We’ve put together a list of 19 ways to improve your website’s performance on search engines. This is designed to be an overview of SEO techniques that will help you get started. It’s important to remember that SEO is an ongoing strategy so keep optimizing as your website grows and changes.
Before we dive in, there are two things to keep in mind when optimizing your site. First, make sure your optimizations appear natural. Never use techniques that the search engines may consider spammy. Second, remember that Google’s goal will always be delivering pages that are most relevant to the user’s search query. Think about possible queries that your visitors might use and develop an optimization strategy that addresses their query better than any other website. If you follow these two simple rules when optimizing your website, you will see much better results.
Without further ado, here are 19 IDEAS to better optimize your site for search.
1. Keyword Topics – Determine what keyword topics you want to show up for on the search engines. This is the first step in determining how you will optimize your site for search. Make a list of keyword topics and long tail keywords that searchers may use to find your website.
2. Submit your Site – Submit your site to the search engines so search bots can crawl your website regularly.
3. Title Tags – Title tags are the blue clickable text that appear on the search results page (see the image below). Make sure all of the pages on your website have unique titles that are relevant to the content on the page. For local search, include your business location in the title. This will help search engines & users determine if your page is relevant to the search query.
4. Meta Descriptions – This is the descriptive text that appears below your title tag on the search results page. Make sure the description contains any necessary keywords to describe what is on the page. This is your chance to tell the searcher that your page is the best one to address their needs.
5. Heading Tags – It’s best practice to use one <h1> tag per page to give the user an overall idea of what the page is about. Subsequent headings should use the <h2> through <h6> tags. These headings should be used to make it easy for users to find the exact content they are looking for on each page.
6. Robots.txt – Make sure your site’s robots.txt is allowing search bots to crawl the right pages on your website.
7. Install Google Analytics – Google Analytics is a powerful tool that provides a lot of data about how users interact with your website. Google Analytics is highly customizable but even basic users can easily find a lot of useful information. In order for Google Analytics to track data, you need to create an account and upload a tracking script to your website.
8. Install Google Search Console & Bing Webmaster Tools – These tools are free and they provide insight into the more technical aspects of your website.
9. Image Alt Tags – Use image alt tags to provide search engines and users with a text description of the images on your website.
10. Internal Links – Internal links are a great way to improve user experience on your website. Use internal links to make it easier for users to navigate your website.
11. Mobile Friendly – Make sure your site is mobile friendly by using the Google Mobile-Friendly Test page. If your site is not mobile friendly, you will have trouble showing up in mobile search queries.
13. Create an XML Sitemap – An XML sitemap will help ensure that the pages of your site are fully indexed by search engines. You can easily create a sitemap using this XML sitemap generator. Once you have the sitemap uploaded to your site, submit it to Google Search Console.
14. Avoid Duplicate Content – The search engines prefer unique content. Check your site content and rewrite any duplicate content to improve content quality and avoid penalization from the search engines.
15. Keep Content Fresh – Keep your site’s content fresh by adding new content and revising existing content to improve your user’s experience.
16. Backlinks – Backlinks are one of the factors with the highest impact on your rankings. Look for ways to get relevant websites to link to your site. Never use services that promise to create backlinks for you. This will almost inevitably lead to your site being penalized by the search engines.
17. Create a Google+ & Google My Business Page – These pages are crucial for success with local search rankings.
18. Social Media – Social signals are becoming more important in SEO. Stay active on social media and post content that drives users to interact with your page.
19. Contact Info – Local businesses should make sure that contact information is displayed prominently throughout the site. Try adding your phone number and address to the header and footer.
Stay tuned for more tips on improving your web presence and digital marketing strategy.