Let’s face it: not popping up among the top of search engine results can be detrimental to your business and your brand. This is where Search Engine Optimization comes in; it allows business owners and digital marketers to navigate the system of web rankings to maximize their online presence.
Effective SEO allows your pages to climb in rankings, improves your brand credibility, and increases your conversion rates. Please note that cutting corners is never beneficial. Search engines are adept at identifying deceitful practices known as “black hat tactics” used in order to improve rankings. Here are just seven of many tips you can use to achieve consistent long-term restults.
1. Prioritize Speed
You will need to work with your web developer to remove the components of your pages that may extend loading time. Slow-loading pages are an SEO nightmare because they are often interpreted as a sign of untrustworthiness or of poor site maintenance. Google claims that 53 percent of people will leave a page that does not open within three seconds, and that even a one-second delay can lead to a 7 percent loss in conversions. Therefore, a slow site is likely to be penalized with a reduced ranking.
2. Work On Your Link-building
Link-building refers to the use of authoritative, relevant sites in your written content, as hyperlinks. Search engines value the reliability of information above all else. The more credible the material you provide, the higher the page will be ranked. Linking to trustworthy sources gives your site credibility and shows your knowledge of your industry, attention to detail, and the effort you put into creating your content. You want your site visitors to share your content, which, in turn, can also improve your ranking.
3. Create Engaging Content
While this may seem obvious, a lot of digital marketers overlook the importance of maintaining a “human appeal” in their content. Practices like keyword stuffing (the overuse of popular keyword phrases to make your content seem “highly relevant” to a person’s search) can be tempting because they seem like a straightforward way to beat the system. However, search engines can spot keyword stuffing or awkward link building from a mile away and will penalize you for using this tactic.
4. Network and Ask To Get Linked!
This may come further down the line after you’ve established your reputation as a trustworthy business and source of quality content. However, it is one of the most crucial SEO tools. Having a popular and authoritative source link to your content is like having one of your tweets shared by The New York Times. Boom! Instant credibility. Find places where a link to your content makes sense, and ask that source to link to your related content. Smart marketers will see the value. Many, though, will not. Whatever you do, don’t offer to reciprocate. “You link to me and I’ll link to you” announces to the world that you’re an amateur.
5. Create Informative Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions summarize the content of a webpage. They are what pops up when your page appears on Google search results, and the more alike they are to other meta-descriptions, the lower your page will rank.
Search engines reward originality, therefore you will want to create engaging, appealing, and memorable meta descriptions for all your content. If you’re uncertain how to draft meta descriptions, consider seeking the services of an experienced SEO writer. If you don’t write your own descriptions, Google will pull information off the page and use it, and that’s usually not to your advantage.
6. Make Sure Images Have ALT Tags
Google has given images an entire search result section because of how often we search for images. ALT tags help identify an image for people using screen readers, but they can also aid SEO if you use a keyword in the ALT tag. If you’re writing about high performance carbide end mills and you have a photo of one, use “carbide end mill” as your ALT tag and not, “carbide cutting tool.” ALT tags can help Google understand what your page is all about.
7. Consistency And Originality Are Essential
Websites that are updated frequently tend to rank higher in the search results. Conversely, sites that sit idle for several months are seen as stale, and they will slowly fall in the rankings to ever lower positions.
Add fresh content to your site on a regular basis. The easiest way to do this is through blogging. Remember, every blog post you write is a page to be indexed by the search engines, and that page will continue to attract readers to your site for months or even years to come! Blog twice a month and you’ll add 26 new pages of content in a year. Blog weekly and you’ll add 52 pages by this time next year.
Search Engine Optimization requires tenacity and some hard work. It’s not a once and done proposition. Fortunately, it is not rocket science. If you’re looking to understand more about the process behind your site’s ranking, you may want to consider SEO training. There are many programs available, all of which will help you be an SEO ninja in no time!
We Can Help With SEO
If you’re interested in learning more about SEO, give us a call. We’ll run an analysis of your website and tell you what keywords you’re ranking for and what your competitors are up to. We’ll work with you to develop a comprehensive SEO strategy that you can implement yourself. Call John Murphy today at 330-342-1255 or complete the form below, and we’ll get back to you within a day. Have a great day!