The first thing people usually hear about optimizing your site is keyword density. Focusing on the correct keywords in a search is usually on the top of every list for SEO. You want to make sure that your audience’s search terms can be used to find your company. Do this by simplifying the description of your brand into a few key terms and phrases, while keeping your target market in mind. But I’m sure you’ve heard many, many people talk your ear off about keywords. So let’s move on.
Every website has content. The Web is full of facts, information, and endless knowledge about any topic you could think of. There’s even multiple sites you could visit for the same topic. So how can you make your site stand out amongst the masses?
Keep your content fresh. Find a way to think outside of the box, differently from your competitors. Think of ways to put a twist on your content to tempt search engine users to visit your site. Don’t forget about the quality of your content either. Well-written copy is more likely to keep your readers engaged in your site. If the information is presented well, it will encourage them to travel to more pages on your Website rather than looking around elsewhere. Also remember to keep your site up to date. You’ll lose your audience and your credibility if your last update was ten years ago.
Like I said before in SEO Basics, search engines have spiders that crawl through your site. These spiders can only go where the site tells them to go and it is very possible for them to get lost. Just like your audience, if you site is not easily navigable, it will be of no interest to them. If you want your SEO to soar, cut the useless code and complicated templates. The Internet and its users thrive on simplicity. It’s what the people want, so make sure that’s what you’re giving them.
Another helpful tip about humans, as well as spiders, is that we read in a “Z” shape. Our eyes move left to right starting at the top of the page moving all the way to the bottom. The Web is known as a place where you can get your information quickly. So if a spider can’t find what they’re looking for in the first few lines or if there’s nothing to catch their attention at the top of the page, they’re most likely going to move on. This is bad! Put your most important information at the beginning so your readers won’t miss anything.
These are the most important tools for navigating through a Website so you want them to be somewhere obvious, like at the top or as a sidebar. Improve your SEO by using keywords in these text links. Remember, don’t try to cram them into every link. Be tasteful in your keyword usage. This will be helpful in your SEO, but it will also be handy to your users. They’ll know exactly where to find what they’re looking for.
Your actual content is another great place for links, especially if they lead to other pages on your website, such as news articles or press releases. If your company blogs, you can link to previous, related blogs. If your content was inspired by another article, provide a link to the actual article. Give your readers more online resources through links. Your audience will be grateful for the useful information. You may think linking out is a bad idea, but search engines do recognize how and where people got to a site. So if your link is creating traffic for another article, it will trace back to you.
Mutual link building is also useful in enhancing your SEO. Use your copy to link to related sites and, in return, ask for a link on their site as well. Be careful though. Don’t just link to anyone. Make sure you collaborate with someone reputable and relevant, not with a site that is already linking out to a hundred others. That won’t be helpful to you. Your link will get lost among the crowd. So be selective in who you choose to partner with.
So you’ve restructured your website. There’s a nice “Z” reading formation, your code is clean, you have a satisfying keyword density, and you’ve linked everything up. But how do you know that it’s truly SEO friendly? Lucky for you, there’s a solution! You can find spider simulators on the Web. Run a quick search through your Website and it will tell you what the spider sees when crawling around your page.
Another great way to test your site usability is to use real people – what a crazy thought! Find someone who has never been to your site before, sit them in front of it, and ask them to perform a few simple tasks. These can be things like finding specific information or navigating to particular page. If they can accomplish all of the tasks you give them, then you have achieved SEO success!
At this point, you just need to stay on top of your game. Maintain your website so you don’t lose all of your hard work. SEO is not a one time thing. There is new content posted on the Web everyday. People are making changes to their SEO everyday. Keep up and you will be rewarded in the end.