SEO is about improving visibility in the organic (non-paid) search engines. It requires both creative and technical elements to achieve top rankings. Driving traffic means your pages have to be people-friendly, as well, or those visitors aren’t going to stay long. Here are some SEO tips and tricks to help you not just rank well, but turn no traffic into grow traffic.
Showing up on the first page of Google is no easy feat. These SEO tips will help you increase traffic by making sure you have a successful SEO friendly website.
These, of course, are the words and phrases users enter to generate a list of related sites. Some keywords get thousands of searches every day, but generate millions of URLs. Other keywords might get only 100 searches and turn up 500 matches.
Everyone would like top position among millions, but it may be more realistic to be at the top of that 500.
It’s important to do keyword research with Google’s Keyword Planner or better still, a premium tool like
Market Samurai, to find the right balance between frequency of use and potential competition for your market.
Focus on the User Experience
UX is important because you want real visitors to be happy with what you have to offer. Floods of traffic that do nothing but look at your landing page and move on is useless. You want to keep users engaged.
Having a site that’s professional, useful, and easy to navigate is the main goal. But content is what keeps users engaged. Information and resources must be easy to find and use, and have real value to your visitors.
Take steps to establish credibility, and craft a unique style or brand they won’t find elsewhere. Design your site so that users know what to do next and how to do it. Don’t leave them guessing.
Permalinks, or permanent links, are URLs pointing to a specific page, such as a blog post. They may also be called persistent identifiers.
In an online content management system such as WordPress, these permalinks are written to and retrieved from a database so that they are less prone to link rot. They are often rendered as simple, human-readable text. Permalink structure is about using these links as relevant, SEO-friendly URLs. That means using keywords. For example, “myprogramming.com/?p=1647” means nothing to a search engine, but “myprogramming.com/how_to_use_Visual_Studio/” will be included in search results.
It’s simple to change the permalink settings so that WordPress automatically takes the main keywords from
your title and puts them in the URL for the post or page. For this, from your WordPress dashboard,
go into ‘Settings’, then choose ‘Permalinks’ and choose the option for Post name and hit Save Changes.
Internal and External Links
When another site links to yours it’s an indicator that your site has value to others. Search engine algorithms try to read the usefulness of your site, so every good link is a vote of confidence. External inbound links carry more weight than internal links from within your site. However, both are important.
A clearly defined hierarchy from main to secondary to tertiary pages helps the search engine crawlers to better navigate and index all your pages. When they can do that, they rank your site better.
But bear in mind that external links to your sites must be credible; if the American Medical Association has a link to your site, it means a lot more than a posted link from a blog nobody reads.
Setting Up a Google+ Page for Your Business
A social media presence is important in today’s digital marketing. If you’re on Facebook and Twitter, well done. But don’t forget Google+. Having a social media page with Google is not so different, but remember, this is Google we’re talking about.
Google+ pages have a slightly more positive effect on your SEO than other social media. Create a business page, list it in the right category, and fill out the profile details. Be sure to list your contact info and descriptions of your products and services. Be sure to link to your Google+ page from your site, and include a link to it in your other marketing.
Stealing Backlinks From Competitors
Obviously, the sites that rank at or near the top out of thousands of URLs must be doing something right. Part of their success is undoubtedly the quality of their backlinks.
Make a list of top competitor sites that come up under your chosen keywords. Find an online tool that will analyze links, such as Ahrefs. Make lists of all the inbound links to these sites. Verify each and eliminate those that don’t work or come from low-quality sources. Rank the rest in order of least to greatest value.
Now focus on that first site and find out what it takes to get them to link to your URL. Keep going down the list, and you’ll find it gets easier as your site gets better.
Using Long Tail Keywords
Long tail keywords are search phrases of usually four words or more. Long tail keywords are more suited to specific searches, and can provide specific answers to what they’re looking for.
For instance, “Amex credit card best rate” is more specific than “credit card”. Before you can integrate them with your content, you have to know which ones get used. Use a keyword tool such as Wordtracker you can easily find profitable long-tail keywords along with important details like search volume, competition etc.
Find the ones that have enough volume to matter and that relate to your site. Make a list of them and find a way to work them into your content.
Optimize for Mobile Devices
Millions of people all over the world are spending more time surfing the Internet from their smart phones and tablets, yet there are still sites that haven’t adjusted for mobile devices. Mobile browsers can easy be overwhelmed and slowed by sites that aren’t mobile responsive.
Responsive sites use CSS3 to address smaller screen layouts, and HTML5 for animation, not Flash or popups. The idea is faster pages and easier scrolling. Avoid buttons that are too big or too small. An alternative is to have separate pages optimized for mobile access and a site that can detect user devices and redirect as needed.
One aspect of SEO that’s often overlooked is using keywords in images.
One method is using keywords in the image file name, such as “1972_GTO_muscle_car.jpg” instead of just “hotrod1.jpg”.
The other way is to use a descriptive ALT attribute (img src=”1972_GTO.jpg” alt=”Classic_1972 GTO”). The ALT phrase is what the user sees if the image won’t display.
A third alternative is the TITLE attribute: title=”1972 GTO”. TITLE is the text that appears when visitors hover their mouse over the image.
Which works best? There still seems to be some debate. The correct solution, of course, is to use all three.
The most popular content management system is WordPress, in part because it’s free and in part because it’s an open source software platform with any number of developers contributing to it. The result is a wide assortment of plugins to add functionality. Here are a few:
* WordPress SEO by Yoast http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wordpress-seo/
* Broken Link Checker – detects links that don’t work (https://wordpress.org/plugins/broken-link-checker/)
* Simple URLs – keep track of external links (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/simple-urls/)
* NextGen Gallery – manage image galleries (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/nextgen-gallery/)
* W3 Total Cache – speed up load times (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/w3-total-cache/)
To complicate things further, SEO is always changing as search engines adjust their algorithms and ranking criteria. It’s a discipline that requires patience and diligence.
Please share your reactions to our SEO tips, and let us know how you improve your SERP ranking.