There are many reasons to create a website. Maybe you built an amazing product that you’re ready to sell online. Maybe you’ve written your magnum opus, a personal essay that will certainly win the Pulitzer once it’s uploaded to the internet. Maybe you just want to share your hobbies with the world. Unfortunately, none of that matters if no one visits your website.
If you want people to discover your website, search engine optimization (SEO) is a must. SEO is a blanket term for the processes that webmasters use to boost their sites’ chances of ranking well in search engines, such as Bing and Google. Whether your site is running on a shared, VPS, or dedicated server, you should leverage SEO so that your site (hopefully) appears on the first results page after someone keys a term into a search engine. The following SEO tips won’t guarantee superb results placement, but they’re essential for helping search engines—and people, by extension—find your site.
Build a Well-Designed Website
If your site is new, large, or contains many multimedia files, consider creating a sitemap. That’s a file that provides search engines with the information they need to swiftly crawl and index site pages, video, and audio. Google has a useful sitemap generator. Bing does, too. In fact, your website must contain a sitemap in order to appear in Google News.
In addition, your website should encourage visitors to explore and share your content. Selling products? Your homepage should spotlight at least a few optimized product images. Running a blog? Link to your latest posts and marquee essays. These actions appeal not only to visitors but search engines, too. It shows them what you consider important.
On the backend, your website’s title field should distil the entire site down to its name and relevant keywords, as that’s what appears in search results. So, carefully choose your site’s name and keywords to attract people and spiders. We’ll show you how to do that in just a bit.
Lastly, don’t underestimate the value of an attractive website. If your site looks like an old GeoCities page, people will leave, never return, and search for a more professional-looking competitor. That’s lost visitors, valuable external links, social media buzz, and revenue. Let us build you a beautiful website.
Pick Relevant Keywords
A focused topic makes it simple to pick your site’s keywords. What are keywords? They’re the main words that lead people to your site. To properly use keywords, you take your website’s various elements—articles, images, videos, podcasts—and summarize them in SEO-friendly terms. You’ll also want keywords in your site’s URL, header tags, meta descriptions, and alt attributes. Simply access your website’s backend and place the terms in the keyword fields (if you’re using a website builder) or edit code (if you prefer entering a web hosting service’s backend and tinkering with HTML).
You should optimize keywords to match people’s searches. If your website sells hand-knitted scarves, then “scarf” and “knitting” should be your keywords. As you probably guessed, those same keywords will pull up other sites when someone performs a search. As a result, you should back up standard keywords with long-tail keywords, which are more specific searches.
Using our earlier example, a relevant, long-tail keyword would be “best hand-knitted Pokemon scarves.” That’s a particularly specific search that you can leverage to make your site stand out from the pack. Google has a tool, Keyword Planner, that helps you find potent keywords. Don’t get too obscure, though; you don’t want to use keywords that few people key into search engines.
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Create Quality Content on a Consistent Basis
Content quality factors into SEO, too. For example, a blog about car engines needs to answer questions or illuminate niche topics. Rather than rambling on about engines, it’s best to go in-depth with information-packed articles, such as “The 5 Fundamentals of Transmission Repair” or “Things You Might Not Know About Carburetor Cleaning.”
Search engines prioritize websites with fresh, changing content. You don’t want to copy and paste content from another site. In fact, search engines will penalize your site for that. Focus on high-quality, original material. Boost Your Google My Business Ranking with Local SEO Strategy.
In addition, you need to update your website consistently, whether that’s in the form of new articles, art, or products. Visitors want a reason to return to your site or share your content to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other social media networks. Search engine spiders are eager to check out fresh content, too. Skyrocket your Local SEO Ranking for Google My Business Maps.
Establishing off-site links is necessary for building valuable authority. Search engines look for links to your site from other trusted sites, which include those aforementioned social media networks or other highly trafficked websites. If your site offers focused, quality content that results in a link from The New York Times, search engines will see your site as noteworthy and boost its rank.
You can’t make this happen artificially, though. Know your stuff, put that knowledge front and centre, present it clearly, and update your website on a regular basis. Assuming it’s information that people crave, your site will eventually gain SEO traction.
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