Search engine optimization, or SEO for short, is the art of tweaking your website to improve your odds of ranking well in the search engine results. The better your ranking, the more visits your website will receive from interested prospects – giving you more opportunities to ring up a sale.
The problem is that the search engines (Google in particular) will penalize your site’s rankings unless your SEO is done in a manner that ensures that the results returned for a given search will provide the end user with a high-quality experience. Here’s a selection of some of the most effective SEO tips that will help improve your rankings and keep you out of the Google “penalty box.”
1. Each page of your website should be focused on one main keyword only. If you group very similar keywords into “topics” and sprinkle a few throughout your page content, you’ll be able to rank for multiple keywords without having to create a separate page or article for each keyword.
2. If the primary keywords for your niche appear to be dominated by your competitors, you can level the playing field by targeting less competitive “long tail” keywords. These are more specific, longer keyword phrases that usually have less search volume than broad keywords but are easier to rank for. For example, if “Dallas plumber” is being targeted by every plumber in town, go after long tail terms such as “Dallas24hourplumbingservice.”
3. Backlinks are simply links to your website from third-party high authority sites related to your page content. They lend authority to your site in the eyes of Google and remain one of the single most effective means of boosting your ranking. Just take care that your backlinking efforts appear naturally occurring – drip feeding only a few backlinks at a time – and are coming from high-quality sites with genuine authority in your niche.
4. Write a unique and descriptive title tag for each of your web pages, and include your primary keyword in the title once. Keep your title tags under 55 characters.
5. Meta descriptions are the short blurbs that describe your listing in the search results. You’ll attract more visitors by “selling” the benefits of clicking on your article or web page with descriptive copy that highlights the value of your content. Be sure to include your primary keyword in the description, and keep your text under 155 characters.