Search Engine Optimization: How To Stand Out In A Crowded World
Let’s say that the work week was rough and a certain bed & breakfast sounds good for the weekend. But when you do an online search for it, nothing comes up. You lost out on a nice trip and that business missed a new customer. All companies face the potential of being invisible on the internet. One fundamental strategy to avoid this is winning at the game of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
What Is SEO?
SEO is a powerful way to increase the visibility of a business on the internet. Getting noticed by searchers greatly increases the chance of converting site visitors into buyers. Because search engines today are the most popular way to find information, developing a skill for SEO can be extremely worthwhile. On average, the first 10 results displayed on a primary search page will get 94% of visitors’ attention. It’s also important to note that some SEO methods from the past will today get a site in the penalty box. More on that later. There are several ways to achieve effective SEO. The major search engines can provide instant, outstanding search rankings but it will cost companies a pretty penny every time a visitor clicks on their link. Google’s AdWords is a good example of such an offering. The best long-term approach to SEO over the long haul is to achieve good “organic” search rankings.
Going Organic – 10 Great Ways To Improve Your SEO Rankings
Here are some ways to greatly improve your SEO ranking on the major search engines.
- Keywords, Keywords, Keywords – These are the cornerstone of all SEO efforts. Having the correct amount, kind and quality of keywords will trigger search engines to determine a site’s relevance in search results.
- Create & Effective Page Titles – Every page on a site should have a specific, unique and brief title that helps search engines understand what the page is about.
- Have An Accurate Meta Tag Description – A quality/accurate meta tag description plays a critical role as it gives engines a summary of what is contained on that page.
- Have Permanent Link Structures- It’s important to maintain a consistent URL link structure for pages. URL’s should be well thought out, clean, simple and easy to understand.
- Leaving Breadcrumbs – All internal pages should have breadcrumbs at the top to assist in navigation.
- External Links - Capturing links with quality content from other websites can greatly influence a search engine’s algorithms, which makes search rankings better.
- Formatting and Using H1, H2 – All website text should be consistently formatted. H1 tags should be used for the post’s title and H2 reserved for the post’s main headings
- Upward Mobility– Be sure that the website plays well with mobile devices, as this will help boost SEO rankings.
- Hurry Up! Page Speed – Fast loading websites add a great deal to user experiences. Sites that load in 4 seconds or less are more likely to rank better in search results.
- His Royal Highness – King Content- None of these SEO improvement pointers will work if a site has poor content. Search engines aim to please and want to answer questions that searchers ask. Also, adding new content inspires search engine bots to visit and crawl sites more often.
Warning! - Stuff A Turkey, Not Key Words
Keyword stuffing is the practice of placing as many keywords onto website pages as possible. In the early days of search, this method actually worked. Today keyword stuffing is a “no-no” and a “black hat” tactic upon which search engines greatly frown. Google and other major players continually work to improve search relevancy and stuffing detracts from those efforts. SEO efforts can actually be harmed today by keyword stuffing.
Achieving SEO success can be daunting but with the right methods and website tuning, online businesses can enjoy great improvements in getting themselves prominently in front of searchers. For more information on the SEO features HawkSearch provides, check out our other blogs and upcoming webinars!