Search engine optimization can be a very intimidating task to tackle. There are many myths about SEO, and the rules seem to change by the day, but if it is approached with the right mindset the result will be very rewarding. Before you take on the task of improving your SEO it is best to understand it.
SEO can be divided into two key categories, Content and Page Authority
Content, or 'on page SEO' includes the following components:
- Page content
- Page titles
Page Authority, or 'off page SEO' includes these elements:
- Quality websites linking to your website
- Page sharing, interaction, and popularity on social sites
- Low bounce rate
Improving website content for SEO
- Start with the keywords
Keywords are a core piece of the SEO puzzle. Before writing page content or meta data you need to develop a keyword strategy. Develop a list of keywords related to your company and industry that you would like to be associated with and you know people will search for.
- Develop page content, page titles, metadata, and URLs around the keywords
You want every page of your website to rank the best it can for a keyword. Not only do you need to write valuable and informative content associated with the keyword, but you also need to include the keyword in the page title, Meta description, and URL. Make sure you're following a quality content strategy; no keyword stuffing!
- Make sure your Meta descriptions are effective
Meta descriptions are often overlooked or done incorrectly. Make sure your Meta descriptions are 150 to 160 characters in length. When a Meta description appears as a snippet on Google only the first 160 characters are displayed. Don't forget to make your Meta description enticing to the person searching on Google!
Improving page authority
- Increase your number of inbound links
The number of websites that link to a page or domain is a measure of trust. The more links you get, the more valuable your content is deemed to be by search engines. These links must be quality though. Multiple links to the same page, coming from unrelated or untrusted sources, will only hurt your SEO. A great way to get quality inbound links is to write guest blogs for other websites.
- Develop a social media strategy
Interaction and popularity on social media sites has become one of the many components to SEO. Develop a strategy around sharing valuable content with your followers. Include your own content, along with informative content from other sources. When developing a social media strategy, don't forget Google Plus. According to moz.com, a URL's number of Google +1s is highly correlated with search rankings.
- Monitor your bounce rate
If a page has a high bounce rate it loses authority. Many factors can play part in a page's bounce rate. If one of your website pages has a high bounce rate look at what might be turning people off. Is it an image or the placement of an image? Is text or text location? Does the page content not match the page title or meta description? If it is possible, try some A/B testing to see what changes may lower your bounce rate.
Don't forget, Google's algorithm is complex and frequently changing, it is important to stay informed about changes that may affect your SEO.
Keep coming back! More SEO tips are on their way!
Carolyn Bowers is a full-time Atlanta Braves fan, and the Digital Marketing Analyst at CommonPlaces. She enjoys spending time with her family and pets, and has a goal to attend a game at every Major League Baseball park before the age of 40.