It’s true that not all sites are created equal and not all SEO ranking factors are either. In fact, though there are over two hundred ranking factors that search engines (we mainly mean Google here) take into account, there are a few which swing the most weight – big time.
Now, of course, we don’t want to horde all the lovely information we know about SEO, ranking factors, and how to get your website to the top of the internet heap – oh no – that just isn’t us.
We believe that sharing is caring, and we would love to care about you, whether we work together or not.
So, strap in and get ready, because you’re about to have a crash course in SEO. Who knows, maybe you’ll realize you love the ‘please-Google-game’ and this will be the beginning of a beautiful new hobby/interest/career for you.
Or, more likely, you’ll just want to hire someone who does love SEO to do it for you.
#1: Know Your Analytics
One of the first things you need to do on your SEO journey is pretty straight forward – have web analytics set up and accurately tracking from the very beginning.
After all, if you don’t know where you’re starting from, and you don’t know your progress, then how will you know what works, what doesn’t, what’s up or what’s down?
Without analytics, you are a ship without a rudder in the sea (or internet) and that won’t get you anywhere but dashed up on the rocks or hopelessly lost.
Instead, avoid that whole tragic storyline, and use software to clearly track what’s working, your goals, and your trajectory.
#2: Write for Your Audience & the Robots Will Follow
If your keyword is, oh, I don’t know – ‘SEO’ – you don’t need to say it in every sentence, in every tag, in every header, and in every other possible location where it’ll be recognized by the search engine.
First of all, that is annoying, and no one wants to read that.
Second of all, search engines are smart enough to know that that is annoying, and your plan will backfire twofold.
Instead, write for your audience, about things they care about, and in the voice they prefer to listen to.
This is why knowing your target audience is so important – because they’ll be the ones reading it. And they’re the ones you want to talk to.
#3: Try Your Hardest to Gain (Good) Backlinks
Don’t just gain backlinks (which is when another site links to your site), instead, try to get good backlinks. Because Google can tell the differences between a good, trusted backlink related to your field, and www.buygoldnowwws77 (and so can your audience).
Take the time to cultivate relationships, create great content, and promote it in order to get a solid backlink web that will benefit you and your linker.
#4: Every Page Deserves a Meta Description
This should be an easy one to fix, update or polish.
Picture your typical search engine results page – that blurb on the page beneath your header or website link, that’s your meta description. And that little blurb needs to tell a bit about what that page should have, tell, or do.
Every page (even your blog/contact/FAQs/product pages) should have unique meta descriptions – not generic and not repeating. Duplicate content, even in just a meta description, is sure to raise some red flags for your SEO.
#5: Be Quick! Be Nimble!
People often forget that it isn’t just about what’s on your page, but about how quickly people can get there to take it in. Even if your page is only slowed down by 1 or 2 seconds, that’s enough to lose credibility, rankings, and customers.
Think of it like this – would you put your credit card or other personal information onto a site that seemed to be having trouble loading? No? Why not?
Because online users (yourself included) count speed and trust synonymously, and therefore, a slow site is one we view as unsafe or unsecured.
To avoid any mistrust, check your site speed often and perform health checks to keep it running smoothly as well as protected.
#6: Keywords for All!
Ah, the double standard of keywords – we knew we’d get here eventually.
Keywords are the teeter-totter of SEO and the bane of many content writers’ existence. And though we can’t tell you to use your designated keyword ‘X amount of times’ for success, we can give you some hints about how we use keywords both on our site and for our clients.
Keywords shouldn’t be the yardstick you measure your content by, instead, it should merely be your guide for what you are writing about or what concept you want to get across.
For example, this article is about SEO, right?
Well, we’re also talking about ranking factors, site health, keywords, content, backlinks, metas, analytics, and more.
Also, any search engine worth its clicks can figure out what this post is about, it doesn’t need us to scream it from the mountain tops.
Instead (again) just focus on writing for your people and about the issues they have – Google will be able to figure out the rest.
#7: Your Images Want Keywords Too
Again with the keywords?
Yes. Absolutely. Always.
Your images are important, but search engines can’t yet look at them and fully understand what’s going on or what the takeaway should be.
Make it easy for them by having relevant names that tell the search engines what they need to know.
And using a keyword or two doesn’t hurt either. After all, if the image is on your site, it should be relevant to your site, services, and (probably) keywords.
#8: Be Unique, Be Consistent, & Be Valuable in Your Content
This is really what it’s all about, right?
Creating content that your readers, clients, and customers connect with and want more of. Creating content that gives value to your readers, gets good results, and catches the attention of the search engines.
You do this by being unique – telling, sharing, or thinking something new or in a new way; being consistent – don’t just post one time and expect results, or post 6 times in one month and then not at all for the next two; and giving value – or creating something that leaves the reader better than you found them.
JSL Marketing & Web Design is here to help you with all of your SEO needs.