aNewDomain — In part three of my search engine optimization (SEO) series, I’m exploring more SEO tips and tricks you should be using to pump up your site’s search rankings right now. Check out part 1 and part 2 of the SEO tips series here.
Create content and generate backlinks
When you think about it, it’s really just good business sense at work here: If you regularly update your website with relevant, interesting and unique content, your visitors will keep coming back for more. The more people viewing — and liking — your content and paying attention to your site and pages, the greater the number of backlinks, or incoming links, you’ll generate. The more high-quality inbound links you have, the higher your content will rank on search engines. Updating your site’s content frequently also attracts the search engines’ spiders to index the web pages repeatedly. Also remember that it’s quality over quantity when it comes to content. Poor spelling and grammar are red flags with Google.
Always use headings and subheadings
Visitors and search engines alike prefer text that uses headings and subheadings. Headings tell the reader and search engines about the page’s topic and make it easy for them to scan the content. A search engine is able to identify the heading, or headline, when it is tagged by bracketing text within the page’s HTML using <h1> and subheadings using <h2> and <h3> tags. There are six levels of headlines, with <h1> being the most important and <h6> being the least. Don’t forget that formatting is your friend, so make wise use of bold text and other features that make the text more readable.
Make your URLs easy to crawl
Get smart about keywords
You can’t write about SEO without mentioning keywords. When it comes to keywords in 2015, the focus isn’t on the word so much as it is the phrase or long-tail keyword searches. A long-tail keyword search simply gives users the opportunity to find more-specific content for what they are searching. Just remember to do your keyword research.
People turn to search engines for answers so instead of simply typing “food trucks in Tucson,” the searcher can opt to be more precise and zero in on the kind of food and exact location with “German food trucks in Marana.” Don’t forget to put your location in your text to help your site pop up in local searches.
There are a wealth of free tools at your disposal when it comes to working with keywords. Two helpful places to start are Google Analytics and the Google Keyword Planner. A natural smattering of keywords is the best approach when writing content; don’t keyword stuff. If you go overboard by incorporating too many keywords in your copy Google might interpret this as spammy behavior.
Optimize the title tag
The title tag, or your post title or article headline, is the blue link that is visible as a search result. A title should have no more than 100 characters and contain no repeating keywords (or you will be accused of keyword stuffing). Think of a short commercial message or call to action (CTA) to attract your visitor, determine your primary keyword and write a meaningful title with this keyword and a one-sentence description of your content.
Let images draw the user in
Starting off your blog or content with a captivating picture can catch the eye faster than the written word can. It can draw a user onto your page and entice them to read. It will also impact your SEO positively.
Make the most of media
Enrich your website’s content with multimedia such as video, audio, PDFs for users to download and infographics. The variety will attract new visitors and keep your current ones returning. But don’t post a video just for the sake of SEO. Make sure the media you’re adding is relevant.
Image credit: Strobridge Litho. Co., Cincinnati & New York [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons