Regardless of the goal a website sets out to accomplish, there is one key ingredient that must be held above all others, to drive users to your site. Search engine optimization (SEO) ensures that your website shows up organically on search engines. Without it, you will spend big money to get traffic through paid search advertising.
Search engine optimization is the practice of building, modifying, and growing your site in specific ways, so as to match certain criteria that search engines set. These criteria change and evolve as the internet grows, making SEO a moving target. With a little strategy and some time, you can move towards a more successful website that generates substantial organic traffic.
Here are a few of the major keystones of effective SEO:
Optimize for Mobile
Since the rise of smart phones and other mobile devices, web users expect websites to be mobile responsive. This means that the content of the website is organized and displayed differently on a mobile device, ensuring that the site is usable in this medium. Search engines highly value the ability for their users to use your site from any platform or device and therefore, rank your website accordingly.
Optimize for Speed
The load speed of your website is critical to establishing a proper standing with search engines, as well as, your customers. If your website takes too long to load, you will have a high bounce rate because users will abandon the loading page. Thus, they will likely return to the search engine to find an alternative. Search engines monitor this type of behavior and adjust accordingly. If they find that your website is slow, they will not be as generous in the ranking of your site.
Things to consider for page load speed:
Ensure that the back end of your site is updated and designed for speed. If you are using platforms that were designed for 2016, chances are, your site will not be as snappy today.
Keep the image size reasonable. Images 300 dpi at large resolutions may be slowing down your site.
Never use Flash players on your site for the core elements. Flash is beautiful, though often, deadly. It was once very common to use Flash on websites because it afforded massive, creative, flexibility in a fairly, rigid, environment. It is now seen as a dated and dangerous feature.
Keep animations and effects simple and light. Animations and effects can create a lot of drag on your site load speed. Keeping them to a minimum, or at the very least, light-weight will help your page load faster and ultimately, appear cleaner.
Keywords are how search engines know to send certain users to your site. The use of specific words on your site establish the relevance of your site against what their users are searching for. Keywords are the ultimate goal of SEO. Dominate the keywords so that your site shows up on the first couple pages of major search engines.
Things to consider for keywords:
Header tags Ensure that you are using the most relevant keywords and phrases in your header tags. Header tags come in a few different styles. H1, the most important, usually is considered by search engines first. Followed closely by H2 and H3.
Body content Use your keywords naturally in your content. Websites used to gain massive SEO advantage when using "keyword packing." This is the practice of abusively using keywords to fulfill the requirements of the search engines. This is no longer viable and will actually hurt your rankings. Now, search engines look to see that key words have relevancy to what the page is about and rank based on that.
Images Images are a very important part of your SEO strategy. They also have a feature built right in to them called alt text. The idea behind alt text is that if a browser cannot display the image, it will show your alt text instead. Make sure that your alt text contains relevant keywords. This helps search engines use these images in their ranking of your page.
This is where many companies struggle, due to the need for constant upkeep. Search engines look at the amount of content pages that your site generates, to establish a baseline of how healthy and relevant your site is. The more relevant content that you have, the more likely you are to be considered established and capable of taking on more traffic. Blogs are an excellent way to drive content additions. Depending on how aggressive you are about a positive ranking, consider at the very least, posting about 1-2 blog posts a week, each with 1000-2000 words. These posts or pages should be relevant, containing keywords and search phrases to be considered when users search for your company.
Another important factor in SEO is having many relevant links to your site. This also changed quite a bit in the past couple of years. Previously, you could have several links to your site. It didn't matter where these links came from. Unfortunately,once people used links to spam the web for rankings, search engines started to look for the relevance in correlation to your site. That said, there are places you can place links that have relevance such as industry listings, social media sites, and forums that discuss topics relating to your industry.
Search engine optimization plays a vital role in the success of your company's website. It drives traffic and helps to establish you as a leader in the industry. Creating a comprehensive SEO strategy is fundamentally important for achieving a great SEO standing, as well as, driving organic traffic to your website. If left unattended, this one piece of your marketing can impact many other facets of your company. However, with attention to detail, along with diligence and perseverance, your company will see an increase in web traffic, search placement, and ultimately, your bottom line.
If you need assistance with your SEO strategies, contact Nesbit Marketing. We are here to help: www.nesbitmarketing.com/contact