How to Improve Your SEO
Let’s say you have a website and strongly suspect it of being poorly optimized for search engines. Or you simply don’t see much organic traffic from Google. It means there’s come the time to find out what’s wrong – and improve the SEO aspect of your website promotion.
- Begin with your content quality audit. People like useful and/or interesting articles or great pictures and videos. And robots like what people like. Do you create unique content that really brings value, pleasure or both? Does it provoke real interest, comments, likes and shares? It’s impossible to gain true popularity among humans and robots with dull “shoot the breeze” posts or low-quality photos. Not to mention plagiarism.
- Now examine your keyword list (semantic core). Do you have it at all, or just use random relevant phrases now and then? The second approach is wrong. Collect all the keywords you’ve ever used into one table. Make sure you’ve included not only high-frequency words and phrases (such as “electronics” for those who work in this niche), but also narrower ones, attached to sales and location (such as “buy laptop in dallas”) and long-tail keywords, such as “buy apple macbook pro 13 mid 2012 md101 in dallas”. The latter group has the lowest request frequency, but it’s easier to be promoted in Google and will bring you targeted visitors like no other.
How to find out a keyword’s frequency? Use Google Keyword Planner: it will not only show you how often people make requests for your niche phrases but also prompt additional variants useful for your business. Print the number of requests Google told you for every keyword in that table. Sort the keyword column by frequency (descending order) – and you will clearly see what requests are the most popular for your niche, and what ones are less frequent, but easier to make use of.
- Divide the selected keywords into groups. One group = one website page, and every keyword is to be used only once through the website. Use 5-6 keywords for important pages (Home, Catalogue, Categories, About, etc.) and 1-3 ones for the rest. Be guided by commercial objectives and common sense. Use high-, medium- and low frequency phrases in keyword sets for every page. And keep long-tail ones for individual product pages. Example for a Catalogue category: “buy laptop, buy laptop in dallas, laptops dallas, laptops dallas prices, laptops dallas shops”. In every group arrange phrases according to their importance and frequency: the most important and popular should come first.
- Once the groups are ready (and fixed in a separate table) begin writing meta tags for all pages. This is vital if you want to improve your SEO. You might have an experience of writing Keywords, Titles and Descriptions. If you’ve already done this for your website, look at them one more time (in the page code or in a file where you are keeping them):
- Is the keyword quantity per page normal (see p. 3)? Over-optimization is dangerous nowadays, as Google regards keyword abundance as spam – and ranks such websites very low or even bans them.
- Are the keywords separated with commas and spaces? It’s ridiculous, but some people ignore commas, so search robots read the whole list as a single huge (and NEVER requested) keyword.
- Check the way you write your keywords. Wrong way: “buy laptop, in dallas, prices, shops”. Right way: “buy laptop, buy laptop in dallas, laptops dallas prices, laptops dallas shops”. You’ll be amazed how often this mistake is made.
- You’ve already sorted keyword sets for every page according to their importance and popularity. Does the most important one stand at the Title beginning? Are there a couple of neutral phrases added?
- Do the Title and Description have normal length (55 and 120 characters with spaces – respectively)?
- Does your Description include 1-3 keywords + normal human phrases? Would you click the snippet with such a description if you see it in Google SERP? Make the text more attractive if your answer was “no” or “not sure”. Description is made mainly for humans, not robots.
- Are all your meta tags unique?
- Now let’s move to your texts. You certainly know that each promoted page should contain a text relevant to the assigned keywords. So just look through this little checklist:
- Do your texts have sufficient length (400-500 words for the most important pages and 200 – for secondary ones)?
- Are the texts optimized? Do the article titles (H1) contain main keywords at the beginning? Is every keyword mentioned at least once in the body of an article?
- Aren’t the texts over-optimized (a keyword is included more than once per paragraph)? It’s better not to optimize texts at all than to overdo it.
- Haven’t you forgotten to write ALT texts with keywords for every image?
- Have you interlinked the articles? Did you use both keyword-rich and neutral anchor texts?
- Are your texts grammatically correct?
- Do you add new optimized articles at least once a week?
- Make sure your robots.txt and sitemap.xml are all right and robots-friendly.
- Don’t forget to register and verify your website in Google Webmaster. If your business is local, link up the site to your city.
- Check the quality of your incoming links. Get rid of rubbish ones and begin publishing quality articles with backlinks on external sites, selecting only trusted and popular ones. Always prefer high quality to low price. Backlinks from authority sites with high traffic and PR work wonders. The niche of these resources should correspond to yours.
- Try to join users communities on popular forums with high PR. Give a link to your website from time to time – and check the traffic in Google Analytics. As well as other results the main of which being the number of un-paid visits from Google.
One can speak of how to improve one’s SEO endlessly, but begin with the corrections described in this list – and in several weeks you’ll see a drastic difference in your website’s search engine ranking and overall popularity!