Emma-Julie Fox writes for Pitstop Media Inc, a Vancouver company that provides SEO services to businesses across North America. If you would like to invite the author to write on your blog too please contact www.pitstopmedia.com
In an age where search engine algorithms are getting extremely aggressive in ranking websites, it’s getting harder to optimize your website for higher visibility. However, SEO goes beyond just the use of keywords – there’s so much more you can do to ensure that your site remains among the top few results for your targeted keywords. The following is a list of 5 simple strategies that can help you boost your SERPs:
It takes more than one role to do SEO. Image Source
1. Strategic Keyword Selection
This is perhaps the most crucial aspect of SEO. Unless you choose the keywords that have good ranking and conversion potential, you’ll be fighting an uphill battle for SERPs. The following is a list of three best practices for Keyword selection:
- Select key phrases instead of keywords. When you enter a search query, you rarely ever enter a single word, right? Why do you think your target market would? When selecting keywords shortlist phrases that best describe your services, then research the same to identify phrases with the best search volumes.
- Select multiple related keyword variations. To give you an example, let’s say your keyword is ‘baby food’, now good variations can be, ‘healthy baby food’, ‘nutritious baby food’, ‘baby food reviews’, ‘baby food comparison’, etc.
- Go Local: As per Google statistics, at least 1 in 7 searches are mobile, and 1 in 3 mobile searches are local! This means there’s huge potential in targeting keywords that include your city, or neighborhood. Optimizing your site for local keywords will also help you rank better in Google Places.
2. Remove duplicate titles and description meta tags
Google doesn’t like duplicate tags, and if you have any, Webmaster tools will mention them as errors.
So, not only should you make sure that your title tags and descriptions are unique, it’s also a good idea to add relevant keywords in a manner that they blend in seamlessly with the text. The idea is to write readable tags and descriptions for humans, while ensuring you please search engines as well.
For example, if your website offers accounting tools for small businesses and your targeted keywords are ‘accounting tools’, ‘accounting solutions’ and ‘accounting software’, a good description could be:
‘Accounting tools and software designed for the special needs of small businesses! Get all your accounting solutions at <enter your company name>!”
You must also ensure that your description doesn’t exceed the 160-character limit—that’s all that Google shows in the description below search results.
3. Do SEO for images
This is a commonly missed, yet important aspect of SEO. You can optimize the images within your website to improve your search engine rankings, and it doesn’t take too much effort. Ensure that you use keywords in the images’ description text.
You can also edit the images’ filenames to increase their relevance to your website. Another simple technique is to ensure that the file size of the images isn’t too large so that your pages load faster —slow loading pages tend to have a higher bounce rate.
Adding appropriate descriptions to your pictures will also help you get better results when people share your images on Pinterest.
4. Maintain friendly SEO URLs
This means your URL should at the very least meet the following criteria:
1) Easy to read and understand, too many symbols, characters and numbers in your URL structure could affect your CTR (click through rate) adversely.
2) Name your pages appropriately, instead of using product numbers and/or words strung together without hyphenation. For instance, ‘www.example.com/electric-guitar’ is a better url than ‘www.example.com/product82’ or ‘www.example.com/electricguitar’
Inclusion of unimportant words within the text of the URL, which result in making it unnecessarily lengthy, is something you should avoid. Omit words like “and” and “the” and use “-“ in its place to shorten the URL. Visitors too find long URLs hard to remember.
5. Interlink pages
Interlinking your internal pages is not only a good SEO strategy, but also helps in improving user engagement. To gain maximum SEO benefit from your interlinked pages make sure you place a link in the top fold of the page (the part of the page you see without scrolling down). Also, since blogs tend to get indexed faster, you can improve the indexing rate of your other pages, by placing relevant links to the same in your post.
A word of advice here, don’t go overboard with this, or you’ll end up making your post look spammy. One or two internal links per post should be good enough.