Search engine optimization maintains its status as one of the most important internet marketing technique. Given that more than 80% of internet users use search engines, and that 75% of them never look further than the first page of results, it’s not difficult to see why businesses and organizations are so keen on achieving higher search engine rankings for their pages. True, complete SEO is an involved process. However, there are a few SEO basics that every webmaster should know about and implement, even in the earliest stages of site construction. Here are the seven SEO techniques we think you shouldn’t go without.
- Title Tag Optimization: Each page on your website should have its own unique title tag. One of the most important SEO techniques involved knowing how to really make the most of those tags. They should:
- Not exceed 70 characters
- Include your company’s name and related keywords
- Encourage search engine users to click through
- Meta Descriptions: Like title tag optimization, there’s a certain art to writing good meta descriptions. Keep your page summaries between 150 and 160 characters long, and don’t forget to use your page’s target keyword phrase.
- Keyword-Rich Headings: The body text on each of your pages is also important. Use heading tags containing target keyword phrases in your content to improve search engine rankings and to help readers move more easily through your content.
- ALT Tags on Images: If your page uses images, don’t leave them without ALT tags. Not only are they helpful for visually impaired visitors using text-to-speech devices, but they provide important information to search engines. Use them to clearly, accurately describe your site images, using keyword phrases naturally.
- Sitemaps: Search engines have indexing programs called “spiders” that analyze websites and add their content to search engine indexes. By creating a sitemap, a page that shows the layout of your site in its entirely, you make it easier for these spider programs to find information on your site and navigate it efficiently.
- Internal Links: Within your site, link to your own relevant content when natural. For example, don’t just include a link to a contact page on your navigation bar. Also link to that page from your about page and your FAQ page.
- Regular Updates: This is one of the most critical SEO techniques, and one of the most often overlooked. Search engines want to provide users with relevant, timely content, and they’re more likely to choose yours if it appears up-to-date. Create a company blog or news section to keep your site fresh.
A basic understanding of simple SEO techniques is essential to any site owner wishing to improve search engine rankings. How can you help your site rank more highly? Helpful research also found here.