Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a necessity for businesses to survive in the online world. The process is adopted by people optimize their websites in order to achieve a prominent place on the search engine’s result page (SERP), thereby drawing the attention of users looking for products/services.
This technique serves to drive traffic to a website, improves its business revenue, and also helps to maintain / improve the SERP ranking. Although the concept and its implementation may seem quite simple to a novice in this domain, there is more to it than what meets your eye. Optimization process usually spans several steps right from analyzing your website current traffic and ranking, to optimizing keywords, content, website structure, links, meta-tags and building inbound links and social media presence.
It is mandatory that all these steps be well-planned before execution. Online marketing certainly has a wider reach than conventional marketing techniques and one wrong step is enough to mar your reputation with both search engines as well as your potential customers. You certainly will have to watch each step of your SEO journey. Here are a few tips to help you with your SEO campaign.
List of Must Do’s
Use relevant keywords in the right proportion to convey messages in a crisp meaningful manner. A single theme per page helps to communicate better with the user.
Titles, headings, content, anchor text for links, URLs and meta tags should all be keyword rich, and convey the nature of your business to the end user. The descriptive text used in these cases also helps the search engine to match user queries to your description and return your website on the SERP.
Make sure that all images /pictures on your website have descriptive, keyword-rich Alt tags. These are not only used by search engines to look-up results but are also displayed to the users if their browsers do not support the select image formats.
Generate quality inbound links to your websites from authentic external websites that already rank high on the SERP. These links are bound to drive traffic to your website and also serve to promote your business and ranking.
Ensure that file names corresponding to each of your web pages include relevant keywords in their names and use hyphens instead of underscores so that keywords are read correctly. Hyphens are read as spaces, while underscores are deleted when file names are processed.
Refresh your website content, update blogs and submit articles at regular intervals and this will force the search engine indexes to re-rank your website.
Create a good sitemap, update Robots.txt file to facilitate ranking, fix any broken links, blank pages, distorted images and such similar issues.
Opt for social media marketing, affiliate marketing and other online marketing techniques (paid and free), which also serve to improve your SERP ranking.
Continuously analyze, track and improve your rankings by constantly optimizing your content and keeping pace with the evolving SEO scenario.
Things to Avoid
Steer clear of verbose content that is stuffed with irrelevant keywords. Keywords when used in the right manner, improve your website ranking, however an overdose may prove fatal as the search engine indexing bots will black-list your site. Visitors to your website too are bound shy away because of the confusing content.
Do not ever resort to link / content / keyword spamming techniques or websites that promote such techniques to achieve a high website ranking.
Avoid plagiarized content as unique content alone is effective in capturing the attention of search engine and the users. Do not repeat same /copied content across different pages of your website, or in article / blog submissions.
Minimize the use of animations as they will not contribute to your website’s ranking even though they may appeal to users visiting your page.
Avoid multiple URLs to your website. A single main URL with traffic redirected from other URLs prevents your website from competing with itself.
Complacency may not really help you as the indexing algorithms of search engines are constantly evolving. You will have to keep pace with the latest guidelines and make sure that your website meets all the standard requirements in order to achieve a high ranking on the SERP.
About the author: Kylie Clark is a 23-year old freelance writer, blogger and photographer. She writes articles on technology for several print magazines as well as technology blogs. And currently she is working on a project biomimicry in robotics and laser communication.