Wow, I read a fantastic article on this topic that I want to share about search engine optimization. SEO can sometimes be confusing and intimidating but it does not have to be that way. The key is to find some key strategies and tips among the thousands that are out there. Here’s my attempt to help you simplify SEO.
What is search engine optimization (SEO)?
Search Engine Optimization is simply the use of various techniques to improve a web site’s ranking in search engines in the hopes of attracting more visitors.
There are many Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tips that are not only good for search engines but they are very helpful for people looking for and perusing through your website. Here are nine SEO tips that can help search engines and visitors love your site.
1. Keywords and Research
If you choose the right keywords for your homepage and your internal pages, blog posts, etc., you will be helping visitors find what they are searching for easier. The best way to do this is to think of a keyword that fits your page, then a 2 – 3 word phrase that fits including that keyword. It’s really as simple as that.
- Google Adwords Keywords Tool
- Google Insights (plus ideas on how to use Insights)
- Microsoft Advertising Intelligence plugin for Excel (plus how to use it)
- Popular Searches
- Anchor text
The title tag is important because it is the heading for search engine listings and it is usually the anchor text when people bookmark your homepage, blog post, or single page on your website. The easiest way to create a title for your page is to include the keyword phrase you thought of during keyword research and include it in the up to 70 character description of your page.
3. Meta Descriptions
The meta description is essentially your sales pitch for your page when it comes up in search engines. It is also usually the description that is picked up when people bookmark your site socially. To create a good meta description, create a short sentence or two under 155 characters that includes the main keyword phrase for your page.
Meta Descriptions Resources
4. Header Tags
Header tags break up your page into easily digestible sections to help readability. Think of your page’s content in outline form – the header tags break up each main section of your text. Header tags should include keyword phrases you would like your page to rank for.
Also, note that the text right after your header tag can play a significant role. For example, I had an H3 header in one of my recent posts that said Most Valuable Guides (not the best keywords, but bear with me). In search results, without any other optimization, link building, etc., search engines pick up that phrase as follows:
So needless to say, header tags are valuable and need to be optimized as well as careful consideration given to the first sentence after the header tag as well.
<img src="seo-optimized-image.jpg" alt="A SEO Optimized Image" title="A SEO Optimized Image" />
To get the most out of your keywords and help break up text for visitors with something eye catching, be sure to include an image in your post with keywords in the filename, alt text, and title.
Where does the alt tag come into play outside of SEO? If you were visually impaired and using a screen reader, the alt text would be read to you by your program.
- SEO optimizing images.
- Creative Commons and Flickr image search
- Image copyright laws
- SEO friendly images WordPress plugin
6. Internal Linking
Once people get on your site, you want them to stick around and find more relevant content. Using internal linking will help them learn more about what your site has to offer, especially if you are using the right anchor text as a guide.
Internal Linking Resources
7. Link Building
So what benefit does link building have to offer potential visitors without mentioning any SEO benefits? When I am seeking out link building opportunities, I find that pages already offering their visitors resources for a particular topic. Link building is simply offering another site’s visitors more resources to choose from for more options.
Link Building Resources
8. Social Media
Social networking allows you to really connect with your website’s audience, which helps you learn more about their needs and create content, product, and services that will really appeal to them.
In link building, even though Twitter, for example, only gives you nofollow links, someone who sees your link through Twitter may like it so much that they link to it in their blog or elsewhere on their website, which essentially means that nofollow social media link turned into a dofollow one.
Also, it’s not just the social networking you do – it’s the social sharing you make possible. Installing buttons or widgets to make your site more socially sharable makes it easier for your visitors to tell the world about you!
Social Media Resources
- Top social media blogs
- Social media snapshot series: your hub, content, network, and impact, plus creating a dashboard on a spreadsheet.
- Add This, Add to Any, and WordPress plugins
9. Guest Blogging
Last but not least is the ever popular guest blogging. If you have expertise that others would benefit from, then guest blogging will help you share that knowledge with an even wider audience. If your visitors are also bloggers, you can even help them by guest blogging on their site, sending some of your visitors in their direction. The benefits to doing both of these (the right way) are really exponential in helping establish yourself as an authority in your industry.
Your Thoughts on Search Optimization for Visitors
What ways do you optimize for SEO with your visitors in mind, and what tools and resources would you suggest to help other website and blog owners to do the same?