In this article we will cover the basic Top 10 SEO tips that will help your site do better when it comes to SEO as far as content and traffic are concerned. I have written this article in plain English so it can help as many people as possible without going into the small details that wouldn’t be of any good for somebody who is just trying to run a business and needs their site to do better.
1. Website Content
Have you ever heard the phrase ‘Content is king’ when you are searching for any information about SEO on the net? It just happens that it’s an important strategy when it comes to any site that’s trying to do better in the search engine results. With the continuing trend in Google’s algorithms to look for original, original quality content, this should never be underestimated or ignored. Quality content does not mean good spelling or grammar either, it means content which is as informative to the visitor as possible.
The basic rule about writing high quality content is to always think of what the page you are creating is about and stay focused on the topic. Let’s say you are a hotelier and you are writing a page about one of your new services which your hotel will offer for example, a new online booking service. In this case you should stay as close to the topic of ‘online booking service’ as possible and concentrating your content on just that. Staying focused on the topic means, you do not start talking about how wonderful your hotel is and how it has wonderful views from the rooms in a thousand words and only mention the ‘online hotel booking service’ once or twice in content.
You can write about how this new online booking service to explain how it works, the benefits of using it to stay at your hotel and so on. You can of course briefly talk about what the guests will enjoy at your hotel when they book online and provide hyperlinks to pages which specifically talk about the hotel itself.
The above example and content writing tips can be applied to almost any other type of business or topic that your site is focusing on. Writing original quality content is not hard to do if you start with the right frame of mind which targets people not search engines. Always compile your content with a human reader in mind and never write to manipulate Google’s algorithms or signals because it simply doesn’t work any more, even when it did it didn’t work very well in your favour
Just think if your site contains low-quality content and just so happens to have made it to the 1st position in the Google search results. Visitors find it, click on the link in the results to visit it, they arrive to find nothing informative enough on your site or content that grabs them . The chances are, they will simply hit the back button and surf away from your site, never to return. What’s happened back there? for one thing you’ve lost a potential sale and will add another bounce to your site’s bounce rate.
In brief, always write good quality content that is written for a human to read and when writing, ask yourself, would you bookmark the page? does it contain what you were looking for? would you need to hit the back button to look for a better result. It’s hard work but once you start getting more sales or traffic, you will be glad you’ve spent the extra time on content writing.
2. Keywords & Keyphrases
When choosing the keywords for a particular page on your site, always do your research first. This means finding out what your competitors are appearing in the search results with and not what you think is the ‘magic’ keyword. The easy way to do this without spending money on software or using any online services is to run a search on Google itself. Once you have found the keyword/keyphrase that is mostly used, focus on it and include it in the content at least 3-4 times. You need to also include it in your page’s Meta title, Meta description and Meta keywords if you still want to use them.
3. Website Design
Any website design is crucial to SEO as it will determine how visitors will behave and feel like once they land on your site. A badly designed site that is cluttered, has a bad colour scheme and hard to navigate around is more likely to make the visitor hit the back button to get out of there as soon as possible. Good quality website design is also important when it comes to SEO as far as the size of the pages. Filling your site with none-optimized images and an excessive number of them will only make your site bring up red flags for the Google bot. As a rule, heavy and slow loading sites are considered to be a bad user experience when it comes to how Google views your website. With much of the emphasis being based on user experience when it comes to the Google’s algorithms, a badly designed site will do less better in the results.Here is a good free online tool called Pingdom which will help you analyze your site’s loading time and content.
Always think how a user would feel when they are made to wait a whole minute or close for your site to load and only to find they’ve been waiting for a cluttered site. Make your site’s navigation as simple and clear as possible. Avoid forcing the visitor to make an excessive amount of clicks to reach the information they were looking for in the first place. It’s fair to say that if you frustrate your visitors with navigation that’s intentionally designed to force them to pass by content they were not looking for, they will leave your site.
4. Text & Styling
Include the important keywords and keyphrases you are targeting as close as possible to the beginning of your articles and make them bold maybe two or three times. The use of heading tags is also important because they are a way that a search engine spider checks to see if your keyword is included in a page’s heading for example. This is how a search engine will verify the relevancy of what your title is about and if your keyword is included in the page’s Meta title, Meta description and in the h1 tag, it would consider your page as being a successful match and yield it in the results.There are of course other h tags which go down to h6 with the h1 being the most important and h6 the least important. It’s worth mentioning that when using the tags, use them on your content in the same order they come without skipping any. So if you have a heading and you’ve wrapped it in the h1 tag, your next use of the tags should be the h2 and so on. This is a sign that your page’s content is well structured and organized for the visitor.
Keep your site nice and uncluttered avoiding the use of too many colors and the point for this is that once the visitor comes to your site, you want them to feel like staying. The last thing you want is for a larger percentage of your visitors to hit the back button, this is bad news for your SEO. Sites with a high bounce rate will be considered as a bad result served in the search and will suffer when they are served less in the results. A badly designed site will basically loose you traffic.
The importance of good linking methods will prove invaluable when it comes to SEO and this means traffic. A site that has good hyperlinks that points its visitors to the correct page in the least number of links will keep the visitor for longer. Anchor links as they are also known as are great for SEO when you include your keyword in them too for example, ‘Book Limousine Online’ as the hyperlink which will take the visitor to your ‘Book Limousine Online’ page. Include hyper links of your most important pages somewhere on the frontpage of your site and preferably with the exact keyword as it appears elsewhere for example in the Meta title, Meta description and of course the content of that page you are linking to.
6. Tools & Analytics
Install Google Analytics to track how your site’s traffic is performing in the search results. This will help you optimize your site further if you are seeing keywords you had hoped to achieve better results with aren’t doing as well as you had hoped they would. Google Analytics will also help you find out a lot of information about how well your site’s keywords are being found and it will also give you some idea about what keywords people are finding you under.
Get yourself an account with Google Webmaster Tools which will help assess how your site is doing and help you to be informed of any trouble areas on the site. Having a Google Webmaster Tools account is also important for submitting sitemaps as you can analyze how Google is seeing your sitemap and you can also resubmit a sitemap for faster indexing after changes. Another great thing about having this account with Google is that let’s say your site is focused on serving the UK, you can actually tell Google that your site is mainly for people in the UK. The next time you run a search on google.uk for a keyword on your site, you will see the results are better than if you had searched for the same on google.com.
For more control over your SEO, I recommend you install the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin which is one of the best tools for helping you improve your SEO. The Yoast plugin will also allow you to test how your page will be assessed by Google and point you in the right direction of how to fix wrong things.
7. Social media
As social media sites are widely used by a huge number of people around the world, it’s crucial your business website has a profile on as many of them as possible. It’s not a must to have an account with every social media site out there but you could of course focus your efforts on the top 3 main players which are Facebook, Twitter and Google plus. By actively using these sites, not only will you be getting more traffic to your site through your online presence, you will also achieve better SEO results when it comes to the social signals.
8. Meta Tags
Meta Tags are important because they tell Google and other search engines what your site is about in a few short words or sentences. You have the Title and Description Meta tags which are the two important ones you should concentrate on. Try to place your keyword/phrase in both of those Meta tags as this will help your pages being found in the results. Be careful not to put the keyword in those tags when it’s not also included in your content, it will not work and may actually be harmful to your site’s ranking. The keywords Meta Tag is not considered to hold any value when it comes to Google but some search engines still use it and it wouldn’t do your site any harm if you do.
9. Video Content
Try to produce short, good quality and informative videos about your business products or services which would help drive you traffic back to your site. As you may have noticed, you will sometimes see some videos from Youtube in the Google search results. This will improve your SEO for sure as more people visit your site.
10. Engaging visitors
Once you have done all the SEO in the world to be found in the search results, what happens when a visitors comes to your site? When a person makes it to your site, is your content good enough to keep them engaged? Is your site offering them something they were looking for? Would they come back to your site?
The above may not sound much to do with SEO but it has a lot to do with it because good content is where we started at the top of this article. So once you get a visitor, do your best to offer them content that would engage them and make them stay longer on your site. Provide good quality content which can include, videos, a blog, a forum, competitions, surveys or basically anything that they would find interesting and informative or entertaining.
What’s to come?
In the coming articles we will cover more things in detail for example, how to effectively use Meta tags, how to use rich snippets, speeding your site for better SEO and many more aspects of search engine optimization.I hope you have found these Top 10 SEO tips useful. Please feel free to share any SEO tips of your own or those that you have found to work best for you.