Users want search engines to get them to relevant results quickly and without a lot of scrolling. And your company wants its site to climb its way to the first search page with quality search engine optimization (SEO). The good news is both of these results can happen by practicing good SEO habits.
Here are some tips you can use to increase your search engine results page (SERPs) position and boost your online visibility.
Website SEO practices
1. Relevant keywords: Using a keyword tool can help determine which words will help attract the most visitors based on popular search terms. Pick the most relevant, popular keywords for your business and try to rank for different keywords on your web page.
2. Short, catchy and original title tags: Title tags describe your company industry (or whatever your website is about) while attracting the user’s attention enough to click and visit. Limit the title tag description to approximately 55 characters so it will display well on SERPs. Keep title tags concise to help crawlers and users determine the relevancy of your page.
3. Keywords at the beginning of page title tags: Google puts more weight on the start of the title tag, so try to keep the keywords at the beginning.
4. Keyword-focused meta descriptions: The meta description appears under the title tag on SERPs and gives users a chance to learn more about your company before clicking your site. Aim for a meta description length of 150-160 characters.
5. Proper sitemap: Make sure your website’s structure is up-to-date and easy to navigate. The better the site structure, the easier search engine crawlers can find and index pages. Aim for a three-click rule—customers should find what they need on your site in three clicks (or less).
6. Properly structured, SEO-friendly URLs: URLs help crawlers to figure out page topic and relevancy. Creating short URLs with your keyword in it, using hyphens “-” instead of underscores “_” between words. Static words (rather than numbers) will help users and crawlers read URLs faster and easier. Also, try to use subdirectory root domains instead of subdomains. (Note: An example of a subdomain may be www.guides.goalstv.com while the main domain would be www.goalstv.com. An example of a subdomain would be goalstv.com/store/.)
7. Link internally with anchor text: Linking internally to your other web pages adds keyword-rich internal links to every page. Internal linking helps search engines crawl and index your site, provides readers with more reading options and improves ranking for some of your keywords.
8. Outbound links: Referencing and linking to reputable (authoritative) sources shows you are a helpful internet information steward that is willing to share page rank.
9. Website’s loading speed: Search engines do not like slow pages as they know that users will not wait long for a website to load. Strive for quick load times.
10. Really helpful content: Create relevant content on your pages that is easy to read, unique, helpful, fresh and grammatically flawless. Your content should be so helpful and relevant that your target audience will want to stay on your page and others will want to link to it.
Off-page SEO practices:
1. Search engine submission: It can take a while for search engines to find and crawl your site. You can help to speed up the process by submitting your website to popular search engines.
2. Local directory submission: Submitting your business listing information to top or niche directories creates more places where users can find you, and crawlers can confirm your business information. Be sure to submit your name, address, phone number (NAP). And, if possible, include your website and category. A high percentage of searches are by keyword rather than business name, so strive to use category information wherever possible.
3. Social media marketing: Be present on all relevant social channels and manage your online reputation. Strive to get likes, shares and links by being 80% helpful and 20% promotional.
4. Video marketing: Help users find out about your business by sharing your relevant and helpful videos on sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, etc.
5. Backlink outreach: Earn backlinks by conducting content public relations to get others to read your pages and possibly link to you. The more quality backlinks your web page has, the more authority it has. Search engines will notice and deem the page as relevant and useful.
6. Forums and communities: Answering questions in forums and communities can help to build your reputation as an industry expert. This can provide a possible opportunity to include your website or blog link if it is relevant to the answer.
By consistently practicing these 16 tips, your website will crawl its way to the top. And as long as you continue to produce quality content and make your site relevant to others, you should be able to stay there.