SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process to get traffic naturally or organically through search engines. These SEO tips apply to all the major search engines, such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, which show a list of search results where content is made available and ranked based on its relevancy to each user.
Though the SEO world has changed a lot in recent times, there are certain fundamentals that have remained unchanged. For example, keyword targeting with the prime intention to improve your site’s organic ranking does not work anymore with search engines. But keywords have not lost their importance yet, since they still tell a lot about what a user is looking for.
Today, with the emergence of numerous SEO techniques, it has become hard to determine which one is good to follow and which one to ignore. Everybody is confused and wondering which SEO strategy should be the best for increased traffic.
To clear this confusion, here are 18 best SEO tips that can bring amazing results and improve the search ranking of your website on the major search engines if followed properly. Furthermore, increasing traffic to your site organically.
The first thing you should do is search for the specific words, terms or phrases that will display your post in the search result. For example, if you are writing about different toys for pets, you should find out what people are actually searching for. The best tool that can give you a list of the latest keywords or phrases relevant to your post is Google AdWords. This tool is free and you just need to have an AdWords account to access this.
This keyword planner inside Google AdWords will help you get the words or phrases mostly used to search the product or service you offer. You should properly research these words and write something informative about them.
Anything that slows down your website should be removed
The loading speed of a website plays an important role in SEO. In earlier times, there were many slow-loading websites that easily attracted traffic. But today, a slow webpage frustrates the user and discourages them from visiting it again.
According to a study conducted by Strange Loop, a delay of 1 second in loading a page can cost approximately seven percent of conversions. Many internet browsers today think that a slow website should not be trusted. Google recognized this factor much earlier though and it included site speed as an important ranking factor starting back in 2010.
Moreover, the internal studies of Google revealed that on a slow loading webpage, a visitor spends less time whereas a fast loading website improves user experience and reduces operational costs.
Tip – You should get rid of all the unnecessary elements slowing down your website. In WordPress websites, all the unnecessary plugins should be deactivated. Also, the sidebar should be decluttered and only the necessary widgets should be placed there.
Identify the keywords your competitors are using and use them for your own benefits
Do thorough research to find out the exact keywords that are helping your competitors rank higher in search engine results. Identify the amount of traffic those keywords are attracting. You can use any free keyword tool available online for this purpose.
All you need to do is enter the URL of each of your competitor sites to get a report of the “Organic keywords” that they are using. This way, all the major keywords that are helping your competitors rank higher will be in front of you so that you can develop your strategy accordingly.
Write the best content
After knowing what is attracting traffic to your competitor’s site, you should create wonderful content that will not only help your site rank higher but will also help you outperform your competitors.
Whether you are creating the webpage of an ecommerce store, a blogpost or a landing page, always remember that it should be the best and most informative of all. If not, both Google as well as your audience will avoid it.
As a result, if you would like to create content about a topic, spend enough time researching the topic to make it as informative as possible.
Place the keyword in the title of your page and header
You should always try to place the keyword in the title of your page because it helps in ranking it on top search results. Try to make the title interesting so that it attracts the attention of your target audience.
A webpage usually has a large title on top and few sub-headers all over the page. This structuring helps the readers skim blog-post articles. Google also finds this useful to brief your blogpost. Therefore, make sure that the exact keyword has been used at least once in the sub-headers.
Put keywords in the image
If your webpage contains images, they can be used to fix the concept of your content’s topic for Google. It can be done in two ways:
- Name of the image
- Alt-tag of the image
The name of the image can be simply changed using your computer before uploading. For example, if the name of your file is “12345.jpg,” you can rename it to something like “best-pet toys-houston.jpg”
On the other hand, the “alt-tag” is added after uploading a picture on your website. In simple terms, alt-tag is the text displayed by a web browser when an image does not load for any reason.
Use keywords in URL as well as in posts
Another way by which Google ranks your blog post is through the URL. It is whatever you write after “.com” in your site’s URL (or .org, .net,). For example, try to compare both the URLs mentioned below and decide which one Google will prefer to show a particular page:
If you have chosen the second option, you are right. The first one will not completely deter your SEO attempts whereas the second one will help Google show what your post is all about.
Your prime focus should be humans, not search engines
Most of the content creators and bloggers today still believe in the old methods of SEO wherein keywords were mainly used to drive traffic. But the real qualities of valuable and engaging content were missing in those blogs. If you are also one of them, it is the right time to change that mindset.
The search engine should not be prioritized above humans who actually visit your site. Focus on writing for people who will read your content and then buy your product. Search spiders are scripts — they do not purchase products and lack social media engagement with your site. They can never be loyal customers.
While writing, forget that Google or any other search engine even exists. Create content that might be helpful for the reader. This way, your content will be rewarded by search engines because they follow users. Moreover, you will enhance user experience and build trust with them.
The content should be easily readable
People generally have the worst experience online when they visit a webpage to find only pages, full of text, with no images. This should always be avoided. Here are a few pointers that can be considered to write something clear, informative and easily readable:
- Divide the content in different logical parts
- Write in simple and short sentences and each paragraph should contain no more than three to four sentences
- Incorporate storytelling all throughout your content
- Use numbered lists and bullet points
- Add images to give a clear concept
- Wherever appropriate, use slideshows, videos or other kinds of multimedia
Hemmingway Editor can be a useful tool for you because it will give you hints to improve and simplify your writing. You just need to put the draft in this editor and it will provide you tips and hints. As a bonus, it will also check the basic spellings.
Add internal links in the content
It is important to link your SEO content internally with other pages of your website so that the reader can browse more relevant pages to be more informative. Search engines like Google also see this positively and rank a page if enough internal links are used.
Write unique and relevant meta descriptions
One SEO tip that is often neglected by people is a perfectly written meta description. A meta description is the first section of your content that people see on the search result page of a search engine.
Usually, duplicate content is not liked by a search engine, especially by Google. Sometimes, it is necessary to cite a sentence or paragraph from another site (and link it to the source). But if you always prefer publishing duplicate content, Google will surely penalize you.
Similarly, your site will also get into trouble by duplicating meta descriptions. Even if Google does not penalize you on the spot, you will still not be able to provide a good user experience. Your meta description can’t be similar for two pages with different content because the content of both pages is different.
If you are a WordPress user, you can fix the duplicity of a meta description by installing Yoast plugins or All-In-One-SEO Pack. You can then add a meta description and title tag by scrolling down to the bottom of the page in the WordPress editor.
Use social signals to build momentum
An important element of the SEO strategy is the social media. You should focus on enhancing your social signals, which are the views, pins, votes, shares, like or dislikes that people place on various social media platforms that are perceived by different search engines.
It is true that Google has not yet added social signals to determine website rankings, but it is also true that social signals have a role to play in search engine rankings. There are many case studies that proved that pins, tweets or other social shares affect the search engine rankings.
If you are looking for more social signals, you should keep in mind the following:
- Only useful content should be created so that more and more people share it across various social media platforms
- Share buttons should be added to the post and made visible
- You should ask the visitors to share your post
- A contest can be organized to get an increased number of social media shares
- The power players or social media influencers should be mentioned and linked in the post
Unique content should be created and published consistently
Content Marketing Institute is of the view that most marketers find it hard to produce engaging and unique content. Whether you are a B2C or B2B marketer, discipline matters most during the time of content creation. Unique content should be created and published consistently.
If you have decided to make a strong presence online, creating helpful and informative blog posts is not an option — it is a must.
Include ‘Purchase intent’ keywords to the titles to increase sales revenue
If you have an ecommerce site, you should go for the keywords that are related to buying a product. For example, a woman who wants to know more about “red dresses” will usually use keywords like “reviews of red dresses” or “pictures of red dresses.” But someone making a search using “buy red dresses” can be a potential buyer.
So simply add the word “buy” or “purchase” to the titles and convert such hot prospects into buyers. You can use the following format for your ecommerce site:
Buy (Name of the Product) Online
The best thing about it is that this title can be templated. A lot of time is consumed to write customized titles for numerous products, but this templated title will save you from any hassle.
Short and descriptive URLs should be used
If your content management strategy allows it, try to have short and descriptive URLs for the content pages. The reasons are:
- Short URLs look better
- You will get SEO benefits for using the keyword in the URL
Your URL should be of 2-3 words and separated by dashes.
Get the link from Wikipedia
Wikipedia is a platform where anybody can add a link. But the main point is that the link should stay. So how is it possible? The answer is very simple — a link should be added only if the content is:
- Quite amazing
- An addition to what already exists
If the link is about something average, it will disappear soon after being noticed by the moderator. However, one thing that can keep your link alive, is when it will be useful nine out of 10 times.
Answer relevant questions on Quora and add a traffic-driving link
Websites like Quora are question and answer sites. Of course, they are of less value in the SEO world, but Quora can certainly drive traffic to your site. And traffic, which is then converted into sales, is one thing everyone is looking for. You should answer the questions related to your product on Quora and link your site to allow the readers to visit.
The good thing is that when people click on your link from a question answered, this means they have already trusted you. As a result, the visitors from Quora will more likely accept your offer.
Do not hesitate to write new blogs
There are many experts who prefer writing guest posts only for the industry-leading or high-quality websites. However, you should still consider the new websites because a website that is new and having limited traffic today, won’t always remain like this, in some cases — many websites, typically, grow with time.
Beside all these helpful tips, the web page or domain’s age is also a crucial SEO factor you should consider. Avoid constantly changing your domain name. Choose one and stay with it, unless there is a real need to change.
If you have published something in the past which is not anymore relevant to the current users, avoid creating new content again and update that page instead. This way, all the social media shares and backlinks will be retained.
During the time of link building, you should care about quality instead of quantity. Also remember to make mobile-friendly webpages because with so many people having smartphones today, webpages are often visited through these devices.
These SEO tips may not include everything that you should know about SEO. But if you pay proper attention to all these top SEO tips, it improves your chances that you will be able to create effective content, drive more natural and organic traffic, generate more leads and possibly increase your revenue.