Search engine optimization or SEO isn’t rocket science. Although for most of us, it may as well be. The algorithms used by search engines to rank pages are extremely complicated, and they’re constantly evolving to make sure the top results of a search are as relevant to the searcher as they can possibly be.
The good news about SEO is that you don’t have to fully understand it in order to optimize your website or blog. After all, you have other things to be doing. Delving into the complex world of SEO is going down a deep rabbit hole that can scramble your brain and leave you even more perplexed than before.
These five simple search engine optimization tips are just a handful of the many ways you can improve your SEO without an intimate understanding of search engines and their algorithms.
1: Use long-tail keywords, and use them properly.
Long-tail keywords are three- to four-word phrases that a visitor will likely type into the search engine to find exactly what they’re looking for. Long-tail keywords are more specific than single keywords. This SEO technique will help your blog’s ranking. If you sell lighting, for example, your website is unlikely to rank for the keyword “lighting” due to high competition for that word. But if you use a long-tail keyword like “retro teardrop pendant lamps,” your site is more likely to rank when someone types that phrase into the search engine.
While long-tail keywords generally garner less search traffic overall, the traffic they do bring in is usually very focused. The visitor that finds your site using a long-tail keyword like “retro teardrop pendant lamps” is probably ready to buy.
Incorporate the keyword phrase naturally in your post. Include it in the title, within the first 65 characters of the post, in a heading, and in the body. But don’t overdo it, or you’ll get penalized for keyword stuffing. Applying SEO techniques correctly is a must or your time spent writing articles will be wasted.
2: Offer useful, original, and readable content.
Google’s mission is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” The more helpful your content is to your audience, the higher it will rank. Once you’ve chosen a keyword or keyword phrase for your post, write an article surrounding the keyword that contains a wealth of information your audience will find genuinely useful. Make sure your content is 100% original rather than a re-post or a re-write of an article that’s already out there.
To make your post highly readable, pay attention to formatting. Use headers to break up the content and allow readers to quickly find the information they’re looking for. Keep paragraphs short–three to five sentences–and use organizational tools like bullet points when appropriate.
3: Make it mobile-friendly.
According to Google, more people use the search engine on their mobile device than on their desktop computer, and Google will always display the sites that are mobile-friendly first. If your blog isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re probably missing out on a whole lot of traffic. Website development with responsive design is a must for all websites in 2017.
Make it a priority to ensure that your blog’s mobile experience is stellar. You can start by using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test (https://search.google.com/search-console/mobile-friendly), which tells you whether your page is easy to use on a mobile device and then offers resources for improving mobile usability.
4: Write longer posts.
In general, longer blog posts will rank better than shorter posts. A post under 300 words is unlikely to rank well, while posts with 1,000 or more words will improve your ranking. This is largely because longer texts contain more clues for Google to determine what your post is about, and they naturally contain more keywords and variations of keywords, increasing your chances of ranking for your keyword as well as its natural variants. In addition, longer posts offer more opportunities for internal linking, which also improves your SEO.
Strive for posts of at least 500 words. Longer posts can be more difficult to organize, but including a number of posts that are 1,000 words or longer can improve your ranking. Just make sure your longer posts are well-structured, easy-to-read, and interesting enough to keep readers engaged. Use an active voice, short paragraphs, and plenty of headers in longer articles to ensure optimum readability and engagement.
5: Link internally.
An internal link connects one page on your site to another. Internal links help Google index your pages more efficiently, and they keep readers on your site longer by offering more reading options. They also help improve ranking for certain keywords.
Say your current post is about common air conditioning problems, and in your archive, you have post that explains how a dirty air filter compromises your system. In the “common problems” article, you’ll likely mention a dirty air filter, and when you do, you can link to the in-depth post about dirty filters. When you create the link, use relevant anchor text–in this case, use “dirty air filter”–to send a signal to Google that the “common problems” article is also relevant to people who might type in the search phrase “dirty air filter.”
Do you need help with your search engine optimization? Contact Boston Media Agency for a free estimate.