Every digital marketer dreams of getting their website on the coveted first page of search engine results. Although various SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tactics are utilized and constantly tested to achieve this, search engines often change the way they rank websites. Here are 5 consistent and effective practices of basic SEO that you should familiarize yourself with:
Keywords are one of the most important elements to consider for SEO. When someone searches a word or phrase on a search engine, the engine scans relevant sites that contain the search inquiry. The engine will then run its algorithm to determine the order that the applicable search results show up based on, among other factors, the relevancy and popularity of the site content to that search keyword..
The best way to improve your chances of ranking high on certain keywords is to do keyword research in order to find out how people search for your site or your products. Google’s Keyword Tool, for example, allows you to track specific keywords and gives insight into the amount of search traffic that they obtain. Once you have figured out what keywords are relevant to your needs, you can begin to use them within your site’s content in order to increase relevancy, and thus, drive more search traffic.
2. Produce Fresh, Engaging Content:
Search engines are constantly crawling the Web in search of new material to index within their databases. The more consistently you update your site with quality content, the more frequently it will get indexed and improve your search ranking overall. You will ultimately get rewarded for keeping your site fresh with good and relevant content.
Some easy ways to effectively refresh your site’s content include updating product pages, adding new landing pages, and posting on your company’s blog. Simply put, you should always be creating new, relevant content. However, keep in mind that quality over quantity always wins. Repetitive content or duplicate pages will eventually get penalized.
3. Domain Names and Canonicalization:
Stick with simplicity and keyword relevancy when naming your sub-domains and url structures. Use your core keywords within separate product and category pages to really beef up your rankings.
Canonicalization is the process that search engines go through to pick the best possible URL from several choices. For example, http://www.uberflip.com , uberflip.com, uberflip.com/home, and www.uberflip.com/index.html can all link to the same material but are “canonicalized” to pick a single URL to represent them all within a search engine. To counter this confusion, make sure you are consistent with the format of individual URLs, and especially links that lead to your homepage. This simplicity will make your content easier to read and increase your overall SEO!
Commonly referred to as data behind the data, metadata is hidden inside the HTML code of websites so that search engines can access its information. Title and description are the two most important elements of metadata. Not only do they appear under the title of a website that you see on search engine results, but they’re picked up as important material by search engines.
The title tag helps the engine determine what your page is about. Meta descriptions are similar, but they contain a longer description of your website. Ideally, you should try to keep your description no longer than 155 characters in order to have your description fully visible. Remember that title tags and meta descriptions should be treated with care and written for your audience – not for search engines alone. You should use relevant keywords in both descriptions in order to achieve greater results, but do not overload your material as that may result in getting penalized.
5. Relevant Backlinks and Social Media:
Joining in and building communities doesn’t only increase engagement, it increases SEO as well! When another website links to your content in the form of a hyperlink or anchor text, search engines recognize this as a type of ‘vote’ that boosts your ranking. To achieve these links naturally, join blogs, online communities, and forums where your audience interacts; participate in the conversation and share valuable keyword-rich content so that people feel compelled to share it.
When you comment or post on a site, you can place a hyperlink in your content. Either place it within your post or add it to the end of your signature. This tactic will entice others to both click on the hyperlink, and increase the links (or ‘votes’) to your content.
Social media platforms such as Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook all provide relevant avenues to constantly share information and link back to your site, so make sure you have integrated social sharing buttons within all of your content.
To consistently improve your sites overall SEO, the best results come from the long-term investment and commitment to the practices described in this post. Testing different keywords, posting in forums, updating your content, optimizing Title and Description tags, improving URLs, and getting others to link to your content…these methods can work collectively to produce effective SEO.