Your industry keeps getting more crowded, and search engine algorithms are constantly evolving. So how do you snag a prime spot in the search rankings and stay there?
While there’s no magic formula, optimized content is a big part of the battle. Try these strategies to give your site an SEO boost.
- Don’t worry about keywords. Seriously, don’t worry about them. The conventional wisdom used to be that pinpointing the exact keywords and phrases your audience searches for and peppering them strategically throughout your content would boost your rankings. Then Google introduced the Hummingbird algorithm, and that all went out the window. The search engine can now interpret your content or a user’s search phrase and match it to similar keywords and phrases. That means if someone searches for “Chicago automobiles” and you’re selling “Windy City cars,” you’ll still show up in the results. Instead of focusing on the perfect keywords, write quality content that describes your services accurately and makes people want to stick around.
- Write compelling title tags. Title tags are like the headlines of each page – they appear in the tab on your browser and tell search engines and people what the page is about. To get the biggest SEO boost from your title tags, write unique tags for each page, describe the page’s most important content first, and use no more than 70 characters (including spaces).
- Don’t forget meta descriptions. Meta descriptions are the text that appears under the site link in the search results, and they play a big role in whether a searcher decides to click on your link. If you don’t include meta descriptions on your site, the search engine will pull one for you from the page content, and it may not be the content you want to highlight. Use action-oriented language in your meta descriptions and keep them to 155 to 165 characters – any longer than that and they may get cut off in the search results.
- Make your content linkable. Inbound links are one of the key factors search engines consider when determining which sites land on the first page. Along with writing quality content that people want to link to, make sure the page itself is actually linkable. If you’re posting on a password-protected site or sharing a nonlinkable slide show, you’re shooting yourself in the foot.
- Start (and maintain) a blog. Search engines love fresh content. One component of Google’s algorithm, Query Deserves Freshness, considers which searches are getting more traffic than usual and rewards sites that wrote about the subject most recently. Frequent posting also means frequent indexing by search engines (and more chances to climb the rankings). Keep your finger on your industry’s pulse and answer your customers’ burning questions regularly on your blog. Just make sure your content is worthwhile – search engines will penalize you for stuffing your site with crummy posts.
Which SEO strategies has your business used successfully? Let us know in the comments below!