No matter how good your website looks and how effective the content is at encouraging readers to engage, it’s useless if no one can find it. To make your website a success when it comes to generating leads and making sales, you need people to visit it first.
There are many different ways people can land on your website; one of these routes is through a search engine such as Google or Bing. With so many websites competing for the top spots in the search results, it can be difficult to get your website seen. This is where search engine optimization comes in.
Optimizing your website for search makes it more likely that people will see your website on the first couple of pages of search results when they search for keywords that are relevant to you. Here are a few basic SEO tips to help get your website found online.
Think about keywords and phrases that are most important to your business, and what people are likely to search for if they are looking for your product or service. Incorporate these keywords into your content, especially in the page titles, headings and URLs. Don’t overdo it, though, as Google penalizes web pages for keyword stuffing. Make sure you don’t affect the readability of the content by adding in your keywords excessively and where they don’t make sense.
The more informative and rich content you have on a page, the more you will be rewarded by Google. Guidelines have been suggested in the past of a minimum of 250 or 300 words per page in order for it to be indexed by Google. However, Google employees have also stated that quality is more important than quantity. Don’t just focus on word count; make sure any content you have is high quality.
Avoid duplicating content on your website, as doing this will get that page penalized by Google. Always stick to original content; if you are repurposing an old blog or content from another website, rewrite it enough so that it appears as original content to search engines. This means you shouldn’t publish the same blog word for word on more than one website or copy and paste content from other websites to your own. Tools such as Siteliner identify any duplicate content on your website.
Link building exposes your content to more users, helping to drive traffic to your website. It also puts you in Google’s good books as it shows that other people are interested in your content enough to share it. Focus on adding content to your website that people will find useful or interesting. Your audience is more likely to share interesting content on social media or on their own website, which serves as good quality inbound links.
When you publish a page on your website, you will be able to specify a meta title and meta description. The meta title should be a relevant title for the page and the meta description should provide a summary of the page. These are displayed in the search listing for your page, giving the user an idea of what it is about. Try to include some keywords in there, but natural, readable content is still more important.
Google wants to recommend the best websites to their users, in terms of usability as well as relevance. If your site loads slowly or is difficult to navigate, then you will be penalized for this. This lowers your chances of getting a good spot in search results. There are various tools available that test the speed of your website and give you recommendations on how to improve it. Try Google’s page speed insights for starters.
Google loves fresh content. It proves to them that your website is active and therefore still relevant to their users. This means Google is more likely to recommend your site in their search results. Adding fresh content or updating existing content is a good way to keep your website in the running for search engine results. Having a blog or news page is a simple way to add new content on a regular basis.
SEO best practices are constantly changing, so it can be difficult to retain those top spots in the search results. Starting off by following these SEO tips should see your website traffic start to increase.