3 Things Anyone Can Do To Improve SEOTuesday, October 13, 2015
SEO is an enormous subject that can boggle the mind of even the most seasoned marketer. The formulas for search engine optimization change regularly as search engine giants, like Google, tweak and edit their algorithms. What got you on page 1 last year might not get you there this year. It's enough to make you pull your hair out.
There are entire companies dedicated to the practice of improving SEO, offering solutions and promises to get you to the top of page 1, but as you can imagine this usually takes a lot of time and, in most cases, a lot of $$$$. So what about us little guys who don't have that kind of cash, time or knowledge to invest into SEO practices?
Thankfully, there are still things you can do to improve your site's SEO, web master or not. Today, I'm sharing three of those things and, the best part is, you can do them fairly quickly and without breaking the bank! Please remember that these are just tips and do not guarantee an automatic jump in rankings. There are a lot of other factors that are in play as well, but these three tips will certainly help!
1. Use keywords people are searching forKeywords are fundamental to the search process. They're what we use to search the Internet and they're also what search engines use to find your website. The key (pun intended) is to use words that people are actually searching for. Be as specific as possible. Ask yourself the question, "What would I type into Google if I was searching for this thing?" There are several keyword tools that can help you find the right keywords to use, including Google's Keyword Tool. Once you have your keywords, look for ways to incorporate them into your site. Your main keywords should be included on your homepage as close to the top of the page as possible.
Important to note: Don't try to trick the search engines by resorting to "keyword stuffing". It simply won't work and, in most cases, will do more harm than good. Adding a keyword more than 2-3 time usually has little to no impact at all.
2. Optimize your imagesAlthough great photography is essential to successful blogs and websites, search engines often ignore them because they can't see them. A search engine is only capable of cataloging HTML text. The solution is to add alt tags to your images, which gives search engines a text description of the image. Again, don't stuff the alt tag with keywords. A simple 1-3 word description of the photo will do. Another way to optimize your photos for SEO purposes is to make sure they are sized appropriately. Search engines don't like websites that take forever to load — a common problem that is caused by having enormous images on your site. By scaling your image to the exact size you want it to be, search engines can easily load and index your website.
Here's a helpful article on how to add alt tags to your images in Blogger, which is the platform I use.
3. Pay attention to your page titles...because your visitors certainly are! Titles are the very first thing a person sees about your site in a long list of search engine results. They also describe to search engines what your site is about. If every page on your website has the same title, you're probably only being indexed for that single keyword. Google recommends that titles be accurate and descriptive. You'll want to include keywords here, but you also want the title to make sense, so — once again — avoid keyword stuffing.
For bloggers, you can increase the chances of your posts being found in search engines by editing the post's URL link. Typically, blogging platforms like Blogger will include the entire blog title in the URL with each word separated by a dash. Depending on the length and specificity of your title, this can either be a good thing or disastrous. I didn't realize how horrible my post URLs looked until I did a search for one in Google. Yikes! The solution is to create a custom permalink for your post. You can do this directly in Blogger as you are writing your post. On the left sidebar, there is a Permalink box where you can choose between Automatic or Custom. Once you choose custom, enter your new permalink in the box. A general rule is to keep it below 50 words, use keywords and remove all stop words (i.e. a, an, the, etc.)
The best part about these three SEO tips is that you don't have to be a web master to do them. You can complete them in one afternoon! And, while they shouldn't be the only efforts you make for SEO purposes, it's an easy start that can make a big difference.
P.S. How To Add Categories To Your Blog