SEO: A Game Changer
You probably know that 64% (link) of website traffic comes from search. So, optimizing your website for SEO (search engine optimization) is vital to increase your website traffic. With these ten ways to optimize your website for SEO, you’ll be on your way to increasing that website traffic in no time.
Exactly what is Search Engine Optimization?
Essentially, a search engine like Google or Bing indexes web pages based on the content of those pages. Once a page is created on a website, search engine Bots will crawl that page to determine what type of content is on the page, the subject of the content, and how relevant the content is to place it within the search engine results.
Search engine optimization is taking that page and making it as easy as possible for Google and other search engines to understand the content on the page. Search engines do not rank based on a website as a whole; instead, they rank every page individually. That’s important because you can’t just optimize your website once and forget about it. Search engine optimization is something that you continually need to focus on.
Now that we understand the basics of search engine optimization let’s talk about ways that you can optimize your website for SEO.
Create content for specific keywords
Let’s pretend that you’ve done some keyword research and know what terms you want to rank for. Now you want to create content for each of those terms. When you’ve identified keywords focused on your business goals and of interest to your target audience, creating robust, evergreen content will allow you to rise to the top of the search results page (or SERP) for those keywords.
Include SEO keywords in permalinks
Including keywords in your URL tells search engines a lot about the structure of your website. You don’t want to make your permalinks too long, but at the same time, you want to ensure that they clearly describe what the page is about. It will be helpful not only for search engines but for your users as well. When search engines crawl your website page, one thing that helps reinforce your page’s topic is the permalink. It not only helps to confirm the hierarchy of the website page, but it also helps contextualize all the information on that page.
Always use internal links when relevant
Internal links are links from one page of your website that point to another page on your website. When you use internal links, you’re also helping Google and other search engines understand your stretch site structure even more. It also helps search engines find more of your website pages. You may link to another page on your website that Google has not yet discovered, and because of that internal link, Google will find, crawl, and then index that page.
Optimize your images for SEO
There are a few ways that you can optimize your images for SEO. First, you want to pick the proper format. Typically, when you upload a photo, you want it to be a JPEG or JPG file. Each type of image file has its benefits; these are the most widely used and recommended for websites because of their quick loading speed. Once you’ve uploaded the file, you want to optimize the image into a WebP format. This format was developed by Google back in 2010 and intended as a replacement for other image file formats. It supports both lossy and lossless compression, animation, and transparency.
Next, you’ll want to optimize the image file name. You’ll want to ensure that it includes relevant descriptive keywords for the web page where the image will appear. You also wanted to ensure that you use alt tags and captions in your image files.
Write high-quality content
Of course, content is essential, but you don’t want to publish mediocre or lousy content to post something. You want to ensure that the content you’re creating is of value to the reader and supports your business goals. There’s always been some debate as to whether long-form or short-form content ranks better; however, the length of the content you create is entirely up to you. The important thing is that you’re adding value and educating, informing, or entertaining your users with your content.
Use header tags to break up content
Like what we’ve done in this article, we’ve used headings to break up our content to make it easier to read and understand. But headers do more than breakup contents. Search engines use headers to quickly crawl through a website page and determine how to rank your content.
Write unique Meta descriptions
Meta descriptions are a great way to help Google and other search engines understand the content on your webpage. But using it properly is essential to help your page rank higher. You do not want to exceed 160 characters when writing meta descriptions, so your entire description is displayed in search results. Meta descriptions are essential not only because they confirm the content on the page, but they also take up the most real estate in search results.
When you address your page speed or the loading time of your website, it will immediately improve your rankings, user experience, and conversion rate.
Fix broken links
Broken links are not only awful for SEO purposes, but they can also destroy your conversion rates. Broken links indirectly hurt your search engine optimization because they affect your bounce rate and time on site and could signal that your website is outdated. Utilizing a broken link checker tool can be invaluable here.
Use Help a Reporter Out for easy inbound links
Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is a service journalists use to find sources. The sources they’re looking for cover every topic and every niche under the sun. Help a Reporter Out sends out three daily newsletters filled with requests from journalists for sources. We suggest you sign up for these emails and scan them when they come in—looking for relevant opportunities where you can authoritatively answer questions and become a source. When you do, and if the journalists include you in their story, you will almost always receive a link to the site you’ve designated. This is a great way to create inbound links, often from credible websites, improving your search engine ranking.
It’s a lot, but it’s worth it
We covered a ton of information that will get you on your way to optimizing your website for SEO. Doing all these things on every website page will make a massive difference in how you rank in search results.