Tips for Search Engine Optimization
To ensure that your website or web pages are discovered by users who use Google search and other search engines, you must implement the right tactics that appeal to the needs of users and search engines alike.
Search Engine Optimization is about user intent at its very core, and search engines want to provide users with results that are relevant to their queries and offer the greatest value. Thus it’s no surprise that the best and most relevant pages are given higher positions on a search engine results page.
SEO is important for companies because if people find you through a web search and get what they’re looking for, you can receive lots of new visitors to your website that can help you make more money. If people can’t find you in a web search, you miss an opportunity – and they might find your competitor, instead.
SEO is often part of an overall online marketing strategy and complements other tactics like social media marketing, content marketing and more.
To gain visibility in search engines, it’s pretty important that you follow some of these SEO guidelines:
1. Quality Content Is Essential
It’s been said time and time again that “content is king” and this is particularly true in the case of SEO. Creating unique and valuable content that is worthwhile for users is extremely essential. Your content must be tailored according to the needs of your audience. Stay informed about relevant trends and create “how-to” blogposts, and frequently update older content so that you can serve your visitors well written and timely information at all times.
High-quality content goes hand in hand with your backlink profile–a key element of SEO. The more links that you accumulate back to your website from other websites, the greater the chance of improving the visibility your website receives in search engines. When you have better content, you’ll find more websites linking to you because of the genuine value you have to offer.
2. Relevant Title Tags
Title tags have long been considered one of the most important on-page SEO elements. They are used to tell search engines and visitors what any given page on your site is about in a brief and accurate way.
This title will appear in various places around the web, including the tab in your web browser:
Most importantly, your title tag will show up as the blue link in search engine results:
Short, relevant title tags should be present on each and every page of your website. Title tags let Google know what is on your page, and are a main text element used in search engine results, therefore it’s important that you choose keywords and phrases that match with what your audience is searching for.
The title tag is the boldest, most obvious element in a search result and therefore a major part in the decision making process of whether a searcher will click on your result or not.
3. Authority Website Links
An authority website is a site that is trusted by its users, other websites and search engines. A link from an authority website is very valuable, as it’s seen as a vote of confidence. The more of these you have, and the higher quality content you produce, the more likely your own site will become an authority too.
4. Tag Images Properly
Many people forget to include the alt attribute when they upload images to their content, but this is definitely something you shouldn’t overlook because although Google cannot ‘see’ your images, it can ‘read’ the alt text.
Take the time to craft descriptive file names and alt tags that are basically text versions of what one would see when they look at the image. A strong alt tag will probably contain 4-8 descriptive words, including a keyword or two.
By describing your image in the alt text as accurately as possible it will increase the chances of your images appearing in Google Image search.
Be sure to use alt tags on all of your images, whether they are stock images or original works.
5. Avoid Keyword Stuffing
Ever see a page that just looks spammy? Perhaps something like:
"Bob's cheap local plumber is the best cheap local plumber for all your plumbing needs. Contact a cheap local plumber before it's too late."
Keyword stuffing is overusing keywords on your pages, especially when they obviously affect the readability of your site. Use keywords intelligently and with usability in mind.
6. Domain names
You should use sub-directory root domains (randomsite.com/category/seo) instead of sub-domains (randomsite.category.seo.com) as this is better for your overall site architecture.
You should also stay away from hyphens (random-site-wow.com) and alternative Top-level domain names (.biz .name .info) as these are considered spammy.