There is much to know about SEO however, in this article we go into the top ten most important things everyone needs to know about SEO.
1. What exactly is Search Engine Optimization?
Search Engine Optimization is maximizing visitors to a website by ranking highly on search engines using different strategies to achieve this. The most vital part of any of these strategies is selecting a keyword that you want to rank for. A keyword is a word or phrase that you want your site to show up or rank for when searched by someone in a search engine. For example, if you want to rank for the word coffee shop then that would be the keyword you base your strategy around.
2. What Search Engines are Looking For
Search engines are looking for keywords, properly tagged images, relevant and useful content, consistent content, as well as good user experience. User experience is the way your website is received and used by someone. Your site needs to be easy to navigate and search, clean and clear, and fast. Site speed is also important for search engine optimization.
3. Create Backlinks on Your Website
Backlinks are links from one website to another. They connect both pages together allowing both pages to rank higher in search engines. Backlinks should be relevant or similar content to your page. Backlinks are important because they are basically read as votes from other websites. The more votes, the more credibility your site has for having useful and quality content. The more credibility you have, the higher you rank.
4. Use Images to Help Search Engine Optimization
The use of images on your site can help with higher rankings in SEO. Many people forget about this, but images cannot be seen by google or other search engines so you must use text to explain to google what your image is. When uploading an image, there should be an option for ‘alternative text’ often under the caption. It is here where you describe what is going on in your image. For example, if you have a picture of a sandwich, input “a large turkey sandwich with vegetables on a white plate”.
5. Do Keyword Research
Keyword research is critical to creating your SEO approach. There are many sites that offer information about keywords that are helpful in understanding more about the word such as average monthly searches, expected visits, competition, cost per click, keyword difficulty, etc. These details help you decide if the word or phrase you chose is worth using or needs to be changed or altered. Some keywords are easier to rank for than others and research will help determine which option is best and how to approach it.
6. Don’t Try to Keyword Stuff
Although keywords are important, using the same keyword too many times can lead to keyword stuffing. This is a technique that has been used to rank highly by inputting the keyword over and over into text on a site. Search engines have now figured out about keyword stuffing and no longer reward the overuse of keywords with high rankings. As search engine optimization progresses so do the search engines.
7. Use Long Tail Keyword Phrases vs. Short Keywords
When it comes to keywords, longer is better. Long tail keywords are keywords or phrases that are more specific and targeted than short keywords. For example, ‘social media marketing strategies’ vs. ‘social media’. Since they are more specific, they are searched less but often lead to higher conversions and site visitors.
8. Use Tools to Help with SEO
Utilize sites like Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, Google Search Console, and Ubersuggest to help you learn, research, and navigate the world of SEO. Tools like these better educate and prepare you to use search engine optimization in the best way you can to achieve your goals.
9. Write For Your Audience, Not the Search Engine
What search engines are now starting to look for is whether or not the content is written for a user. As mentioned earlier, keyword stuffing was a popular technique. However, it often made for low quality content that was not very readable. Now search engines look for content that is actually written for people and not search engines. You want to include your keyword a few times in your content as well as using semantic keywords, which are keywords relevant to yours, will help optimize your site. Google also prefers longer content so many sites release content and like to update and add to it gradually over time.
10. Write Original and Consistent Content
Search engines find information for users according to relevancy, whether it be topic, location, day, search history, etc. So you want to make your website contain information that is helpful or interesting to users so that they will stay on your page and continue to come back. Consistency is key in anything and SEO is no different. The more quality content you push out the higher your rankings will be.