Search Engine Optimization isn’t what it used to be. In years past, you could stuff a bunch of keywords into the backend of your website and call it a day–patiently waiting for your first page Google rank. Today, the man has caught on and he requires much more from those who want to get their business in front of potential customers.
It’s not exclusively about keywords. It’s about making your digital presence cohesive, specific and easy to consume. It might sound like more work, but SEO practices today are super easy–you just need to be thorough and understand these new basics.
Keywords Still Matter
As mentioned, ramming a bunch of singular keywords into the metadata of your site won’t help you. What will help, is making sure that your content has keywords trickled throughout. And that those words work with other content to form ideas or phrases that Google can understand (remember most searches are a series of words. No one is solely typing in “SEO” and hoping for the best, they’re typing “best SEO practices” or “why is SEO important”).
You also need to make sure to create targeted URLs that include the topic of your page, name your image files appropriately, make titles specific and utilize alt-tags when possible. Basically, don’t be cryptic with your content. Be as direct as possible and use language throughout that conveys your point and heightens your business.
Be Conscious of User Experience
Some basic elements of UX can be used to up your site’s relevance and keep people on site longer. The easiest solution, make your site simple. If a user has to visit three pages before they get what they want, it’s not a good experience. If pop-ups devour your site every five minutes, readers will leave.
Now more than ever, Google is determining whether your site is optimized for mobile and giving these sites priority ranking. With 60% of people accessing the Internet through mobile, having a mobile-ready site is a must.
Create Relevant Content
Content marketing is in its prime. Where hundreds of thousands of dollars used to be dumped into banner ads, magazine placements and Google SEM, now businesses are realizing that they can increase their organic traffic by adding additional content to their websites. That’s why so many brands now have blogs (and we think you should too).
If you have a business where you sell a service, there are only so many ways to appeal to search engine spiders. At some point, if you’re not adding new products or services, then you’ll be reliant on the other methods mentioned (and a little hustling) to make sure people find you. However, if you have a blog with content that helps establish your brand better, you’ll have endless opportunities to get eyeballs on your site with relevant content for Google to crawl.
Engage in Link Building
Link building isn’t a new concept, but it too has evolved. Now, having your site featured on other reputable websites can help your ranking. AND, adding links to other outlets content can help Google and other search engines find you. If someone writes an article about healthy living and uses your website as a source for data, then you’re heading in the right direction. Or if you’re featured in a website roundup post, stellar! Like keywords, you don’t want to dilute your site with links. Use them sparingly and intentionally–keep links as on topic and aligned with your businesses purpose as possible.
It should be noted that establishing relationships within your industry and those interested in it is a much more valuable and effective way of getting your site linked to than blasting your URL in comments or hounding a webmaster for placement. It’s those rich relationships that make up link building that delivers results.
These basics will get you started and your brand the ability to make a dent in where you rank. But remember, there are so many facets to your business, so you need to cover all bases and draw people to the site to really help drive your awareness further.
If you need more specifics, let us know in the comments below.