Creating an SEO-friendly website is about a lot more than keywords. There are design, marketing and content components, as well as issues involving development. Search engine optimization is an all-hands on deck type of matter and one that is best not left up to one department. Sure, you want someone leading the efforts but you’ll want everyone involved as early as possible.
Here are the basic things you want to accomplish:
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5 Tips for Awesome SEO on your Website
Make social media a part of your design.
Use HTML text on the page.
Use a transcript for every video or podcast.
Create content with long-tail and short-tail keywords.
Know the value of real estate.
If someone is enjoying your site you want to make sure it’s easy for them to connect with you on the platforms they frequent. The average person won’t revisit your website to see if you’ve switched out the content. Instead, they’ll connect with you on social media and await your content in their streams.
Add social media buttons prominently on your site and make it easy to share content from your blog. These social shares and connections affect SEO and your organic listings so you want to make it as easy as possible to stay connected.
The easiest way to ensure your text is “read” by search engines is to place all important content in HTML text format. Flash or Java plug-ins should be supplemented with text as well. Search engines haven’t yet become so astute that they can figure out what an image is so you’ll need to use alt text for images.
Everyone loves video, right? So why add a transcript of it? First, not everyone loves video. So people prefer to scan your text to get the bullet points and read sections that require more in-depth explanation. If you only have a video, unless you’ve used a table of contents with hyperlinked sections, it’s difficult to speed through and watch only the parts you want. Plus you’re not getting any SEO love for all of that valuable content. Sure you can tag the video but you’ll get a lot more from it if you transcribe it.
Most of Google’s search terms are now in the form of questions so, in addition to ranking for specific words and phrases, it benefits your business to rank for questions as well. Creating content that uses popular questions about your product or service in the headers will help your website rank higher. Do some keyword research on your industry to see what is easy to rank for and what’s a bit of a challenge. For those challenging words, use long-tail keywords and phrases or questions to rank better. Don’t forget to optimize for local keywords as well.
When it comes to SEO, not all parts of the website were “created equal.” Some have higher worth from a search engine perspective. For instance, keywords placed in the following areas make the search engines take note:
- Tops and ends of page
- Anchor text
- Meta tags
- Densely located keywords (but don’t overdo this)
Search engine optimization consists of circular logic. There are certain hoops the search engines expect you to jump through but ultimately they are looking for good content. Good content is determined by the audience. If the audience is engaging and sharing your content, you’ll rank higher. So in the end, ranking for search engines starts with impressing your audience.