You’re new to the world of search engine optimization (SEO) and aren’t quite sure how to approach the topic. That’s understandable as there are so many terms, procedures and expectations that go with this field. To keep things simple, we’ve assembled a brief guide for the newbie, something anyone can use to enhance their website.
1. Your website, your topic. One of the challenges of a a website is keeping it focused on those things that really matter. Namely, the topic at hand. Here, you will keep your website focused solely on your business area and nothing else. To deviate can cause confusion for your readers as well as making it more difficult for your website to be indexed by the search engines for the topic nearest and dearest to you.
2. Understand your permalink structure. Whether your site uses a standard html format or a blog for the content management system, you want a uniform permalink structure in place. Permalinks are your URLs, the web addresses that point to your website. Those links should be keyword rich, laden with the words that are composed of your title. Don’t use numbers to identify pages, but do use keywords.
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3. Load times are critical. You may be surprised to learn that your website is slow to load. A slow loading website can frustrate your followers and earn penalties from the search engines. Endeavor to remove any content that can slow it down, typically a poorly loading video, a music player or a plug-in. Yes, your SEO can be affected by your website’s load times.
4. Source your material wisely, link out with care. Most likely you will reference other works when you are online. This is a natural way to attribute your work and can also be a good way to build recognition for your own site. Never attribute anything to a less than stellar website. Moreover, when you do link out, those sites should provide value to your readers. If not, look for a better source.
5. Provide helpful content and do it often. How often should you update your website? Once or twice per week? Daily? Three times per day? There isn’t a magic number here, but you should provide fresh information at least two to three times per week. It isn’t so much the frequency, but the quality of that information that matters the most. Articles should be at least 500 words long, contain one or more photographs, be well written and source the proper websites. Evergreen content is ideal, but use time sensitive information as needed.
6. Build relationships with care. SEO is all about building relationships. Find other websites that are like your own and contact the webmasters. You might agree to naturally link to each other through various articles you both will write. Do that and you’ll build links that can benefit both businesses. You might agree to interview that person on your site. Likewise, that person may interview you. If you write excellent content, people will naturally want to link to your site.
7. Write for people, not for the search engines. Lots of folk are worried about how the search engines will perceive their websites. Unfortunately, they begin to write their material with the search engines in mind, forgetting that there are human beings that actually read their articles. Write to your audience and you will build a following. Speak to people naturally, in the same voice you would express to them in person.
Quite evidently, there are some things about SEO you won’t understand or have the time to implement. There are SEO companies that can help close those gaps, coming along side of you to advance your business. Consider hiring a professional, but only after you check references, scrutinize the contract and develop a game plan that is right for you.