Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an important part of bringing people to your website. It entails everything from the layout of your website, to choosing typography, to the articles on your website. All of this should be organized to attract potential customers to your website and sell your product or service.There are a numbers of ways to do SEO and a number of ways that you shouldn’t. Coined ‘White Hat’ & ‘Black Hat’ respectively. According to wikipedia White Hat SEO is: An SEO technique that conforms to the search engine’s guidelines and involves no deception.
[Related: What Is SEO?]
And Black Hat SEO is: SEO that tries to better rankings in ways that are disapproved by the the search engines, or involve deception.
If You focus on White Hat techniques your results should last longer and weather future Google Updates. Here are a few things you can do to stay on top of your SEO game.
- Focus on your target market – Every aspect of your website from the colors, to the images, to the words needs to be focused toward your target market. Don’t choose an SEO strategy that disregards your target audience. Get to know your customers and what words they use to search for your product or service. Research is the most important part of any SEO strategy.
- Design user-friendly navigation – How your users get around your website is as important as any other aspect of your site because if users can’t get around, THEY WILL LEAVE! It won’t matter what brought them there. Do not use design that doesn’t take into account how your target audience uses things. Age, technical ability, and other demographics of your target audience matter a great deal when deciding upon a navigational structure.
- Details, details, details – Every page should be an entry point. Think of that from your users’ standpoint. What do they see on each page? In terms of SEO, all details matter. Descriptions should be on every page, one or two focused keywords should be represented on each page, navigation should be clear and functional, and every piece of content should have a call to action.
- Consistent updates – Every website needs keyword-rich, user-centric content to be updated on a continuous basis. Updates of three to five times a week will encourage search engines to index your site often, but it will also encourage your readers to revisit your website.
- Create sitemaps – Sitemaps help search engines index your website, but they also help you to organize your site. Create a sitemap before you build your site, and keep the sitemap in mind, and keep updating it as you build on to your site. Google has a sitemap generator that works wonderful. Creating an XML sitemap will help search engines know what pages are most important on your site.
- Earn relevant backlinks – Linking out to authority sites is still an important aspect of SEO. But today it’s important to obtain links back to your site rather than just randomly linking to them. Write a post about a hot topic and trends or submit some evergreen content as a guest blog post. Don’t write for article marketing sites that allow any type of content; ensure that it aligns with your niche.
- Spotlight keywords – Produce at least 100 keywords for your niche, then have each page on your site focus on two or three keywords. Use keywords within the content, on the anchor text, and in descriptions for your website. Don’t use unnatural keywords that do not make sense within the content of your site, and don’t try to appeal only to search engines. Appeal to your users and the rankings will naturally get better.
- Educate yourself – SEO is always changing. Therefore, it is important to keep yourself on top of the changes. Google Webmaster Tools, as well as other search engines’ webmaster tools and information, is a great place to start. Don’t rely on tricks like keyword stuffing, buying inbound links or buying traffic. These tactics will result in a slow miserable death for your website.
[Related: 7 Steps To Managing A Website Redesign]
Search Engine Optimization is a long-term strategy and it is ever changing. Don’t try to exploit the system. If you produce quality relevant content for your target audience and promote that content you will see results. Be consistent and SEO will become practically second nature.