The world of SEO can sometimes feel akin to witchcraft, but fortunately, there are some simple ways to improve SEO, enhance your website’s quality, and improve the user experience. Until fairly recently, ‘black hat’ tricks abounded, endorsing the stuffing of keywords, and indiscriminate link-building. Then Google got wise, website owners got burned, and slowly, Search Engine Optimization moved into the light. These tips should help to demystify everything SEO and boost your search rankings.
1. Content is king
Much like successfully losing weight comes down to a sustainable, balanced diet, rather than fads and quick fixes, much of the success of SEO is down to consistently creating high-quality, fresh content. Your content should add value to your site and be relevant for your audience. It’s a very simple concept, but it does require hard work and persistence. To have any decent SEO, your content has to come first, so forget the fast fixes and focus on this.
2. Think key phrases
When you search for something, do you usually type single words, or a short phrase? Most of the time, it’s a phrase, so thinking only in key ‘words’ can be damaging to your SEO potential. This is a great way to add value for your users, particularly if your content is highly relevant and supporting the phrase. So play with Google, put yourself in the position of a ‘searcher’ and create useful key phrases to use.
3. Pay attention to detail
The title of your post should include your keywords or key phrase to make your topic easily visible and understandable for Google’s crawlers and for your readers. Of equal importance, if less obvious, is the URL. Make sure you edit it to include the keywords which are most relevant to your content. These little details can make a big difference, as it’s the first thing to be spotted. A high-quality, optimized URL and title will get more people clicking through.
4. Build links with consideration
Building links indiscriminately, just to try and get ‘link juice’ is a strategy doomed to failure. Link carefully and considerately, and it can dramatically improve your rankings. The aim is to have high-ranking, highly relevant sites linking to you. To get there, it’s all about making connections, and sharing links on your site which are of value and interest to your audience. Again, it’s a bit of hard graft, but you’ll reap the rewards, while taking the easy route will lead you down a very murky path indeed.
5. Become marvellous at meta
Once you’ve put all that effort into your post, title, key phrases and URL, it’s tempting just to hit ‘publish’. But spend a minute or so on your meta description, and you’ll give your content an extra boost. The meta description is the short sentence of information which appears beneath the title on search engines. Think of it like a brief advert: You want to highlight your key phrase and find a concise way to entice the searcher to click through to your site. Keep it short and sweet – no more than 160 characters will usually show up.
6. Optimize your images
Finally, if you’re adding images, make full use of the title and alt title to make it relevant to your key phrases, and search-engine friendly. Leaving your picture as ‘Img2172′ is not helpful to anybody, least of all you. It’s often pictures – and their associated titles – which are shared, so make sure they’re doing the hard work for you.
Simple and easy are two different things. The ‘easy’ way of SEO is not a long-term strategy for success. Build with care, consideration and simplicity, and it can be a wonderful thing for your site. Need more help with SEO? Take a look at our SEO services.