Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tips
The concept of search engine optimization, or SEO, has been around almost as long as search engines themselves. As online content continues to grow exponentially and business websites become increasingly specialized, mastering effective SEO strategies remains one of the best ways to keep your site at the front of clients’ minds and the top of search result pages. The following are 5 things to consider when evaluating your SEO strategy.
5 Things to consider when evaluating your SEO strategy:
1. The right way to use keywords.
Identifying key search terms and incorporating them into your site’s content is one of the most basic SEO techniques. But it’s not as simple as writing certain words a certain number of times. For one thing, it’s a mistake to only include keywords in your visible content. Every page is made up of dozens of HTML tags, and even if your visitors can’t see them, search engines certainly can–so include those important terms in title tags, headings, and file names as appropriate. Just remember to keep your keyword density at a reasonable level, because “stuffing” will actually hurt your search engine ranking. One more tip: unless your business is already extremely well known, there aren’t going to be that many people searching for its name… so that probably isn’t a good keyword to start with.
2. Link Building
There’s a reason it’s called the web: the Internet is amazingly interconnected. You can use that fact to your advantage by becoming part of a network of quality sites in your field. Linking out is one of the best ways to get linked in, so it’s a good idea to mention other relevant sites, blogs, and articles on your site. Keep up to date with online developments and make thoughtful comments to blog posts and articles that are relevant to your business. You’ll increase both your chances of getting reciprocal links from others and your general online visibility–after all, comments that you make to public blogs or articles can show up in search results, too.
3. The best content is fresh and new.
The more truly original content your site can boast, the more likely it is to rise in search-engine rankings. At the very least, make sure your text is distinctive and specific to your business, not generic; if possible, write articles on the state of your field or launch a blog. (Bonus: you’ll increase the likelihood of getting linked on other sites if you have something unique and interesting to say.) And update with new content frequently, because it’s one of the best ways to stay high in search-engine rankings.
4. Uses and abuses of images.
While image-based menus can look attractive and sophisticated, they can present an SEO challenge, because search engines don’t index images. The same issue arises with image maps and images used as hyperlinks. But if you’re attached to any of these features, there’s a fairly easy fix: just be sure to always mirror your image links with text-based links elsewhere on the page. Also, keep in mind that HTML tags are accessible to search-engine spiders, so image ALT attributes are another great place to include keywords.
5. Finding a SEO expert.
If you plan to use a web designer to create your site, kill two birds with one stone and look for someone who specializes in both web design and SEO. It will vastly simplify the process of coding your site to be search-engine friendly, and a good SEO specialist will have dozens more tricks like this up his or her sleeve.