Whether you know it or not, businesses, your competitors, are increasingly SEO savvy. How can you catch up? Properly utilizing what experts call “search engine optimization” or SEO tactics can draw attention to your website when users are searching the web. You can increase your business’s visibility and site traffic without spending money on advertising. If you want to start boosting your online presence with SEO, the best thing to do is dive right in! Just keep these four things in mind.
Good content and good SEO go hand in hand.
Quality content should be your first priority. You may have gotten away with lazy SEO techniques back in the day, but search engines are smarter now. The bots can detect poor attempts to bolster your ranking, such as hiding keywords in invisible font or overstuffing paragraphs with key terms. Posting thorough, well written, articles will be more effective than flooding your site with poorly written fluff. The strength of your content plays a role in nearly all aspects of optimization techniques; high-quality work will be shared more often and will help drive link building.
If you’re familiar with the basics of search engine optimization, then you know that everything from the domain name to the how you tag images will make a difference. Your website needs to appeal to people above crawlers, the search engine bots that index your page, but creating a quality user experience usually changes your SEO ranking for the better. Having good, user-oriented content is a start, but there’s more to remember. Does your site take forever to load? Keeping your loading time low will obviously help keep users from leaving your page, but speed is also one of the criteria evaluated by Google’s ranking algorithm.
You should work beyond your website.
Your site is not solely evaluated on what happens on your domain, so narrowing your focus to what can be done on-site limits your results. The way your page interacts or interconnects with others helps crawlers evaluate your site. For example, having others link to your website will reflect well on your page. Aim to be featured on prominent websites, but avoid buying links or gaining a large amount of inbound links in a short amount of time: those are red flags. Instead, you could try reaching out to one or two sites that are similar to yours to ask for a backlink. Social media can also help you build links, but don’t rely on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ buttons on your page to reach out; create share-worthy content and take it to social media yourself.
The payoff won’t come easily.
It will take time to see the fruits of your labor—and you need to put in quite a bit of labor. Even the best search engine optimization will not immediately boost your fledgling startup’s brand new website to the first page of Google results. Your new website will need to build domain and page authority before it’s even indexed by Google at all; reaching the first page of results can take longer. Trying to quickly cheat your way to the top will result in a penalty, and it can take a long time to recover. For example, if you’re caught with automatically generated content on your page, you may see your ranking or traffic plummet.