5 Tips to Rank Better with Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Content is king when it comes to ranking better in Google search results, but there are little things that can be done to significantly boost your position in someone’s search. This is what is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Per Wikipedia, it can be defined like so:
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search, academic search, news search and industry-specific vertical search engines.
Here we’re going to look at some very simple, yet effective, things that you can do to help rank better and boost your traffic.
These tips will apply not only to blog posts, but any pages of your website as well.
Choose a Good Title
This is probably the most important part of any website page or blog post. It is the first thing a user will see when doing a Google search result and is a major part of search engine algorithms. When coming up with a title for your website or blog, you should give it a goal length of between 40 and 70 characters. Any more and it will be chopped off by Google or similar search engines and any less will probably be too vague. For example, take the following titles:
Welcome to My Blog
Well, this title doesn’t tell us much. From the title we know that the website is a blog, but we have no idea what kind of blog it is. Is this a software development blog? Is it safe to be viewed at work?
You see where I’m going here. Search engines like Google are smart enough to figure out that no one is going to want to click on a website with that title.
How to Cook an Amazing Steak Dinner
Well we know (or hope) that this website is going to teach us how to cook a steak. However, what kind of steak are we going to cook? Is it going to be cooked via a charcoal grill or on a pan? Are we going to use latin spices?
Although the title is a bit more descriptive in the sense we will be learning how to cook steak, it still doesn’t explain a whole lot.
Cooking Rib-Eye Steak with Red Wine and Soy Sauce
This title is much better! We are pretty certain that if we enter this website we’re going to be learning how to cook Rib-Eye steak using ingredients such as red wine and soy sauce.
Write Lengthy Content
No one likes to visit a page with a single paragraph of text and neither do search engines. The more text content you have on your website, the greater chance you have of a search engine finding your material to be of potential quality for a user. So how much text is considered enough to rank well with SEO? That is debatable, but as a rule of thumb you should always write at least 500 words on every page or post.
You probably won’t ever be penalized by search engines for having too much content, but you most certainly will for having too little content.
Focus on Relevant Keywords
Each page of your website or post on your blog should be very specific to a topic. No one wants to land on your website thinking they will be reading about space travel, but find out that half your page content is about software engineering. Keep your page or blog post on topic by focusing in on certain relevant keywords. These keywords should exist not only in your title, but also your page content.
For example, if you have a title like How to Buy A Nice Toyota Vehicle, you need to mention Toyota and Vehicle as much as you can throughout the body of your content. When a search engine crawls your page and sees that keywords from the title match keywords in the content, it is more likely to mark you as valuable content.
In addition to using keywords relevant to your topic, they should also be keywords that people are searching for. You can use a nifty keyword planning tool from Google called Adwords Keyword Planner.
Include Backlinks to Other Pages and Posts
This might be a bit difficult to do when you’re just starting out, but as you get more content on the internet you definitely want to start linking to it whenever possible. For example, if you are writing a blog post on the Wolverine and you previously wrote about the X-Men, why not link back to it? I’m not saying just include random links, I’m saying include them where they count. To further expand upon this example, maybe in addition to have written about the Wolverine and X-Men, maybe you wrote about Marvel Comics in general. Why not include a backlink from your X-Men page to your Marvel Comics page?
It is SEO 101 when it comes to backlinks. Sure you need quality backlinks to improve your rank, but nothing says you can’t use your own links. When one page is crawled, all your other pages will be crawled as well, making a web of knowledge.
Use Subheading to Outline and Structure Your Posts and Pages
Pages and blog posts with a large word count should be structured into sections with a smooth flow. These sections should be clearly identified using HTML
<h4> tags. You should think of these section titles like page or blog post titles. They should have a 40 to 70 character title and contain relative keywords about the content that they point to.
Search engines will see these subheading tags and further determine how to index your website.
You just saw five (5) very easy tips for improving how you rank in searches using search engine optimization (SEO). There are plenty of other things to take into account to build your rank, but these easy tips will make a huge difference.
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