You've built your website months ago. You post content on a consistent basis, but it seems that only your closest friends are reading your blog posts.
Let's face it. Building your own website is a huge investment, and if you are not willing to take the required time to grow your business, then, you won't reach your desired audience.
Creating and adding high-quality content to your website regularly will give you the tools you need to build a following of interested prospects and make more sales. Search engine optimization (SEO) implementation also plays a vital role, as it is the key to increasing your views and converting your readers into customers.
If you are ready to invest in your business and increase your sales, the following tips will give you all the required information you need to reach the right customers.
First of all, you might be intimidated due to the information you find out there, as there are various SEO techniques that you can apply to your website. As a matter of fact, some people hire an experienced in-house SEO or consultant to help them with SEO implementation.
How does SEO work
The essential elements for search engine optimization, are applied to on your website. A good on-site search optimization leads to an effective link-building; this will be discussed in the coming paragraphs. The following elements should be put on the main pages on your website, including the homepage.
On-site optimization’s Golden rule
SEO elements must not be overused, for instance, adding keywords to an article/ blog post/ website content is one of the vital elements in SEO optimization, but overdoing it not recommended. As a matter of fact, it is recommended to use five keywords; one for each page of your website and optimize only those, because an over-optimization penalty has been unleashed by Google which aims to target websites with too many keywords.
The SEO elements you can apply to your website;
1. Title tag
The title tag of your website's page indicates what the page is about and should not exceed 700 characters. Your business or brand name may be included in the title tag, and you can even add any keywords relevant to the page text. The title tag is found next to the page’s HTML code, between the <HEAD> </HEAD> tags.
2. Meta description
The meta description is one of the important keys in seo optimization, as it provides insight to search engines on what the page is about. It shows up in search results, therefore, one must include the main keywords of his page, even though there is an ongoing debate about whether keyword rankings can be improved by meta descriptions.
How do the Title tag and Meta description appear in search results?
When you search for a website, the title tag and meta description show up in search results, and the bold word (in the title or meta description) is the keyword that you have searched on Google. For instance, if you search for freelance jobs, both the title and meta description of Freelancer show up in search results, and the word freelancer is bolded, as you have searched for the keyword of that particular website. Therefore, if you have a website, it is recommended that you add the brand name both in the title and meta description, as this enhances SEO optimization and improves search results.
3. Wordpress- Title and Meta description
If you use the self-hosted version of Wordpress from Wordpress.org, you can improve SEO by using free plugins, for example; All in One SEO, Platinum SEO and SEO by Yoast, as these enable you to add both title tags and meta descriptions to your pages. Scribe SEO, which is a premium plugin can also be used for SEO suggestions.
4. Internal Links
You can use the link-building technique. It is primarily known to be used for external sites that link to your website, but it can also be optimized internally, to link your site content to other pages (in your site).
5. Header Tags
Certain websites, use three distinct types of HTML header tags. They are used to categorize the content in different sections and help optimize search engine results as they would know more what each section consists of. The post title is surrounded by the <H1></H1> tags and each page should only comprise one set of <H1></H1> tags.
On the other hand, the subheadings of a page are surrounded by the <H2></H2> and <H3></H3> tags. Header tags not only promote a better SEO optimization but also increases legibility to readers.
6. Image name and ALT tags
Adding images to your website is also one of the important elements in SEO optimization. That is, keywords must be used for both the name of the image and the alt tag. <img src=”on-site-search-optimization-seo-title-tag.png” alt=”On-Site Search Optimization SEO Title Tag” /> is added on the first picture of your post in order to be optimized for on-site search optimization keywords. This technique increases the chance of search engines to find images related to the image search according to the specified keywords.
7. Bolded text
Sometimes, you can even bold some text within your content as this draws the attention of the reader. In addition, this distinguishes other essential information and keywords in your page. It is suggested not to overdo it, but apply it occasionally wherever you think it is necessary.
Link-building, also known as off-site optimization, is used to getting other websites link to your content. We can compare this strategy to ranking and receiving votes, for example, if you want your website to be ranked first in search results, then, the links are votes which indicate your high ranking. If you get links with the keyword 'anchor text', your content will rank for that specific keyword linked to it.
Adobe Reader is ranked first for the keyword click here, due to the fact that a number of websites use the anchor text 'click here' to download Adobe Reader.
There are three distinct types of link-building techniques; some of them are good and useful for your content, while others have to be avoided.
- Organic links- You can get these links on certain websites such as major news outlets or other with high authority. They are beneficial because you don't have to ask to get them.
- Whitehat refers to good, quality link-building, the one you should use.
Blackhat- refers to the link-building that you should avoid, as they are spammy and of low-quality.
What do you think of link-building? Have you ever applied this technique to your business?
9. Google+ can Help you with your Blog Rankings
If you use Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin to share your content, then you should ensure that you use Google+ to help you with your rankings as well. Google+ helps you to rank better in search engines for those you are connected with.
If you search for SEO while logged in to Google+, you get personalised results. These are based on the people connected to you via this social media platform and are marked by the little person icon. The results searched for are shown in the search engine's top results.
If you are logged out of Google+ and search for SEO, you won't get the personalised results that you'd get when you are logged in. As a result, you will see that they are not in the top results.
The following activities help in the personalized search game to trump local search results:
- Creating a personal and business Google+ page.
- Giving a +1 to the website you want to recommend to increase its ranking and sharing the website on your profile or page. Under recommended websites, you can even link to it in the profile information.
- Filling out your profile details increases the number of people who want to connect with you and also your website views.
- Ensuring that your profile information and status updates are set to public.
Sharing other updates on your profile, so viewers wouldn't think that you are only promoting your content.
Connecting with those people who you want to view your site in search results. The Google+ search box to add new people to your circles.
Google+ can be beneficial to increase your website views. If you gain popularity on this platform, you are more likely to influence personalised search results with your followers.
Do you use Google+ on a consistent basis? What would you recommend to users using Google+ to increase their website views? Please leave your comments below.
10. Track your progress
Authority Labs or Google Analytics are recommended if you need to monitor your results and keep track of your progress.
- Authority Labs- You can use a free-month trial of the pro account. This checks whether your website's keyword rankings are moving up in search results.
Google Analytics- This is used to check what keywords visitors are using search engines to find your site. You can set up goals to view the keywords that people use to visit your website when you ask them to do something, for example; to sign up for a mailing list or purchase a product. This helps to target your SEO campaign.
Is there another tool that you think is useful to track your SEO progress? How is it used? What makes it different than Authority Labs and Google Analytics?
SEO optimisation is useful for any kind of business. If you run a blog or your website content is not getting the views you desire, keep the above points in mind and apply these strategies to rank your site on top in search results. If you are just starting out to building your website, it might take time to earn sufficient views, but following these tips to help improve SEO, will reap the benefits of getting more visitors.