Updated: Jan 2, 2020
You probably have heard about the term SEO one way or the other going by your daily business, especially if you are a website owner or blogger. You also probably have the notion that SEO is to boost your website’s rank and visibility. While that might be right, it is also important to note that SEO is a lot more than that now. With this article, we aim to give you tips on how to improve SEO for your website. What exactly is SEO? Well, for reminders, SEO is the acronym for “Search Engine Optimisation”.
As earlier stated, SEO does improve your website’s visibility on SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) and in the long run, rank your site higher, but Google is out, by updating its algorithm frequently, to ensure website owners have good SEO not only for their good but also for the convenience of users. In simpler terms, good SEO won’t only be beneficial to you as a website owner but also to people visiting your page by making sure they get useful information and not just a bunch of related keywords.
In a bid to make your SEO journey a hitch-free one, we have put together some tips that will help you pitch a successful tenth online in terms of visibility, user-friendliness and overall relevance. We also do not want to bore you, and we want to make sure you a full grasp of every detail of the tips, for this reason, we have decided to arrange the article into bits carefully. We will see quite many tips in subsequent paragraphs.
As we dive fully into these tips, it is important to note that they can only work if while implementing them, you are intentional and consistent about them.
Those were the days when the only things that mattered on SEO were how we structured URL addresses, wrote title tags and so ON. Now, other SEO factors have come to play – content and link building. Not to worry, as we go through these tips, you will learn every important aspect.
1. Update your website and ensure clarity: Your website activity is only as good as how you organise the website. You must ensure your website is well-organised and visitors can easily navigate the site. Search engines do not bring up your website by default; they go through a link structure to find pages. So, apart from easy navigation for your visitors, a well-organised website is quite easy to find and index by search engines. And guess what? The easier search engines can locate your subpages, the easier you rank in SERPs.
2. Use the proper word linkers/ punctuations: Word linkers are also very important in making your website better with SEO. The two mostly used linkers are hyphens (-) and underscore (_). However, the two are quite different in terms of application. Using underscores in URLs means you are telling Google to read the words as one. For example, “the_sky_is_blue” will be interpreted as “theskyisblue”, which makes almost no sense. On the other hand, the use of hyphens for words in URL names separates the words. “The-sky-is-blue” will be interpreted as “the sky is blue”. That is more meaningful? Yea that is exactly the reason you should use hyphens instead of underscores.
3. Avoid lengthy/wordy URL address: The simple logic to this is “keep it short and precise”. The visitors, at first sight, should be able to gain an insight into what the website is all about. The longer your URL address is, the more probability you have of boring the visitor.
4. Use only one primary keyword: While your website might have optimisation for quite many words, it is important that you major on only one keyword in your URL.
5. Avoid the use of dynamic URL addresses: While the two types of URL addresses- dynamic and static, can be read easily by search engines, it is often not so for humans. The illegibility of dynamic URLs is why we do not recommend it. Many CMS sets your URL address type to ‘dynamic”. However, most of these CMS like WordPress also automatically convert your address to a static one once you try to publish. Editing the URL yourself might be the best for better SEO because when the CMS does it for you, it only picks random keywords from the title (which is often not good enough)
6. Use Keywords that work best for you: One cannot over-emphasise the effect of keywords in SEO. Knowing the best keywords to use is one of the sure ways to improve your SEO. Best keywords would mean words people search for the most and having a couple of them at your disposal will go along way. It is nearly impossible, although, for you to know all of these words by yourself, there are tools you can use to generate them. Google Keyword Planner is a research tool that helps you get a list of keyword suggestions people use on the web. After getting the keyword suggestions, you then pick the relevant ones. When picking, ensure to pick only phrases that are popular and those that have little or no competition. Using Google Keyword Planner is free, and it is a good way to start. You can, however, in the future use other tools (which obviously won’t come for free).
7. Use the different types of keywords simultaneously. There exist three types of keywords – the generic keyword, broad match, and long tail. Each of these keywords performs different functions and hence, attract a different amount of traffic. It is best to use a mixture of these keyword types to get enough traffic from various angles. The generic keywords are the more general kinds of keywords, for example, “online marketing”. They produce a wide range of traffic, the downside, however, is that they are often not well targeted and they are competitive. Broad match keywords, on the other hand, add a little relevance to the amount of traffic. For example, “online marketing for beginners”, This type of keyword phrases will get you not just useless traffic but meaningful ones since it is more targeted than merely writing “online marketing”. Lastly, the long tail keywords as they sound, are long phrases which could sometimes pass for a sentence, which people use when searching the web. An example of such is “How to know the basics of online marketing for start-ups”. This phrase, no doubt, cannot generate a lot of traffic but rest assured the little you get will engage you.
8. Do not overstock your content with keywords: Your keywords should be easily identifiable in your content, but then, you should also make sure they appear only in places where they matter. The fact that you want your keywords all around does not mean they should not fit in the flow of thought.
9. Always include your location in your keywords: There are a lot of websites out there in the same niche as you. It would then be of great advantage if you could add your location to your keywords. When people get search page results, and they see someone offering the service they need in their locality, they tend to bond easily with that person. If you a digital marketer based in California, keyword phrases like “digital marketing services in California” would be the best.
10. Track the performance of your keywords: Once you start using SEO keywords, it is important to track the effort to know the ones that boost your rankings and the ones that are rather less effective or even useless (you work to improve the useful ones and change the useless ones). If you do not know how your keywords perform with SERPs, it might be difficult to monitor your rankings and overall website performance.
11. Use strong title tags for your web pages: A title tag is like the summary of what your website entails. These title tags will appear in SERPs, social media, browsers et cetera so you should know how to keep it short and at the same time catchy. Ensure the title tag is strong enough to interest your audience.
12. Use Meta descriptions: Meta descriptions, usually short, are the group of words that display under your title tag in Search Engine Result Pages. This part is visible to your visitors even before they click on your website. So, it is important to make the best use of meta descriptions in introducing what you do and what the visitor is likely to expect. Meta descriptions are often capped 150 to 160 characters.
13. Use ALT attributes for your images: Since search engines read ALT texts and not images, we recommend you consider using ALT texts. Using ALT texts will help engine crawlers to understand what your images mean. In using these texts to describe your images, always try to use your target keyword phrases. Also, use effects such as “bold” to emphasise places you deem necessary in your descriptions. Most Content Management Systems allows you to optimise your images with proper keywords every time you upload.
14. Always monitor your backlink profile: It is not enough to implement SEO techniques and then relax, you always need to monitor your work progress. Make sure always to put your links in check. Low-quality inbound links do nullify not only your hard work but also affects your SEO rankings.
15. Keep your guest blogging less complicated: As earlier stated, we are way past the days when SEO benefits only the blogger and blog host, things have been structured in recent times to also include the visitors as part of the primary beneficiary to good SEO since they are the ones that keep search engines working. So, guest blogging on a large scale would be rather inadvisable. Try your best to bring values both to your blog and at the same your visitors.
16. Pitch your tenth on social media: The number of users of social media has been on the increase in recent years. While being on social media or putting up links does not necessarily affect your ranking; it does generate for you, a reasonable amount of traffic. The more available you are on social media, the more visible your brand is to social media users. With time, you gain enough recognition and popularity to launch you in your desired number of visits. Keep putting your contents on social media; your link profile will increase when people share your stuff.
17. Interact well with websites and website owners in the same niche as you: The old trick of gaining links from the not-so-important websites might not work any longer in this dispensation because search engines now update their algorithms from time to time. The algorithms are now at a point of near perfection that whether or not you try to gain links illegally, your link profile will not increase. Instead of trying to manipulate things, it is better to have a good relationship with websites and companies in your niche (people who do the same thing as you). By building a good relationship, you are availing yourself the opportunity of exchanging valuable content with your clients and growing your backlinks legally.
18. Be creative in your content creation: The major thing that attracts people to your website is the fact that you might have what they need. In essence, to stay relevant, improve your user experience. What you have is only as good as how you present it. If your visitors like what they see on your website, you just earned yourself free adverts from them. They will surely talk to their families and friends about you.
19. Build a strong backlink profile for your website: Apart from your content, the other factor you do not want to joke with, in improving your SEO is the inbound links. Your links influence to a large extent, the ranking of your website. We recommend that you map out carefully websites you like to receive backlinks from and invest in them early enough.
20. Ensure to gain links from trusted websites only: If you must use the influence of websites, it has to at least, be well-recognised and well-respected websites. Whatever links you gain from these trusted websites will earn you a lot of traffic, it is just like the influence of the big websites rubbing off on you. The more quality links you use, the more search engines “put you to mind” and the more you get featured on SERPs.
21. Stay away from Sponsored links: Till you can find credible websites that can offer you legit backlinks for your services, keep searching. Never opt for mini websites with promotional articles. The truth is, most of the sponsored links are spams and are more detrimental to your website than not using backlinks at all. When your website is full of sponsored links, not only will you lack the required traffic, you will also look unserious to your visitors. It is better to offer recognised websites your services and gain backlinks the legit way than to pay for links that can’t stand the test of time.
22. Link to quality websites: You can improve SEO for your website by linking to other websites (but most importantly, building a relationship). In essence, what you do is you are promoting their content and at the same time advertising your brand. As long as you offer good content, people you’ve worked with will surely promote your work.
23. Help people: As awkward as this may sound, it is a sure way of improving your website’s SEO. Yes, just as it sounds, earn links by offering help to people. When you render some help to other people (it doesn’t matter what type of help, could be tutorials, tips, free material et cetera), beneficiaries feel obliged to promote you in return. You get links by helping people, now imagine getting links from the top websites out there. Once you get featured on their websites, your brand is gaining the search engines’ trust, and it is also ranking high. Always target educational, governmental domains because they rank higher than the regular commercial domains.
24. Ensure to publish only quality content: Content still takes the bulk of the concept of SEO. A good website content which provides useful and timely information to clients often to always have something new for your audience.so as to always have something new for your audience.
25. Ensure to put spelling and grammatical errors in check: Some errors and mis-spellings might be inevitable, but at some point, they get unpardonable. The best is to strive to have an error-free content because all it can do to your website is lower your ranking.
26. Ensure your content is unique: There are millions of contents out there struggling for visibility. So, you will be doing yourself a big favour if you can beat the competition and create unique and valuable content (content that is useful and highly cerebral). Also, creating a unique content will make your site more visible and featured in SERPs, and in the long run, your website gets high ranked.
27. Target audience with your content: A lot of people will come across your content, but it won’t apply to all of these people no matter how well structured. So. Instead of trying to beat yourself up pleasing everyone, you should define who you want your audience to be and target them. Always ensure your contents are out to address issues relating to your audience and not the general public.
28. Plan your content strategy: Do not just put stuff together and publish. Always have a plan on how you want your post to be, how often you want to post and make sure you are committed to the plan. Consistency is key in making it big in the SEO world.
29. Ensure the audience can easily read your content: Your content is not an avenue to showcase language or grammar proficiency. We would rather keep it simple and straight. You don’t want the audience to get bored reading your content. Avoid any form of ambiguity in your use of words, make sure to properly structure your content, use headlines where needed, subheadings, bullets, underlines, to mention but a few. All of these things will interest your audience and keep them glued to you. They keep coming, they keep recommending people to your website, and you keep ranking high.
30. Get rid of duplicated contents: Duplicated contents are contents that duplicate themselves on various URLs (same contents on different URLs0. Search engines do not go easy on duplicated contents, and hence, they can cause serious damage to your website ranking. E-commerce websites are usually faced with the problem of duplicated contents because different web pages put up about the same products on different web pages. While the interface might be slightly different, the content remains the same. When this happens, canonical tags should be used to differentiate and outline which is the original and which is the duplicated content. 301 redirect could also come in handy in directing your SEO to the desired website address.
31. Get guest blog exchange opportunities: One of the surest ways to gain backlinks is by guest blogging. Simply put, you will offer to write posts on another blog in the same niche as you. While the blog gets high-quality content, for your service, you get valuable inbound links. However, be sure to work with only recognised blogs that are relevant to what you do.
32. Always keep track of your competitors’ activities: It is not enough to keep working on your website, you need to be on the lookout for what your competitors do. Check how they optimise their website, the keywords they use, their contents, websites they get featured on et cetera. When you can map out the things they do better than you, you will be able to work on your website to have the required optimisation. Also, always try to compare their rankings with yours to monitor your progress.
To keep an eye on your competitors is not an avenue to dub their methods but to know things to add or rather remove from your strategy to get better results. Always make your strategies flexible and often evaluate, whether or not it works. In such case that your strategy is not working well, never hesitate to review or change it (if need be).
We have been able to explain in details, some tips you might find useful in improving your SEO.
These tips are for both people new to the adventure and for those who are already in it. For newbies, try to go over these tips as many times as you can, and they sure will guide you into making your online presence visible to people. For those already into the SEO adventure, the tips could be useful to compare and contrast between what you have been doing and what you ought to be doing; you might see some helpful tips you could employ to get better optimisation for your website.
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