Some say that search engine optimization, or SEO, is a science, while others claim it is all luck. The truth is, it is a combination of both. You have to follow some rules to get your website ranked, but you also need to pick the right points, at the right time, to have an influential impact. If you are trying to get a new website set up, or update the SEO of an older website, it is important you understand the places where the different SEO components go and the ways to get your points across to your audience. However, for the novice web developer, SEO can be a bit intimidating. Here are a few of the easiest things that you can do to help build up your website’s ranking.
Make Sure Your Content Makes Sense
The most important thing you can have on your website is relevant content. The people coming to your website are coming there in search of an answer to some type of a question, or solution to some type of a problem. They want those answers, not to read through a ton of fluff or information that is not relevant to what they are seeking. Give them that information in an easy to find way, and that will be a great start to getting people coming back to your website. On top of providing easy to read and relevant content, make sure that you have a title that tells them what they are about to find, and have headers that break up the information into digestible pieces. If you only have one giant paragraph that is 500 or 1,000 words long, visitors are not likely to stay to read the whole thing in search of the information they wanted to find.
Make Sure Your Content Also Looks Nice
You want people to be able to read through your content easily. This means that you need to set it up so that is looks appealing. You want paragraphs of information that goes together, and you want headers to break up the different bits of information. You want those headers to have formatting that allows the information to stand out. If you are new to website content, bold the headers, but if you have some experience in setting up the formatting of a website, use “heading 2” on some, if not all, of your headers. If there are specific points, called keywords, you want to stand out on the page within your paragraphs, put the word or short phrase in bolded text, or if it is a full sentence, then you should italicize the sentence so that your readers notice what you are saying more effectively.
Link to Places That People Will Recognize as Authorities
It is important that your website has links, but just any link won’t do. You should link to pages within your own website whenever you can. For example, if you are saying to contact you when your audience has more questions, then use that phrase as an opportunity to link to your own contact page. It gives your pages some connections that show how the pages’ work together to the web crawlers. Also, whenever you use someone else’s information or idea, quote them and link to their website. For example, if you are citing a national statistic, link the page back to the national database you got the information from. However, there is one little hitch. If you are going to link to an outside source, make sure the source is something people will recognize as an authority. You want to make sure you are showing the world what you have to offer with information that can be backed up and corroborated with other authorities. So you have to make sure you are picking genuine, authoritative sites to work with so that your website gets the benefits of becoming a go-to source for those in need.
Keep Your Audience in Mind – People Like Pictures!
Reading through paragraph after paragraph can get mind-numbing. The words begin to blur together and it can make it to where your point is lost on the page. However, if you break up your content with pictures, it can help give the eyes a break, and give the mind of your reader a chance to digest the words you have on the page. Plus, it’s a great way to boost the SEO on your website. Each picture has a few places where you can put the keyword you are focusing on. You can save your picture with your keyword or key-phrase as the title, plus, when you put your picture into your website, you can use that keyword again as part of the picture’s caption. That adds more appearances of your point on the page to the crawlers that are going over your site and determining what rank you should have.
Your Audience May Not Be Using a PC
Part of keeping your audience in mind is also realizing that your audience may not be looking up your website or the answers your website is supposed to provide on a standard computer. Many people look up websites on tablets and smart phones, which means that to reach that sector of your audience, your website needs to show up right on those devices as well. Not all themes for websites are able to recreate the look of your website on a smaller device, so if you are flipping to a new theme or starting a new website, make sure you find a theme that is going to be responsive on smaller devices. Finding a responsive theme helps to boost your SEO ranking, and it gives your audience the sense that they matter because no matter how they want to look you up, they can find you!
What is SEO?
SEO does not have to intimidate, it just needs to be looked at analytically. You need to take specific steps to achieve specific results, and anyone can take those steps. It may take a little bit longer to get your SEO up where you want it, but the more you do, the more you will learn!
Feature image curtsey of Evgeniy Artsebasov
Author Bio: Brian Hong, Infintech Designs is a New Orleans based SEO & Web Design company. They provide data driven, measurable internet marketing campaigns with trackable results. Brian Hong and his small team of SEO ninjas are dedicated to increasing their client’s search engine visibility, leads, and sales online.