SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, it means developing and improving your website so that it ranks highly with search engines
When looking at search results in Google, there are two types of results returned. There are paid ads, and there are non-paid search results, which are called “organic” search results.
The focus of this post is on organic results and how to achieve a higher organic ranking in Google.
Generally there are two broad categories for SEO.
#1: On-page (on-site) SEO
On-site SEO are all the things you can do on your own website to impact how Google ranks you.
#2 Off-page (off-site) SEO.
Much as you’d expect, off-site SEO is everything you can do off your site to promote a higher ranking. uld
(examples would be things like Social Media, Guest Blogging etc)
Let’s take a look at what you can do to affect your On-page SEO, the things you are directly in control of.
There are a number different factors a search engine will take into account when ranking your site.
In all the years I have been marketing online, people have constantly been trying to figure out how to get a better ranking with Google.
The thing to always keep in mind is that Google and every other search engine wants to do their job as well as possible. They want to: refer users to websites and content that is the most relevant to what the user is looking for. Who do they want to please? They want to make the person doing the search happy. They want to serve up results that match what that person is searching for, as precisely as possible.
We sometimes forget that when trying to figure out how to get that high ranking we desire with Google. But when you stop and think about it, it is great news. Google wants the same thing you want. They want to make the end user, the searcher, happy. You want to make your website visitor happy.
Designing for search engines then, means designing for humans.
So let’s focus on the people you need to make happy: Your visitors. Search engine success will follow.
So here are some of the things to pay attention to:
1. Site Structure
Your site should be structured correctly.
What does that mean?
It should have a logical layout
There should be no orphan pages – meaning pages that are not linked to from other pages in your site and therefore cannot be found readily.
This relates to structure. By navigation, I am referring specifically to the menus in your site. A rule of thumb to apply here:
Keep your menus simple and short
No more than 8 top level items in your main menu
Everything should be readily available and easy to find within no more than 3 clicks.
How are pages linked together? Is everything on the site easy to find or do you have hard to find content, hidden away in some difficult to find part of your site? Change that!
3. Meta descriptions
By using a meta description, you tell the search engines what description should be included on your search result. If you leave this to chance, you are letting the search engine decide what the description should be. Don’t leave it to chance. Why? Remember, you want to make your visitors happy. By telling them what they can expect to find on the page, you make it more likely that the right person will click on your link. And if the meta description matches the content, chances are they’ll be happy when they arrive at your website, and stay around to learn more.
What is a meta description then? You see them every time you do a search online.
Here it is:
Content always has been critically important, and it continues to be critically important
Pay close attention to keywords used, but never try to trick the search engines. Your attention should be on attracting the type of person you have a solution for.
Have a plan and purpose with each page of your site, and create your content according to that plan.
Add a blog to your website.
Why would a business want to add a blog to their website?
Here are some statistics:
- Nearly 40% of US companies use blogs for marketing purposes.
- Businesses serving consumers that blog get 88% more leads per month than those who don’t.
- B2B companies that blog get 67% more leads per month than those who don’t.
- 71% of consumers say blogs affect their purchasing decisions.
- Companies that blog have 55% more website visitors overall.
The first thing to do is to name the image file properly before you upload it. Even the file name can make a difference in search engine ranking. You then need to give it the proper alt-tag, and you need to consider adding a caption, when it’s appropriate.
Another very important aspect of optimizing images for search engines is to properly size them. I am not just talking about pixel size, but the actual file size. Images with large file sizes can slow your pages down considerably, so you should always optimize the size to improve SEO and user experience both.
6. Optimize your URLs for keywords
This is a fairly easy one. Make sure the URL reflects the topic and the keywords in your post. If you are writing a blog post with maintenance tips for homeowners, your url might look like this: yoursite.com/new-home-owner-maintenance-tips
First a note: Do not confuse keywords with keyword meta tags, which are ignored by search engines.
For best SEO results, focus on one keyword or keyword phrase per page.
Use not only the keyword itself, but also variations and synonyms. When appropriate, use the keyword or keyword phrase in the first paragraph. Always keep the reader first in mind however. Never place keywords in your text just to enhance SEO.
8. Responsive Website
Responsively designed websites are designed to respond to the screen size of the device being used when viewing them. Responsive design restructures websites and changes format for any device—regardless of screen size. When you have a site that has been designed to be responsive, the layout of the website will scale all the way from the small mobile phones, to tablets, small laptops, and all the way up to the standard or large desktop computer screens.
Having a site that is responsive is the only way to guarantee that your website will look good and have optimized usability on any device.
If you site is not easy to navigate, read and use on a mobile device you could be loosing a lot of business.
In addition to that, Google gives priority to websites that are responsive.
If you need help with getting your site converted to be responsive, get in touch with me.