The Basics of Boosting Your Site’s SEO
Search engine optimization is fundamental to the overall success of each website. In a nutshell, it is SEO that lets people find you online when they search for a product or service that you offer.
Question is, when you have hundreds of thousands or even millions of websites like yours, how do you impress the search engines so they put you ahead of the others in the search results? There answers can can be winded and and complex, but the following tips should help you make sense of them:
Think of your website as a cake.
If your website were a cake, its icing would be made up of your links, social media acts and paid searches. All the others – the information you offer and how it is organized, your content management system and your site infrastructure – is foundational. In the end, they must all come together to make a tasty and appealing cake.
Know what search engines are looking for.
The main job of search engines is to bring users to websites that have the information they’re looking for. These are the factors that determine site relevancy:
Content – as per the text and titles, tags and descriptions provided
Performance – site speed and whether the site is working properly
Authority – when content quality is high enough that users and authority sites are always linking to the site in reference
User Experience – includes site’s appearance, ease of navigation, user safety and bounce rate
Know what search engines are NOT looking for.
Search engine spiders are restricted to a particular amount of data storage, so if you even attempt to trick them, you’ll only end up hurting your SEO eventually. Search engines are specifically averse to sites with a low bounce rate (because it indicates poor user experience), purchased links and keyword stuffing or overuse.
Define and understand your business model.
First off, what is your definition of a conversion? What are you selling products and services or impressions? What are your goals? Do your know what assets and liabilities you have? Keywords must be used on-site as well as off-site – on social media profiles, email addresses and offline advertisements). The idea is to be consistent and condition users to use the specific phrases you are optimizing for.
Maintain consistency with domain names. As domain naming is important to the foundation of your website, using subdirectory root domains (yoursite.com/awesome) instead of subdomains (yoursite.awesome.com) is considered best practice). Other best practices are using old domains, provided they don’t have a suspicious history; using keywords in URLs; and using consistent domains to keep search engines from getting confused.
Consider different types of results.
Finally, make sure your site can be used in most types of standard devices (mobile phones, tablets, etc.) now that Google has made mobile responsiveness a priority when indexing sites. After all, everyone is on mobile these days.