Top SEO Tips That Still Rule
Imagine you had a list of products and services that you wanted to launch. Everything from design to launch was perfect and yet there are no buyers. Looks like people aren’t even aware of your stuff. How could that be, you wonder! Well, this is how.
Search Engine Optimization (or simply SEO) is crucial for your business on the web. Without good SEO practices and rankings, no one will find you when searching for your product or service.
But before you get upset, know this that just because a site ranks highest in Google search doesn't necessarily mean it's the best. There are sadly ways that companies and individuals can "scam" their results although Google is getting much better at putting a stop to these nefarious activities.
Spend some time reading various blogs and articles. The SEO rules are changing and evolving constantly, so make sure not to rely on articles that were written back in the 90s. Again, these may be ranked high in a Google search because they were very relevant when written but understand that what worked back then may not necessarily help you today.
The basics of SEO, though, are largely the same. Let's take a look at ten of the top tricks and tips you need to become intimately acquainted with, shall we?
Remember that Content is Still Important
You may find those naysayers who claim that SEO has nothing to do with content, but they are most definitely wrong. Whether you call it King or Queen or simply believe content has no gender, content is crucial - even on a landing page. If your potential customer isn't happy with what they see/read, they aren't buying. Put your visitors first, and the metrics will always follow. Even if search bots rank you well, your site is still no good if visits don't translate into sales due to a bad user experience.
Content in this case doesn't only apply to blog posts or landing page texts - it also encompasses your social presence. If you don't exist on social media where your customers are at, then you don't truly exist at all.
Let them move around effortlessly
Ask yourself when the last time was that you sat around waiting on a website to load so that you could buy something. It's been a while, hasn't it? Whenever we come across sites that are slow and time-consuming, we simply move onto another service or store.
Site visitors shouldn't have to click multiple times to find what they're searching for. Make sure that various departments and features are easy to find without having to figure out where something may be located. Keep your titles and subtitles short and straightforward. Keep an active eye out for any broken links anywhere on your site and fix/replace them quickly.
You're going to sell shoes, right?
This may seem like a no-brainer. Perhaps you have developed the hottest new way to communicate online or maybe you are the best web designer on the planet. Defining your brand isn't just about knowing what you sell - it's about figuring out how to create and truly understand your social media AND search engine strategy. Anyone on your team who may create some type of content - whether it comes in the form of a blog post, social media pushes, press releases or marketing campaigns - must all be on the same page. Decide early on what your message is going to be and implement it across the board.
Who are you selling to?
Let's face it: you aren't Facebook, very few companies will appeal to everyone. As much as we would all love to be able to bring in the entire world and help them out with what we're offering, we have to be realistic. Figure out who will benefit most from your company and go after them. It's important, to know which types of people simply will never be interested so you don't waste your time and money trying to get them to buy.
Those Keywords are everything
You already know that finding the right keywords are important. Equally as vital is knowing how and when to use them. You're going to drive away customers - and search crawlers - faster than you can imagine if you put in every keyword you possibly think of. People can easily tell when they're being handed a "hard-sell" and most don't appreciate it.
Use the Proper Tools
Most SEO experts will tell you to use WordPress for your website - with good reason. It is chock-full of beautiful optimization that you don't have to think about much in order to take advantage of its goodness. There are many excellent plugins you can add to your pages which turn into time savers and money makers. Research them carefully - use ones which have good feedback and solid success rates. If you see one that "might" work but seems to have a lot of bug reports, you might want to rethink your position - at least until it's more stable.
Handle Images with care
Photographs are still worth a thousand words. This is especially true within online content. Be sure your image tags and titles are clear and appropriate. Search engine spiders can and do crawl all over those areas, so it's critical for them to be categorized in a way that drives eyeballs to your site.
Whenever possible, use a description or caption for those pictures. This is another wonderful way to get a keyword involved while giving the customer an idea as to why you chose that particular snapshot.
Make Yourself Mobile Friendly
Mobile is huge - and still growing daily. Take the time to build a truly mobile friendly website. Just as with a regular page, there are many ways to sprinkle various SEO practices throughout. Believe it or not, it's important to have excellent versions of both mobile and full web presence in order to rank highly within search engines these days. Make it easy for people to find and obtain the mobile version or app, and when possible make it free.
Take a deep breath!
Don't let yourself get so caught up in worrying about SEO practices that you have nightmares. Have fun with it! Yes, it will take a bit of work to learn the ropes, but once you do you'll be able to do these things in your sleep. The most important thing to remember is not even on the list - at the end of the day, your community is your first priority. All of the SEO in the world won't help you if you aren't focused 100% on the wants and needs of your target audience. Tune into them. Talk to them. Get to know them!
What other methods have you read about - or used yourself - to successfully up your SEO game? Leave us a comment and let's have a great discussion about best methods and practices.