Whether you’re starting a new website or running an old one, search engine optimization (SEO) should be a vital part of your strategy. Search engine optimization is the way in which you optimize your content for search engines so that you can give them what they want and achieve higher rankings.
For your business, this translates into higher traffic, more loyal customers, and conversions. It will help you gain substantial ROI while also building your brand effectively. Here are a number of tips to make sure your website is optimized properly for SEO.
Focus on Your Niche Market
Search engine optimization is all about serving people’s queries when they initiate a search. In order to rank well for SEO, it’s important to focus your website on one clear topic. While it can involve other related things, it should be relatively focused on one specific thing to make sure that it is optimized for keywords in that topic.
Before focusing your topic properly, you’ll need to do some keyword research before choosing a topic to understand the terms you would be trying to rank for and would need to compete against. Because searches are so reliant on a keyword that you’re using, focusing on a market using keywords and industry terms will take you a long way.
Use Keywords Throughout Your Page and Content
If keywords are so important, you’ll want loads of them, right? Wrong. Loading your page with keywords, also known as keyword stuffing, is actually no longer a way to get your page ranked and will actually lead to penalties.
Search engines have improved greatly over the last 20 years, and while the late 90s saw pages with the same phrase written over and over and over and over again, that will actually hurt your page today. However, queries are largely based – and reliant – on keywords. Making sure you use appropriate keywords, as well as alternative terms and related industry terms, will help you rank positively in search engines.
Make you use keywords specific to your topic and niche market to help you rank when people search for them. This goes for both on and off page information that you input into the webpage. Make sure your content and your off-page tactics all line up and account for the topic you are trying to rank for.
Use An Effective Permalink Structure for Your Pages
An extremely important factor for SEO is the permalink structure you use for your URLs. make sure that you try to use it to state what the page is about. This is not only good for helping your users, but also for optimizing your pages for SEO. Search engines use crawlers to comb through and index your page so they can more easily and quickly find search results for users.
Having an efficient permalink structure that uses keywords effectively will help make sure that search engines index your content based on its keywords and relevance. This will make sure that your page are indexed according to the niche market and topic your page serves, helping you rank within that niche market.
It’s important to be consistent across all your pages. Have a set system and follow it so that your page is efficiently indexed by search engines and easily navigated by users. It’s also important to label your images similarly, using clear keywords that indicate what the images are about. This will make sure that your images also help you rank for SEO.
Optimize Your Website for Speed
Website speeds directly and indirectly impact the SEO of your website. They directly impact your page because speed is an actual ranking factor for search engines. They consider your speeds as part of their algorithm, ranking faster pages higher and penalizing slow pages. Indirectly, website speeds affect the usability of your page.
Users want fast, efficient pages and will quickly leave a page that functions slowly or improperly. In turn, this will affect your bounce rate, which also impacts how search engines rank you. A high bounce rate incurs a penalty on your page, so you’ll want to make sure that you have a fast page and that users stay. Making sure you account for this will both directly and indirectly affect your page’s ranking when it comes to SEO.
Link to Relevant, Popular, and Related Websites
Both inbound and outbound links are very important when it comes to SEO and rankings. Inbound links count positively towards your page, helping to show that you are an authority and increasing your ranking. Outbound links therefore work a lot like votes of confidence by you about those pages, helping those pages. Because of this, you want to be selective, trying to network your page with reliable, relatable, and valuable links.
The best tactic is to target substantial inbound and outbound links, ensuring that they relate to your niche market and topic. When it comes to link building, it’s most important to focus on quality over quantity. While you do want more links, it’s more important to have valuable links than a large amount.
Update Your Website Consistently
Search engines account for how often you post, assuming that reliable sources are updating their content regularly. If you aren’t adding to your page and updating, Google may think that you’ve gone stale and start to rank more active pages above you. Make sure that you are consistently updating content and posting so that you regularly rank.
Google Chrome Extensions
When you’re considering SEO, you’ll most likely want to target Google the most, as they lead the market. Many estimates suggest that more than 80% of searches are done through Google, so you’ll want to focus on Google first, followed by Bing and Yahoo. Because of this, it’s probably a good idea to use Google Chrome. Get used to Google’s products, how they function, and how Google search works. It should work best to help you optimize your page to be searched by Google searches.
Another reason why you want to use Google Chrome is because they have a wide range of extensions and plugins that can expand the performance of the browser. By choosing the right extensions, you can help make the browser better for SEO, helping to get you ranked better. These will greatly enhance your performance and ability to optimize your pages.
Ian Dixon is a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional), founder of TheDigitalLifestyle.com tech site and producer of the weekly The Digital Lifestyle Show podcast. Ian has been writing and talking about Windows for over 10 years and has over 20 years in IT as an IT Manager. Ian has thousands of followers on Twitter and Facebook and over 4 million views on his YouTube channel.