Most website owners are secretly intimidated by SEO. Few though, ever admit it out loud. If you own a website, then you probably know what am talking about. You fully appreciate the importance of SEO. However, you’re secretly freaked out by it. You assume it to be this complex, unknowable and ever-changing phenomenon that is about to lay to waste all the hard work you have done in making your website top-notch.
After all, what is the point of having a top-notch website if no one can locate it on the web?
Such fears though are uncalled for. Granted, the technical aspects of SEO require some getting used to. However, it is not impossibly difficult to master the basics. The simple fact is that although SEO is a science (as well as an art), it is not rocket science.
This means that anyone can begin the process of prepping their website for SEO. The technical term is “optimization”. The ultimate question is: how can anyone optimize their website for search engines? Well, here are 9 simple steps to begin with:
Descriptive Page Titles
The first step towards optimization is ensuring that each page on your website has a descriptive title. Please note that the title is what appears in the <title> tag. A page title is displayed in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).
The title of each page should be descriptive of the content on the page. It should also contain the specific keywords or phrases associated with the page.
Keywords Within Web Content
Another important step in optimization by embedding keywords into your website content. The importance of this cannot be overemphasized. In fact, without keywords, there is no SEO. The reason for this is that keywords are what search engines use to help people to find content.
Therefore, it is essential to put your keywords within your web content. However, when doing this, make sure to avoid keyword stuffing. Target a keyword density of 1 to 3%. Also, make sure that keywords are inserted in a grammatically correct manner. There is so much more to keywords. But the bottom line is that they have to be embedded within your web content.
A site map is one yet another important step you can take to optimize your website. This is because web-crawlers use sitemaps to decide how to index a site. You can use a sitemap to guide a crawler on which pages you want to index and the ones you do not. This provides you with some way of controlling how search engines index your website.
Descriptive Anchor Text
Another technique for optimizing your website is ensuring that the anchor text used on links is descriptive. This makes it easier for web crawlers to carry out indexing for your site. The exact mechanism by which they do this too complex to explore here. However, just bear in mind that a descriptive anchor text like “50% discount” is better for SEO than the generic “click here”.
Responsive Web Design
Nowadays, people access websites across a wide spectrum of devices. For instance, people can use smartphones, tablets and wide-screen monitors. A critical step in optimization is making the website accessible across devices. The best way to assure this is through Responsive Web Design (RWD). Having a responsive website ensures that your SERP rankings will be maintained irrespective of the device used when searching for your keywords.
User Experience (UX)
Search engines like Google now consider user experience when indexing websites. A positive user experience can thus improve SEO. The question is, how do search engines measure UX? Well, the first aspect is the loading speed i.e. how fast does your website load on different devices?
Other aspects of UX include site navigation, ease of finding content and bounce rate. If your website has a high bounce rate, then search engines judge that your UX isn’t good – that is why most people who are coming are leaving immediately.
A simple, yet powerful optimization technique is by using internal cross-links. These are basically linked to other pages within the website. This provides two advantages. First of all, it enables search engines to understand what each page is about. Secondly, it improves user experience by simplifying locating related content on your website.
Social Media Sharing
Social media is now a major criterion used when ranking websites. The amount of sharing, comments, and likes your content can boost your SEO. As such, a great way to optimize your page is to include social media sharing buttons. This can enable visitors to like, share or interact with your content, and thus boost its popularity on social media.
Relevant and Evergreen Content
Although mentioned last, this is actually the most important aspect of optimization. A critical criterion used by search engines to rank websites is the quality of content. The higher the quality, the greater your rankings. The reason for this is simple: search engines want to provide people with the best content possible under any given keyword or phrase.
Therefore, to keep your website optimized, you need to provide an endless supply of web content which is unique, attractive and very relevant to your visitors’ needs. This will keep visitors returning, make other websites to link to your site, and ultimately establish your authority in your particular keyword niche.
When all is said and done, SEO isn’t this mysterious, unconquerable beast. It is something which almost anyone can master. The basics of optimization can be carried out by anyone. So, if you have a website, you can get started by performing the customization steps listed above.
If you prefer that your SEO is handled by experts, then 216 Marketing is here to help. Just contact us right away, and we shall provide you with the best optimization needed for your website. Or run a website analysis yourself!