It’s not just for people’s comfort, either. A keyword-optimized URL tells those same spiders what’s happening on the page, and that helps place your business at the top of the search results.
9. Image Attributes
One thing users love that web crawlers do not is pictures. Spiders can’t read rich media the same way they read HTML, so make sure you go the few extra steps and fill out the image attributes like the title, caption, description and alternate text. Don’t stuff keywords here; you’re helping searchers who browse photos find your page.
10. Marketing Grader
If you need a quick critique on how your website is doing, why not use a free service? There are a few different options, but these page graders can tell you just how high (or low) performing your current set up is. Just plug in your web address and they’ll let you know where you’re succeeding and where there’s room to improve.
It doesn’t have to be scary or overwhelming to optimize your site for search engines, and it is a vital aspect of successfully hosting a business, blog or anything else online. While you’re at it, try using a professional theme to speed up website set up.