If you’ve begun thinking it’s time to get serious with your inbound marketing efforts, you know search engine optimization (SEO) is a critical component in improving your search rankings and getting found online. But where should you start making a difference? The following list of SEO tips (with credit to Jen Keller & HubSpot) is bound to help increase qualified traffic and leads.
1. Identify Important Keywords & Long Tail Keywords – The best place to start with boosting your SEO is identifying the best keywords and long tail keywords that will help get you found. Start with looking at your core products and services and think of the most logical keywords your audience would use to search for these products and services. From these keywords you can determine your long tail keywords to improve your search rankings.
For example, if your company sold shoes, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll rank highly under “shoes” as a stand-alone keyword because of its high search volume. A long tail keyword such as “off-road running shoes” has a lower search volume so you’re competing with fewer sources and are more likely to rank in a position where you’ll be found.
If you’ve struggled determining your most important keywords there are free keyword research tools available such as wordtracker.com, keyworddiscovery.com and adwords.google.com.
2. Optimize Your Content – Once you’ve identified select keywords, use them on the appropriate pages throughout your website in title tags, meta description tags, page content and image alt tags. Also keep in mind that search engine spiders love textual content and are somewhat blind to flash-based graphics and images, so sufficient page copy is a must. A good rule of thumb is to aim for at least 250 words per page and be sure to add/update content frequently.
3. Improve Your Site’s Architecture – A common SEO mistake is a poorly architected website. Jumbled content not only confuses users but also search engine spiders. Organize your content by themes in separate silos with the end user in mind and use the Wikipedia method of internal linking structure to foreshadow content on the next page or section of your site.
4. Get Linked – One of the most overlooked aspects of SEO is having external links pointing to your website. This helps your site build authority by telling spiders you have relevant content. Work on developing strategies to build links over time and be sure to return the favor by linking other sites to yours to increase effectiveness.
5. Get Blog Happy – It’s no secret that having a blog improves your SEO, especially when it’s built directly into your site. A well-maintained blog with frequent posts supplies constant fresh content that leads to repeat site visits from users and search engine spiders. Another benefit is the fact that blogs are a magnet for inbound links, which to the point above indicates you have relevant content.