When it comes to getting your site ranked highly in Google, it’s a lot more than just writing great content or doing things like using social media marketing. In fact, there are several very important SEO best practices you should be aware of before starting out with your website optimization strategy.
We’ve already covered some of them in our articles about how to get started with blogging, so we won’t go over those again here. Instead, today we’re going to focus on what you can do once you’ve got your website off the ground. Here are six things you can do now to make sure your website is optimized as much as possible.
1. Write for Humans First, Search Engines Second
Writing for human readers is obviously at the top of your priority list when it comes to optimizing your site for search engines. But you need to remember not only that people will find your content by searching for it, but also they’ll be finding it because they’re looking for something specific. So if you’re trying to rank high for “best hotels in Vegas” or something along those lines, you need to write specifically for your customers or potential customers. Make sure your descriptions of products or services are clear, concise, and helpful. Avoid long-winded paragraphs and lengthy lists of features. You want to make it easy for people to understand the benefits of your product or service, and that means keeping your copy short and sweet.
2. Use Targeted Keywords
If you want to rank well for certain types of search terms, you have to make sure your pages are properly optimized around those keywords. For example, if you own an auto repair shop and you want your site to rank really well for searches related to car maintenance, then make sure you include plenty of information about cars and car parts in your content. If you don’t have any technical knowledge about cars, you might consider hiring someone who does to help you out.
3. Focus on User Experience (UX)
This one may sound obvious, but it’s too often overlooked. Think about how you would feel if you were visiting your favorite restaurant and had to navigate through the menu online to figure out what you wanted. There are dozens of options for every dish, and each one has a different price point and description. It takes a while for you to sort through all the choices to decide which ones you’d like to order. That’s pretty frustrating, isn’t it? Your users aren’t likely to feel much better about having to wade through search engine results pages that take up half their screen real estate.
4. Focus on Building Relevant Links
The most effective way to improve your rankings in search engines is to build backlinks from other websites to yours. However, this process is quite time consuming and requires a significant amount of work. To get people to link to you, you need to provide valuable content that people will want to share. The key is to think about the kind of content you want to create and then look for ways to get it listed on other sites.
5. Format Content for Featured Snippets
Google uses featured snippets to display answers to questions in its search results. When someone is looking for a particular answer to a question, Google displays these snippets as part of the organic search results. These snippets are usually very brief, making it easier for searchers to find what they’re looking for. And since these snippets are displayed prominently above the rest of the organic results, you want to make sure your site provides the best answer to the query.
6. Remove Anything That Slows Down Your Site
And if you want to make sure your website gets picked up by Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and others, you should also use Google Webmaster Tools to check the crawl rate for your website. If it’s too low, you should start thinking about adding additional pages or optimizing content in ways that will increase traffic to your site.
There’s a lot more to optimizing your website than simply filling it with good content. But following these tips will ensure that search engines see your site as both helpful and authoritative.
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