11 Ways to Improve Your SEO
We know it’s important but what does it actually do? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of acquiring traffic from the free, organic, natural and editorial search results on search engines. Well performed SEO tactics results in improved search engine rankings. Search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing display primary unpaid search results that link to pages they consider most relevant. These are separate from the paid-search ads you see at the top of the results page. So as you can imagine, you want to optimize your SEO as much as possible so your site ranks as a relevant search, but how? Here are 11 ways to improve your SEO.
1) Know your demographic. This comes up a lot in marketing and rightfully so. Your consumers are the ones that keep you going, they’re what it’s all about. By knowing them and understanding what content interests them, you’ll have a better idea of what you should offer. Furthermore, the more relevant your content is for your intended user, the more authority and relevance you earn.
2) Create incredible content. Content comes in many forms; blog articles, infographics, whitepapers, e-books, videos, etc. Make sure what you’re putting out there is creative, thought provoking and most of all authentic. There is no substitute for incredible content, don’t bother looking for a short cut.
3) Make it viral! Okay… so viral is a term that’s way overused and rarely can it be fabricated. For something to go viral it typically needs to spread by organic interest. With that said, your content needs to be shareable. If it has any chance of being a viral piece of content, people need to be able to share it and link to it.
4) Choose appropriate wording. Pay attention to the keywords and phrases people use when searching for similar products and/or services, this will allow them to find your content with ease. Be sure to do proper keyword research, it is crucial to your SEO success. Also be sure to use natural language, if your keyword integration seems forced, try another angle – no one likes phony placement. You can use bold, italics and heading tags to emphasize the keywords in your content but this practice must be handled with care and not overdone.
5) Keep the ball rolling. Consumers love the flow of great content, so do search engines. Up to date content is one of the biggest indicators of site’s relevancy. It’s good for your consumers, good for search engines and good for you, everyone wins!
6) Have a link worthy site. For quality sites to link to your content, your site needs to be high quality as well so they’re able to maintain their reputation. The aesthetics and navigation of your site should be up to industry standards but more importantly, you should focus on relevant links to your content within the text. Key words within the link will improve your search engine ranking.
7) Don’t buy links. Quantity of links have a great impact on your site’s ranking so it might be tempting to buy links but don’t do it! Buying and selling links actually goes against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and will do more damage than good.
8) Be equipped with Webmaster Tools. If you haven’t yet, register with Google and take advantage of their webmaster tools. If webmaster lingo is foreign to you, check out this great guide by Kissmetrics which simplifies the process.
9) Set up Google Authorship. If you write online for multiple sources, Google Authorship allows you to get credit for the content you put out. According to a study done by Catalyst Search Marketing, this tool has the ability to increase your clicks by up to 150%.
10) Optimize your site’s load speed. Not only can this affect your ranking but you can easily lose customers if your site takes too long to load especially for mobile users. For a detailed report of your site’s load speed and how you can improve it, use a service like Pingdom or Google’s PageSpeed Insights .
11) Improve your metadata. Metadata is essentially behind-the-scenes data that describes the data that appears on your site. It allows you to keep track of titles, descriptions, keywords, length of the document, when the document was created, who the author is and it serves as an overall summary of the data your consumers see. Proper metadata practices improves the user experience, which allows your site to rank higher. To optimize your site’s metadata consider the following:
Arguably the most important metadata on your site, the title metadata corresponds with the page titles displayed at the top of your browser window. It’s a good idea to use keywords in your title.
This data is a textual description of the contents of your page when it appears in a search result. This data will entice viewers to stick around so it should be short, sweet and engaging.
This is where your keyword research will come in handy. This data is responsible for improving your ranking when people are searching for information based on keywords and phrases. You should include a variety of phrases but don’t overdo it because too many phrases will be disregarded by the search engine. We recommend 6 phrases with a combination of 2-4 words, for example “social media marketing”
For a deeper look into the world of SEO, Search Land offers a comprehensive breakdown of the key components in their Table of SEO Success Factors.