Search engine optimization (SEO) makes the difference between a website that no one visits...and a website that powers up sales. Get your website working for you by following these 10 SEO best practices.
- Research the best keywords for your niche. Created a targeted keyword list for each page of your website. Use the keywords in multiple places on each page—including meta tags and file names, as well as headlines, captions and the first few lines of text blocks.
- Title tags matter! One of the most important SEO best practices is to create unique title tags for each page, and put the most important keywords at the beginning of the title tags.
- Use alt text. Make sure search engine spiders know what your images are about (they can’t “see” images like we can). Add descriptive alt text to each image to help search engines categorize it. (However, never put keyword text inside images—if it’s part of the image, search engines can’t read it.)
- Focus on high-value areas of your site first. Obviously, you’ll want to start with your website’s home page and main category pages. Beyond that, look at your website analytics to see which pages get the most visitors, generate the most leads or result in the most sales. Improve the SEO for those pages first.
- Content counts. SEO best practices aren’t all about keywords and tags (although those are definitely part of it). Search engines look for unique, high-quality content—as do humans—so creating good content is a win-win proposition. Spend the time and money to create content that will make your website stand out. Base it around keywords to help your SEO.
- Use responsive design. The old-fashioned way of having a separate, mobile-only website not only takes up your time, but can also produce unwanted duplication of website content in the search engines’ eyes, which will penalize your websites and hurt your SEO efforts. Responsive design eliminates this risk.
- Work on link building. The more trustworthy websites you can get to link to your content, the better! This builds your authority and helps your website rise in search engine rankings.
- Incorporate social media. Social media is becoming more important to search results as a sign of a site’s popularity and trustworthiness. Using social media can amplify your content and get visitors to your website. Keywords matter in social media, too.
- Keep it current. Updating your site regularly with new content helps it stay fresh and interesting for visitors, but also attracts search engine spiders back.
- Be patient. SEO doesn’t happen overnight, nor can you “set it and forget it.” You’ll need to give new content time to get found, and keep updating your SEO as algorithms change, to see the benefits.
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Maria Valdez Haubrich
Maria Valdez Haubrich is Chief Liaison Officer of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Visit her company’s blog at SmallBizDaily.com.