12 Most Effective Ways to Accelerate Your SEO
If you want your website to receive the most visitors possible, you need to be seen, which means getting involved in what many see as a dark art. SEO. Fortunately, it’s not actually that difficult and with some time, effort and focus you can ensure that your website doesn’t end up lost somewhere on page 132.
These 12 tips will help you get the most out of your site.
1. Do keyword research
Find out what keywords your target audience is searching for. If you’re selling pet products, don’t just focus on the obvious keywords like ‘dog collars’ — think outside the box. Phrases like ‘designer dog collars,’ ‘leather dog collars,’ and ‘waterproof dog collars’ are likely to be well searched for and also have less competition. You’ll also find that more specific phrases (fondly known as ‘long tail keywords’) will find customers who are further through the buying process.
2. Don’t ignore your research
Once you figure out the top keywords searched by your target audience, integrate them into your content. As a general rule, you’ll only want to target one or two terms per page, and also remember to write for users, not search engines (this is code for “don’t go overboard with the keywords!”). Using your chosen phrase once per 150-200 words is probably about right.
3. Use Ubersuggest.org
Have you ever noticed that when you start typing a search term into Google it auto-fills for you, guessing what you’re looking for? You can get a list of these using Ubersuggest.org. By using this tool, you can learn what information people are looking for and know what questions to answer in your content. If you have a site about hamsters, try entering ‘how do hamsters’ and see what questions appear… then write a blog post about that topic.
4. Write great META descriptions
Simply showing up in the search results may not be enough to effectively get your content out there. The META description is the text snippet that appears below your site’s listing on the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) so, in reality, is like an advert. Describing your page in 150 characters or less and making it sound more exciting than the other sites around you isn’t an easy task but can have huge benefits.
5. Use images and video
Once you get users to go to your page, you’ve got to convince them to stay. Before they even begin reading your content, they’re going to see the page as a whole; if it isn’t attractive and appealing, chances are they will go somewhere else. Use well-placed images and video to appeal to the inherent laziness that we have — if something looks great, chances are we’ll stick around.
6. Implement a video sitemap
Videos are quickly becoming one of the top traffic generators. By implementing a video sitemap, search engines will be able to easily locate your videos, thereby directing users to your page. This is a great way to rank for high value keywords as you often find that videos are bumped to page one, giving you extra visibility and great traffic.
7. Tone down the ads
While your goal may be to earn money by advertising on your page, you might be driving people away and risking being smacked down by Google’s ‘Panda’ algorithm. Also, if you overload your page with ads, your content will seem diluted; try limiting your ad space and using only related advertisements for your page.
8. Use niche directories
While some people argue that niche directories are no match for search engine results, covering all the bases isn’t a bad idea. A niche directory is a well-organized page that is dedicated to one particular subject. By submitting your page to these directories, you can snag the traffic from these sites and, at the same time, get a link back to yours (in the search world a link is like a vote — the more good ones you have, the higher up the rankings you’re likely to go).
9. Comment on other blogs
You always want to maintain a positive and active web presence and by commenting on related blogs, you are putting yourself out there to grab the attention of both the site owner and anyone else who reads your comment. Remember though, this isn’t about advertising yourself — it’s about adding value to that site and showing that you’re a trustworthy contributor… so don’t spam!
10. Be a guest blogger
By guest blogging, you agree to write a blog post for another website, in exchange for them including a link to your blog along with the article. Sites like MyBlogGuest and Blogger Linkup can connect you with websites in need of guest bloggers, or just do a Google search — Your Industry +”write for us” is a good phrase to get you started.
11. Use analytics and webmaster tools
By using Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics to find out how many times your content is searched, how many users visit on your site (and which pages they interact with), the average ranking of your site on the SERPs, and tons of other useful information. If you’re not doing this then you’re effectively closing your eyes, throwing a load of content at your site and hoping for the best. Learning what your users like (and don’t like) is key to the success of any website.
12. Do something different
If you really want to grab your audience’s attention, do something different. Try creating an infographic, a piece of kinetic typography or an instructographic to convey information. They’re visually pleasing, easily understood, are frequently shared on social media and likely to pick up links. Also, don’t forget the power of amazing design.
The competition on the web may seem insurmountable. No matter what kind of content you’re featuring, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of other sites competing for your audience. By implementing effective SEO strategies and giving your audience what they came for, you can quickly become the master of your domain.
Featured image courtesy of puuikibeach via Creative Commons.