Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website so that you can naturally attract free’ traffic from the search engines. There are various ways in which you can improve your website’s SEO.
Perform Strategic Keyword Research
Before writing a post or creating a page for your site, it is vital that you undertake some keyword research. Great SEO always starts by thinking strategically about your keywords. What would someone looking to buy your product or service type into the search box?
We will use the example of a car cover website (bestcarcovers.com). Don’t choose the simple option such as “vehicle cover” because this will generate untargeted traffic. Many who search this term will be looking for covers for vehicles other than cars, which will result in completely irrelevant traffic and no sales. Many searchers may also simply be looking for information on vehicle covers, for example, what fabric they are usually made from, while your objective is to sell covers. Also, general terms like this are highly competitive with thousands of websites trying to rank for them.
Instead, choose a specific keyword or key phrase that your ideal customer would type in. For example, “best buy car cover” or “best cheap car cover” or even “car cover for Hyundai i10.” These long tail keywords are less competitive and target consumers who are much further along in the buying process. They aren’t looking for general information on covers, rather they are looking to make their final decision. You need to get in front of them, present relevant answers to their questions and convince them that yours is the one to go with.
Create and Publish Relevant, Unique Content
High-quality content is one of the top drivers of search engine rankings. If your website contains content that is the most relevant to the user’s search term, you have a very good chance of being one of the top returned results. This will result in targeted traffic as well as improve your site’s authoritativeness. For example, you may create and publish a well-structured page entirely on the “top 5 car covers for the jaguar x-type.” When a user enters this same search term, your chances of showing up are largely increased.
Focus on the layout and structure of your articles. Make it easily readable and scannable. Use informative headings that also contain your important keywords and variations of those keywords. Be sure to include your keywords in the first and last 100 words of the article as well as 4 or 5 times in the main body.
Never pack in the keywords at the expense of readability. The article should read naturally with subtly included keywords. User experience is very important and search engines will pick up on spammy’, keyword-packed content that hardly makes any sense. More than that, visitors will become extremely annoyed and instantly leave your site, rendering your efforts completely worthless.
Complete Your Metadata and Alt Tags
On every page that you create, there is space for metadata. Metadata is text that you can fill in to give search engines information on the contents of the webpage, so as to make it easier for them to index when adding it to their database. Types of metadata:
· Title Tag – The title tag (tagline in WordPress) tells search engines and users what your web page is all about in the most concise way possible. This is the largest line of text that appears to be the title for the page and is situated above the domain (bestcarcovers.com) on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). This often works well with your 2 most important keywords and then your brand name.
- Meta Description – This is a 160 character long snippet about your web page. This description is shown below the domain name on the SERPs when the page is returned as a result. It is very important to include your main keywords in this description and to grab the attention of readers. Write for humans.
- Keyword Metadata – You can fill in all of your keywords in this area. Don’t try to pack this with too many as the search engine crawlers may simply ignore this area as a result. Be conservative, adding between 6 and 8 of your top phrases, keeping each phrase at 1-4 words.
- Alt Tags – This is also known as alternative image text. Search engines cannot see images, they can only read the text, therefore it is your job to explain to the search engine what your images or videos are about by giving them each a text description (alt tag). Make sure images and their corresponding descriptions are relevant to the content.
Be sure to fill out all of the metadata, many skip these steps as it can become tedious and repetitive but a page with excellent metadata is far more likely to be picked up by search engines sooner, ranked more favorably and will also enjoy increased traffic due to catchy, informative summaries.
Backlinks are very important, especially to earn more points in terms of authority. If you have a highly informative site and are an authority on the subject about which you speak, then naturally people and other websites will embed and share your links in various other places on the web, be it other websites or social media.
Backlinks are more valuable if they come from a high authority website. For example, if you ran bestcarcovers.com and were able to somehow get speedandsound.com to put your link somewhere on their website, search engines would instantly rank you more favorably. This is because search engines will think that you must have some real value to offer if this massive, reputable site is linking to you. Usually, big sites charge exorbitant fees for such links but there are other ways to achieve good results in this regard.
You could also approach some smaller sites and ask to exchange links with them. Personally, I suggest creating social media accounts, from which you can promote and link to your website. Search engines view this favorably because high authority sites such as YouTube.com or FaceBook.com are now linking to your site and you can, in turn, link your site to the social media account. This raises your site’s authority score, resulting in more favorable rankings.
In all your SEO ventures, aim to add real value, increase visibility and most of all, be natural by writing for humans.