Marketers of all kinds should be well versed in at least the basics of website optimization and what should be considered good SEO practices. When considering the how-to of search engine optimization, here are a few of the best strategies for 2017.
In The Beginning
Once upon a time ( before 2003 ), it wasn’t that long ago just feels like it, SEOs sold services that would help websites rank in the number one spot for keywords in the major search engines. This was an entire industry that produced a ton of junk content, questionable practices and a never-ending amount of link farms. The search engines realized that this was happening and put in motion an ongoing assault against these practices.
Over time, search engines have punished or penalized SEOs that refuse to work at providing original, relevant and compelling content on the web. One undeniable fact is that the internet world is not the same now as it was back then. All of our devices are different, our bandwidth is global, and our interactions are engaging and personalized.
This does not mean by any stretch that SEO is dead in the post Panda/Penguin world. What it does mean, however, is that online marketers have their work cut out for them and taking shortcuts will produce less than desired results when ranking content.
User Experience Is Everything
More than ever, offering a quality, quick loading, easy to use user experience on your site is vital to having a strong organic search ranking.
When Google announced that it was going to make Panda a part of its algorithm and not just a simple update, many sites that are considered low quality won’t get ranked very well at all. Quality content is more important now than it has ever been, and context and relevance are how search engines are going to find you. Making sure that your site content is going to satisfy your chosen target audience’s related queries is hugely important.
What Matters Most?
Search Engine Optimization is all about knowing how to bring together the right kind of traffic, and create a positive feel for your site.
Engaged Visitors Will:
- Visit your site based on relevant/keyword searches or from other relevant sources.
- Spend time on your site and visit multiple pages or posts.
- Possibly complete a call to action.
- Tell others about your site and possibly link to it.
- Revisit your site, in some cases several times.
Keywords – Highly Important Stuff
Keywords are highly important, along with relevance and accessibility. In the past, SEO was more geared towards the idea of keyword stuffing, but now new SEO practices are more about placement, context and the meaning of keywords. When it comes to writing content use corresponding keywords, synonyms, and write like your readers will want to consume every word.
A Few Ideas On How To Use Keywords Effectively:
Learn To Do Keyword Research
1) Make a list of relevant keywords according to topics you are writing about.
2) Define your list of topics you want to write about.
3) Check related searches.
4) Tie together a mix of one word and long tail keywords. ( Long tail keywords are a type of keyword phrase that has at least 3, and sometimes as many as 5 words in the phrase )
5) Check keyword competition, often referred to as QSR ( Quoted Search Results ). You can make use of the many keyword tools available to do good keyword research.
Content Is King
- You will need to create original content and supply images that will engage and impress your visitors.
- Easy to read posts and articles that are formatted in such a way as to not either bore or lose visitor interest.
- Relevant, unique and easy to understand products and services that will enhance visitor engagement.
- Larger images mean longer site visits. Over half of all Google image searches result in traffic to websites. Google likes a short description of what your images are about, just supply a few short keywords in the “alt ” attribute of each image. The main reason for this now is that Google wants people who are visually impaired to have a better experience when visiting websites.
Search engines will penalize a site for copying content from another site, or if you have duplicate content of another page or post on your own site. Simply put, duplicate or copied content will most likely prevent your pages or posts from ranking well or even ranking at all.
First, you will need to know:
- Who your visitors to your site are.
- What is it they are searching for.
- What do they hope to get from your site?
If you don’t figure out what the answers to the above questions are, then you won’t be successful with SERPs ( search engine results pages ). Knowing who is visiting your site and why along with knowing how to get them to become return visitors is step number one in becoming successful with SEO.
Take a good look at your site and put yourself in your visitor’s shoes, does your site look boring, is it hard to read, are the images you are using kinda cheesy looking, or are you even using images at all? It’s really not all that hard to create a site that is dynamic, engaging, easy to navigate and responsive, but it is extremely important as previously mentioned…..User Experience Is Everything!
Check Out This Video Created By Magistudios Of Wealthy Affiliate On How To Easily Improve Your SEO
Optimizing Your Content
So, now that you know a little bit about content, relevance, user experience and keywords you will need to spend some time refining your site content. Spending some time fine-tuning the following will help in getting your content found by the search engines.
- Writing relevant and unique Meta Descriptions ( meta descriptions are the snippets of information below the link of a search result. It’s purpose is to describe the contents of a page or post to the searcher ), for every page and post on your site.
- Write short, unique but relevant site or page titles. This is where keyword research becomes important.
- Use simple but descriptive URLs for all pages on your website.
- Make sure menus are well organized and simple to navigate.
Ensuring that your site is mobile friendly is a ranking factor that is both major but also a necessity in today’s ever-changing online world. Several important factors come into play here, such as how quickly pages load, how they look on a mobile device, how they function and how users interact with them. If for some reason your site/sites are still not responsive, you will need to get that fixed immediately.
If you are wondering if your site needs any improvements, you can check out Google’s PageSpeed Site. This will give you some ideas on how you can improve your sites overall load speed.
This was just a small portion of what SEO is all about and how important it is, but if you stick to the basics and offer your site visitors quality, unique, helpful and engaging content, and learn about the importance of keywords then you will have already won one important battle in the ongoing war to achieve online success.
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