Your website is your business’ pride and joy and it’s important that it looks good and gets seen by the right people. Now, you’ve probably heard that search engine optimization (SEO) is all about getting your website higher in the rankings when someone searches for you or a product or service you offer. And, everyone wants their website on the first page of a Google search, right?
I’m going to tell you three important things that will help boost your search engine ranking that are completely free. Yup. Free. And, what’s more, it might not take too long to implement them. Let’s look at each of them and how they can help your website.
1. Well written, quality text that uses your keywords
That’s right – your text – your content needs to be well written (using proper grammar) AND using the keywords that you want folks to use when searching for you on Google (or some other search engine.) Why? Well, search engines like Google rank websites that have text that use your keywords in context higher than those without. A listing of your keywords on your site won’t cut it.
You should consider three things when writing content for search engine optimization: your audience, word counts and keywords.
This really goes without saying. You should already know WHO your audience is and what motivates them. What attracts them? What turns them off? Remember, they are people like you and I, so interact with them. Engage them. When you do that, you’ll know how to write your content for your website in a manner that will be appealing to them and beneficial to you.
Word counts are a thing of the past. Studies have shown that the average online consumer doesn’t want to be sold to using a short and sweet sales pitch. Education is where it’s at. People want to be educated, not sold to. Consider writing longer content with a clear message rather than short but concise text. Focus on your content being educational and informative.
Keywords are great – they really are. I mean, how else would people find you on the internet, right? However, keywords are just one part of search engine optimization. It used to be that smart, strategic insertion of keywords into content was important, however, now, that’s not so. Search engine algorithms are smarter and can pull out, mix and match and extract your keywords in well written content, rather than strategically placed, shorter messages. So, focus on the copy and using well written text that use the keywords in context as the would normally.
2. Inbound Social Media Links
Social media plays an immense role in search engine optimization. We use social media daily to interact with customers and clients, to communicate with friends and family and to share things that are important to our community. As important as it is to have social media accounts with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+, it is equally important to set up links to each of those sites on your website. In so doing, you’ll increase your authority in Google’s eyes.
It’s also important to grow your networks on each of these social media sites. It makes sense – a company with 100 followers won’t be seen as nearly as important as a company that has 100,000. And, it’s not just the number of followers that Google checks. Google also checks the quality of your following, giving importance to organic followers (organic followers refer to those followers that you have attracted personally or without an ad). It’s also important to engage your following because the more active your social media network is, the greater the importance it is going to be given in the search engines.
3. Proper HTML and CSS Markup
Properly designed and programmed web pages are extremely important in search engine optimization. Proper usage of HTML elements and CSS styles allows search engines to parse and interpret websites whose markup (HTML and CSS code) uses “best practices” to more effectively serve to users more relevant results based on search engine queries.
If your site is not properly coded or doesn’t use proper CSS styling, Google may see its quality as less than that of a site that does use proper markup and push it further up in search rankings. If you’re not sure if your markup is correct, or if there are any errors on your pages, you can visit the World Wide Web Consortium and test your site.
If you do these three things, you’ll probably notice your website getting a search engine ranking boost. The changes are not always immediate, but you will start seeing a difference in where your site ranks, likely within a week. The important thing to remember here is that SEO is not a “set it and forget it” kind of thing. It’s something that’ll need to be revisited frequently and updated as needed.
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