The world is changing at an incredible pace, and the way we search, shop and buy online has changed significantly in the last decade. Today, SEO is more important than ever, and following the right SEO practices can be the difference between success and failure for a business. SEO is an acronym which stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the process of increasing the number of visitors to your website by optimizing your content. So, you’ve decided to invest in SEO: Here’s a list of 5 SEO tops to help optimize your ranking and visibility on search engines:
1. Optimize Your Title Tags
Your title tag is your first opportunity to show users what your content is about. Just like news headlines, title tags are the first thing consumers see when looking through search-engine results pages, so it's important to make your first impression count. You've probably seen how a page's title tag appears when you search for a page on Google. It's the blue link in the search results.
When creating pages and posts on your site you are given the option to include a title and description. The title tag is used by search engines to identify the page and help decide what content to associate with your business, whereas the description is used to summarize the content. Although it may seem like a relatively small detail, optimizing your title tags is actually really important for SEO, therefore it's important to ensure your title tags are relevant to readers and search engines by taking into consideration the strict guidelines around length and formatting. Here are a couple of best practices to consider:
Title tags should be no longer than 70 characters as you risk the chance of your headline becoming cut off in the middle if you make it too long.
Strategically Use Relevant Keywords
Perhaps even more important than the length are the keywords you use in your title. Obviously, your title needs to reflect what your content is about however don't over do it. Google easily recognizes keyword stuffing and can change the title of your web page if it feels that different variations of the same keyword are being thrown together.
Write Unique Tags, Avoid Duplicates
While coming up with title tags for the endless pages on your site, it is necessary to help search engines understand that each of your pages are unique and valuable. Duplicate title tags are absolutely not helpful to both users and search engines. Using the same keywords across multiple pages means your pages are ultimately competing with one another for rankings. As a result, both pages may end up ranking lower and your lead generation will suffer.
Consider a Call to Action
Relaying your page content may not be enough to draw in potential interest, so maybe consider including a call-to-action in your titles. Helping prompt someone to act in clicking that link for a specific result is remarkably effective at boosting, not only interest, but overall engagement as well.
“Anchor text CTAs (call to actions) increased conversion rates by 121%."
Take Advantage of Branding Opportunities
If there is enough space, it is beneficial to feature your brand at the end of the title. Including your branding can further convince users that your page is reputable and has solid content that is trustworthy: ultimately helping with click-through-rates.
So what's the best page title format to use? While there are many possibilities, it's best to keep title tags simple, concise and highly relevant to the page it belongs to. Remember if your page content doesn't tell a user why it's valuable in the first few words, you may have lost them.
2. Optimize Your Meta Description
When it comes to SEO, there’s almost always more than one right answer, but a few basics still apply across the board. When optimizing your product pages, it’s important to have short, compelling meta descriptions. One of the most prominent factors in search engine rankings is the content of your meta description tags. The first 100 characters are crucial for your website’s rankings. This is the part that search engines “crawl” and use to determine whether your page can be indexed for its keyword in search results.
3. Use Keywords Throughout Your Site
Search engines look for keywords in order to list your site in their search results. Best practices for SEO include using keywords throughout your site. There are a few places to use them on the home page, in product descriptions, and in category names.
“Using keywords in your blog posts can help you rank higher due to the relevant and valuable content".
4. Create Original Content For Your Site and Blog
Creating original content on your website is a great way to get search engines, like Google and Bing, to return your site in their search results. Search engines like to see original content because it shows that you’re offering is unique. It also shows you’re willing to invest time and effort into creating high quality content that’s original to your site.
5. Make Sure Your Website is Mobile Friendly
Most people now use smartphones to browse the internet. With over 50% of traffic coming from mobile, it is critical to make sure that your website is optimized to be mobile friendly. With a mobile-friendly update introduced in April 2015, search engines are prioritizing mobile friendly websites in search results. It is also important to optimize your site for fast-loading pages. Keep your images’ sizes small and limit the number of embedded media. Studies show that ecommerce customers abandon a site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load a page.
SEO is a must have for any business. It doesn’t matter how many hours, days or weeks you invest in your website; without SEO it won’t be indexed and ranked by search engines. This means that all of the work you do on social media and advertising will go to waste if no one can find your content online. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to get started with optimizing your site and set up an ongoing plan for success. Contact us today so we can help guide you through what needs to happen next. We know this isn't always easy as a small business owner but let our experts take care of the hard stuff so you don't have to worry about it anymore.