SEO stands for search engine optimization. Basically, it means the process of improving your website to increase its visibility when people search for products or services related to your business in Google, Bing, and other search engines. The better visibility your website has, the more likely you are to garner attention and attract prospective and existing customers to your business.
But why is it important?
It is a fundamental part of digital marketing because people use internet everyday. They use it often with commercial intent to find information about different products and services. Searching is often the primary source of digital traffic for brands and complements other marketing channels. Greater visibility and ranking higher in search results than your competition can have a material impact on your bottom line.
In summary, SEO is the foundation of a holistic marketing ecosystem. When you understand what your costumers want, you can implement that knowledge across your campaigns, websites, and social media properties.
Here are five ways to improve a website’s SEO:
Publish Relevant, Authoritative Content
Quality and authoritative content is the number one driver of your search engine rankings. Quality content created specifically for your intended user increases site traffic, which improves your site’s authority and relevance. Fine-tune your web writing skills and present yourself as an authority on the topic you are writing about.
Keywords are very important
Identify and target a specific keyword phrase for each authoritative content page on your website. Think about how your reader might search for that specific page with search terms related to that specific content.
For multiple keyword phrases, it is very difficult for a webpage to achieve search engine rankings—unless those phrases are very similar. A single page may be able to rank for both “biomedical engineering jobs” and “biomedical engineering careers”. Ranking for “student affairs” and “dean of students” or “gender discrimination” and “violence reporting procedures” with a single page is unlikely.
If you want to rank for multiple keywords phrases with your website, you will need to make a separate webpage for each keyword phrase you are targeting.
What about the Content?
Content is most influential on search engine rankings. Repeat keyword phrase several times throughout the page—once or twice in the opening and closing paragraphs, and two to four more times throughout the remaining content. Be authoritative. Strategically link to relevant sources and additional information—both within your organizations broad website and even to other websites which are useful.
Don’t forget to use bold, italics, heading tags (especially an H1), and other emphasis tags to highlight these keyword phrases—but don’t overdo it. You still want your language and writing style to read naturally. Never sacrifice good writing for SEO. The best pages are written for the user, not for the search engine. Read more about SEO marketing to help you find new content opportunities.
Update Your Content Regularly
Regularly updated content is viewed as one of the best indicators of a site’s relevancy. So, be sure to keep it fresh. Audit your content on a set schedule and make updates as needed.
Additional content, with rich keyword phrases, can also boost your search engine rankings. Blog posts can even be shorter updates about the specific topics you are targeting.
When designing your website, each page contains a space between the <head> tags to insert metadata, or information about the contents of your page. However, it is important for you to review and update metadata as your site changes over time.
- Title Metadata is responsible for the page titles displayed at the top of a browser window and as the headline within search engine results. It is the most important metadata on your page.
- Description Metadata is the textual description that a browser may use in your page search return. Think of it as your site’s window display—a concise and appealing description of what is contained within, with the goal of encouraging people to enter. A good meta description will typically contain two full sentences. Search engines may not always use your meta description, but it is important to give them the option.
- Keyword Metadata is rarely if ever used to tabulate search engine rankings. However, you should already know your keyword phrases, so it doesn’t hurt to add them into your keyword metadata. You’ll want to include a variety of phrases. As a general rule, try to keep it to about 3-7 phrases with each phrase consisting of 1-4 words. A great example would be “computer science degree.”
Have a link-worthy site
A webpage which is content-rich, authoritative, unbiased, and helps visitors learn more about what they are interested in is most likely to attract links from other websites, which improves your search engine optimization.
Basically, you can improve your authority and credibility by adding relevant links within the text. Instead of having “click here” links, try writing out the name of the destination. “Click here” has no search engine value beyond the attached URL, whereas “Michigan Tech Enterprise Program” is rich with keywords and will improve your search engine rankings as well as the ranking of the page you are linking to. Always use descriptive links by linking keywords—it not only improves search engine optimization, but also adds value to your readers, including those with disabilities or who are using screen readers.
use alt tags
Always describe your image and video media using alt tags, or alternative text descriptions. They allow search engines to locate your page, which is crucial—especially for those who use text-only browsers or screen readers.