SEO, or search engine optimization, is the method by which you improve or “optimize” your website. The content on your website as well as the content you create off of your website for your ideal audience is also important for SEO purposes.
To do SEO well, you need to know your audience, understand your competition, be able to describe the problems you solve for your ideal target audience member and know your value all the while using the terms (keywords) that your audience is likely to use to find your information.
There are two types of SEO. On-Page SEO and off-page SEO.
On-Page Search Engine Optimization
- On Page SEO includes anything you do on your page to improve the ability of search engines (and your audience who is using a search engine) to find you. All the following is included in on page SEO.
- Title Tags – This is essentially the title of your page. It could be a blog post, a sales page or any page on your website. The title should use the H1 tag to signify to the search engines that this is an important part of what this content is about.
- Headings & Subheadings – Likewise, headings and subheadings should also use H1, H2, H3 and so forth headers because this is what shows the search engines what is important. Plus, since it defines the way the heading or subheading looks to the user it helps break up the white space and text for easier reading.
- URLs – When you are developing titles for any page or blog post on your site you want to ensure that they are made up of keywords that your audience will relate to but also that the search engine will recognize. For example, if you create a new post entitled: On Page SEO: Tips & Tricks to Getting It Right. The URL should be yoursite.com/on-page-seo-tips but not the entire title. You want your page URLs to look good, have keywords, and be short.
- Optimized Images – When you create an image for your website the trick for SEO is to name the image something with the keyword in it. So, if you put a picture of a word cloud for your blog post about SEO you’d want to name the image SEO-keyword-cloud.png or something relevant to your article as it helps the search engines as they combine all the information from your page know that the info relates.
- Body Text – The rule of thumb is that the keyword you want to rank for should appear within the first 100 words in the body text in the first paragraph.
- Responsive Design – If you don’t have a website or page that works on any device you’re missing out on customers. Not only that, all the search engines penalize sites that aren’t responsive.
- Outbound Links – A site with good outbound links to credible sources for the information you are sharing with your audience shows that you’re more than likely a good site with good information. You don’t want to link out too much but linking to valuable sources helps your ranking.
- Internal Linking – A good internal linking policy for your website can increase how much of your site the search engines crawl. Plus, it can help your readers stay on your site longer. This is also a good sign to search engines that your content is relevant and high quality.
- Site Speed – Your site needs to load very fast, almost instantly. You know that you don’t wait when a site won’t load even if it says “loading please wait.” Try to optimize your site so that it loads very fast so that not only will the search engines rank it higher, your readers will enjoy it more.
- Keyword Synonyms – You must be careful not to overstuff each page with one keyword. So, for example, if you want a post to rank for a word that should be in the title, headers, body text and so forth. But, it should encompass no more than two percent density. That’s where keyword synonyms come in handy. Use those within the content too.
- Social Sharing – Include social sharing icons, that way people can share anything that they love easily. Plus, they can find you on social media and follow, friend, and like you. Speaking of social, open comments on your blog posts to attract user-generated content that can also help with your ranking.
- Long Form Content – You want to include both short and long form content on your website. Some people may call it epic content, authoritative content, or long form content. Basically, this is content that is very in-depth. It may have started with short blog posts in a series but can be turned into very long content that explains an important aspect of your niche to your audience.
Off-Page SEO includes link building and social media marketing. In fact, even TV ads, Radio Ads, Google Ads, Facebook Ads and so forth can also be considered off-page SEO. Essentially any traffic generating activities that you do not do on your website or blog is considered off-page SEO since the idea is to show the search engines that your site is authoritative with good content and information for your audience.
Doing SEO right helps you get more traffic. Sometimes the traffic comes from pulling them into your site with the right keywords that your audience will use search engines to find, and sometimes it means creating more links to your site via guest posting, directory listings, and social media activities.
Using good search engine practices will help you get more traffic because you’ll design a site perfect for your audience that sticks to your niche. Using SEO practices is one of the best evergreen sources of traffic that you’ll ever find and should not be ignored. As we go through the next 29 days you’re going to learn more about all of this in more depth.