Why Search Engine Optimization Is Easier Than Ever Before
Major search engines such as Google are constantly working to ensure that their algorithms find the most relevant and best quality content on the web. And, in case you haven’t noticed, they have gotten pretty darn good at it! Even compared to just a few years ago, online searches today tend to feature content that is more in-depth and well-designed, and that is good news for all of us.
Ironically, the more complex and high-tech search engine algorithms become, the simpler search engine optimization gets. In older days, search engine optimization was all about playing the system. The best way to get your brand listed high on search engine results was to use an awkwardly high amount of keywords, for example. Dozens and dozens of complex tricks emerged in an effort to beat the system, and these strategies would change quite frequently to circumvent the newest algorithm changes that search engines would make.
The better that Google and its competitors get, the less necessary these tricks become.
Nowadays, good search engine optimization is oftentimes a simple matter of improving your website — quality content rises to the top, and this is only going to become more true as time passes. So, with all that being said, let’s took a look a few of the easiest and most effective things that you can do in order to make your website better — for your visitors and for search engine bots alike!
Be Smart About Keywords
As we mentioned before, keyword stuffing and other outdated and dishonest keyword tactics are a no-go nowadays. Not only do they fail to improve your rankings — search engine algorithms actively punish such behavior. All the same, choosing accurate and descriptive keywords and using them in a natural, moderated way is still a great way to help potential customers find what they are looking for. And search engines still identify keywords in order to help judge what topics web pages are focusing on.
When choosing keywords, precision is your friend. Including information such as product names, geographical location, and other informative pieces of information, for example, will help boost your standings. For example, the long tail keyword “used toyotas in chicago” is infinitely better than the simple and undescriptive single keyword “cars”.
If you are new to the keyword game and are unsure how to go about selecting relevant and effective keywords for your company website, we highly recommend the Google Keyword Planner. Straightforward to use and free to anyone with an AdWords account, this tool is a must for beginners and experts alike.
Research the Competition
Once you have selected a few keywords and long tail keyword chains to focus on, it can be very helpful to perform a Google search on those keywords. (ProTip: you might want to go into Incognito mode to do this in order to avoid affecting your search engine results in the future.) Checking out the competition will help you get a better idea of what good websites do right. Takes close note of the design, writing, and layout of the websites that lead the results. The odds are good that you will see it least a couple things that you would like to implement or emulate in your own website.
Titles, Captions, Headers and URLs
All of these tools make reading and understand an article easier for your audience. (And, while we are on the topic of readability, another tips worth pointing out is the fact that breaking up your text into small paragraphs will make a huge difference for your audience, especially those using mobile browsers.)
Titles, captions, headers, and URLs aren’t just for your audience, though. These formatting details are also used by indexing bots in order to help search engines understand what your pages talk about. Though all keywords are important, search engines give extra weight to words that are placed in prominent places. Therefore, choosing accurate and descriptive phrases whenever heading a page, captioning a photo, or titling an article will make your website more competitive in the search engine rankings.
Last but not least, as we have mentioned before on this blog, choosing easy-to-read URLs is a no-brainer. Numbers, nonsense words, and long strings of unreadable text can frustrate users quickly. Using real words, separating them with dashes, and keeping the whole thing short and sweet is the best way to go. (Why not do your readers a favor?) Most search engines recognize this and reward you for caring for your website by giving you a boost in search engine rankings.
Internal and External Backlinks
Did you mention one of your products in your latest blog article? If you did, link the text to the product page itself! Did you homepage mention your company’s long history? Link that to your About Us page! Creating links in this way makes your site more convenient and navigable for your human users. It also makes it easier for bots to navigate and index your site, as well.
In order to gain maximum benefit from your backlinking efforts, be sure to add links in moderation, and to always select relevant text where you add the hyperlink. (When we backlink, for example, it is more beneficial to add the hyperlink over word strings such as Social Media Marketing, and less beneficial to add hyperlinks over random sets of words.)
What is even better than an internal backlink to your site? A link coming in from an outside website, obviously. External links do more than just add navigability — they add credibility. After all, anyone can add internal backlink to their own site! So although internal links may be a sign that you take care of your website, they don’t necessarily show that other businesses are willing to put their names on the line to vouch for you your content. (Note that purchasing low-quality external backlinks is not effective, and is another one of those dishonest SEO practices that Google is cracking down on!)
Learn more about SEO and online marketing by visiting Bearly Marketing online today!