There are complicated algorithms that govern which sites make it to the top and which sites fall towards the bottom of the first, second, or worse the third or fourth page! The art of finding your web page at the top is called Search Engine Optimization, SEO for short. Search engines are constantly updating their algorithms to provide the most accurate results. Search engines tweak how to rank sites constantly. But how does ranking really work, and how can you make it work for you? There are fifteen proven ways that SEO can be put to use
There are fifteen proven SEO tactics you can use today to improve your search engine rankings.
Just by thinking about SEO is putting you ahead of most websites. Most websites do nothing about SEO. The result is no traffic no prospect no sales from the website. SEO is difficult. Whether you are a San Diego Divorce lawyer, a commercial alarm company, or a web designer, you can make SEO work for you.
1. URL Naming
When picking a URL, it should be simple, for the sake of people’s memories, and for the search algorithms. If you are a divorce lawyer in San Diego, you want a search algorithm to recognize that, and by mentioning it in your URL, the algorithms will be more likely to list your site amongst the top. In this case, something like DivorceSanDiego.com would be applicable. It’s also wise to avoid hyphenating or underscoring if possible. If you absolutely have to do one, choose the hyphen. While there’s no solid evidence that hyphenating affects the search query, underscoring does, according to Google. Plus people remember hyphenated words easier.
2. Meta Tag Wording
A Meta Tag gives a sneak peak about your page, it tells the searcher what your site is about. Algorithms use this information to decide if your website is relevant to the search terms. So optimize the meta tag by making it as relevant to search terms as possible. Try to make the meta tag something that tells the searcher what your services are specifically. Be as relevant as possible, because if you write this poorly it could negatively affect your site.
3. Proper Headings
No doubt there will be differing sections within your website. For instance, if you are a commercial alarm company you will want searchers to know what services you offer. You can do this by having a well laid out introduction to your services, with appropriately named sub headings below the main thought. For example, if you run a commercial alarm company you might have the main title of “Commercial Services Include,” followed by a list of things and corresponding paragraphs about what your company does.
4. Internal Links
Following the lists that will be on your website, you will likely have links to your services. They should be named appropriately as well. The coding within the links should be short, and well organized for the search algorithm to associate it properly. The internal links need to be well organized, like a flow chart linking each internal part of your website. Internal links need tags that are short and precise, similar to your URL name, tags should follow the same rules.
The content of your web page needs to be associated closely with your URL. The stronger your page content is linked with your URL the more pertinent your material will seem to the search algorithms. There are other factors to consider when dealing with the content of your site, here a few.
Keywords are essential to the algorithm finding your page. They need to be balanced, however. It is unwise to have an overuse of keywords because this causes the algorithms to assume you are misusing keywords in an attempt to raise your site’s standing. Properly placed keywords that link well to your URL and services will draw attention to your site.
6. Quality of Your Content
The actual content of your page must be relevant and quality. It shouldn’t be wordy or irrelevant to your site. People search for all kinds of things every day, make sure the contents of your site are seeking to answer the questions people might ask on the subject. There are several great tools that can analyze your content and give you feedback about keywords, relatability, and search effectiveness, in other words, are people searching for what you’re offering.
The use of photos can bolster the ranking of your site. The photos should be of high quality and appropriately placed. Like your content, they need to hold meaning to the site data. So for instance, if you run the reserve study company, you might import photos of previous studies, and the impacts they carried for the sake of research. This helps build your credibility as an authoritative voice in the information gathering field. It also helps the search algorithms to find your website. Make sure your photos are properly tagged following the same guidelines as tag lines and URL naming. Improperly tagged photos can be destructive instead of helpful.
If you have the ability to allow users to leave comments let them. People interacting with your page helps boost its SEO rating. The more positive feedback your site receives the better. Positive feedback shows readers as though people are finding what they looked for, and the algorithms are seeking to provide this type of service.
There are some techy type things that you can do to help give your page a boost. The algorithm takes into account a few technical considerations from your website when choosing where it should fall in terms of relevancy, and there are a few things you can tweak to help your site be more up to snuff.
Our society is one of instant gratification. People don’t like to wait for anything, and neither does the algorithm. In order for your page to land on the top of the search results, it needs to be able to return information to the search engine quickly; more quickly than your competitors. If your page operates too slowly, it won’t matter how many of the other things you’ve implemented to optimize it, your page will sink to the bottom.
10. Use Schema for an Advantage
Google is using schema markup to form to show rich snippets within its search results. In other words, schema markup helps the search algorithms to interpret your website, to determine its relevancy. It can be attached to a word or string of words on your website to enrich the search algorithms’ understanding of those words. For instance, if someone were searching for a divorce lawyer in San Diego, you could include additional industry specific information, images, and ratings to better describe a divorce attorney in the San Diego area. It can be used to mark up your website with rich data, so the search engine can interpret those elements as relevant to the search terms.
The breadcrumbs are essentially the internal links list. They are the chart of where a user is on your web page. They also serve to let the search engine know what things on your pages could potentially hold relevant information to a search query. They should follow the same wording guidelines as the URL; short, direct, and relevant.
12. Mobile Compatibility
With so many people using their smartphones to search the web, it only makes sense to offer a mobile version of your site. If you are offering a mobile version, make sure it’s truly mobile, and you’re not asking people to download anything, in order to make it accessible. When offering a mobile site make sure it has all the same content as the regular site. If you are a commercial alarm company you may even offer the ability to control alarms from a mobile device. The ability to do things from a mobile phone boosts your website’s performance rating, and thus enhances your website’s standing on a results page.
There are a few things SEO wise that can damage your website’s pertinence. In accordance with optimizing your site, there a few things you should avoid like the plague.
13. Ads are Always Annoying
While photos and flash players may help to enhance your website, too many ads will slow your site down. If a site appears to be loaded with hidden content that is extraneous, the search algorithm will deem it not matched to the search query. Limit the content on your site to your original applicable information.
14. Excessive Linked Content
Everyone has read an article that had every other word lit up in a clickable blue. Having excessive links in your website shows an inability to display original content, and damages your SEO standing. Let all your linking be internal, to original content on your site, but limit it to a few words or exclusively to titles.
15. Trying to be Overly Clever
The algorithms that govern SEO are written and rewritten to avoid people gaining the system. So don’t try to overuse keywords, attach links to periods or blank spaces, or load your site with relevant but repetitive information. The idea is to optimize your website to avoid false clicks. If someone clicks on your website, then decides the information is false and hits the back button, that’s a strike against you. So use the tools available to optimize your web page, and don’t try to trick the system.
No matter what your business it is important to be amongst the top in search results. If you’re a small business you likely don’t have the resources to pay someone to optimize your website. Use these SEO tips to gain business by landing higher in the search results. This is by no means an exhaustive list. There are many more ways to optimize your website. These are a few suggestions, happy programming.
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