January 23, 2015
Are you struggling to bring more visitors to your website? Well, you’re not alone. In fact, it seems everyone is trying to find the magic solution to boost their organic traffic and make their site appear on the first page of Google’s search results. Search engine optimization is no longer a basic set of rules, but rather requires making your entire website a well-oiled machine. By following a few best practices, you can improve your SEO efforts and take steps toward a higher ranking. There are many tips and tricks to enhance your websites SEO performance.
Content - Remember you are creating content for humans, not search engines. It’s important to include keywords on your pages, however your content should most importantly be informative and meaningful.
NOTE: Search engines love fresh and relevant content. Often times, website content remains the same, which is why it’s important for websites to include a blog. Your blog should be filled with new information weekly. By blogging you will build relationships with your visitors, position yourself as a thought leader, and provide new content for Google to index.
Page title - According to Hubspot, your page title should be under 70 characters and should contain no more than 3 long tail keywords. Make sure your page title is unique and descriptive of the content that follows.
Heading tags - Your page should have 1-2 H1 heading tags that include keywords describing the content on the page. Be sure to stay clear of keyword-stuffing - make sure while including keywords you are remaining conversational. Below the H1 heading tag, be sure to include a few H2 heading tags as a way to break up the content. Google will recognize these heading tags as indicators of what the page contains.
Meta description - In case you haven’t heard of the term, a meta-description is the bit of information below the link of a search result. It’s purpose is to describe the content of your website to the user. It should be no longer than 150 characters and incorporate at least two of the keywords being used in the page’s title. The meta description is a chance for you to convey why someone should click-through and visit your website.
URL - Begin by putting the most important keywords (often the page title) at the beginning of the URL. Always use hyphens to separate words - Google considers hyphens to be word separators but have not yet programed their search bots to recognize underscores equally.
EXAMPLE: the URL for this blog post first contains where the page is located, then is followed by the keyword-rich title is separated by hyphens. e.g. www.smartbugmedia.com/blog/8-core-seo-tips-to-increase-organic-traffic-to-your-website
Images - All images used on the page should have keywords including in the file name. Similar to the URL structure, each word should be separated by hyphens. Be sure to also include alt-text, a word or phrase used to describe the image. The alt-text is inserted as an attribute in HTML and is readable by search engines.
Internal links - Create two or three internal links on the page related to other pages. This is your opportunity to direct visitors to other relevant content you have to offer and keep them moving through your website.
Meta keywords - Although meta keywords are no longer part of search engines algorithm, it’s still important to add 3-5 keywords on your page to optimize your content. Smaller search engines may still use them to index your website.
What other core SEO tips would you add to our list? What has been your biggest success for increasing organic traffic? Let us know by tweeting us at @smartbugmedia.
About the author
Lexie Carbone was formerly an Associate Consultant at SmartBug Media. Read more articles by Lexie Carbone.