How to Improve Your Website’s SEO – The Basics
Search engine optimization is fundamental to the overall success of each website. It is SEO that gets your site found by people who are searching online for something, a product or a service, that you might offer.
Question is, how do you make the search engines put you ahead of the others, considering there are hundreds of thousands or even millions of websites competing for attention? The answers can vary, but the following tips will help you figure them out:
Think of your website as a cake.
If your website were a cake, its icing would be made up of your links, social media acts and paid searches. All the rest – your content, content management system, information architecture and infrastructure – forms the foundation. At the end of the day, they must combine together to create a cake that is both attractive and delectable.
Know what search engines like.
The main job of search engines is to bring users to websites that have the information they’re looking for. These are the factors that determine site relevancy:
Content – depending on page text, titles, descriptions and tags
Performance – site speed and efficiency
Authority – when the quality of content is high enough that people, especially authority websites, often use the site as a reference
User Experience – includes site’s appearance, ease of navigation, user safety and bounce rate
Know what search engines are NOT looking for.
Search engine spiders only have up to a volume of data storage, and using shady tactics to trick them will surely backfire on your SEO in the long run. Search engines are specifically averse to sites with a low bounce rate (because it indicates poor user experience), purchased links and keyword stuffing or overuse.
Define and understand your business model.
First and foremost, what is a conversion for you? What are you selling products and services or impressions? What do you want to achieve? Do you have clear knowledge of your assets and liabilities? Keywords must be used on-site as well as off-site – on social media profiles, email addresses and offline advertisements). The key is to be consistent so you can train people to use the very words or phrases that your SEO campaigns are targeting.
Maintain consistency with domain names. Domain naming is important to your site’s foundation, so as a best practice, use subdirectory root domains (thissite.com/nice) rather than sub domains (thissite.nice.com). Other best practices are using consistent domain names (so that search engines don’t get confused when redirecting users); using keyword-rich URLs; and using old domains, as long as they don’t have a suspicious background.
Consider different types of results.
Finally, make sure your site can be used in most types of standard devices (mobile phones, tablets, etc.) now that Google has made mobile responsiveness a priority when indexing sites. Which makes perfect sense, considering that users are mostly on mobile these days.