Search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo generate ranked results based on what they deem to be the most relevant results to the user.
SEO or “search engine optimization” is the process of enhancing your website to rank highly in search results.
There are a number of factors that search engines take into consideration when determining the best results, which include page structure, html formatting, page load speeds and other back end elements. However, you don’t need to be a developer to think about writing content for SEO.
You’ve probably heard the term “Content is King” and when it comes to SEO it certainly is. Creating content with SEO in mind can have a big impact on your rankings and here are a few tips:
Determine what term(s) or phrases you want your website to rank in search results for. What are people typing into the search field that your website should be ranking for? Keywords are important as it is how millions of searches are performed in Google everyday, and you want your website to be one of the results.
This is a great step by step process for doing keyword research to help you develop this list.
Once you have developed your keyword strategy, you can begin writing your content. It is important to use your keywords in the content numerous times and even better if the keywords can be used in page headings and slugs (page urls). It is recommended that different pages on your website can use different keywords to highlight what the content is about. When a search engine indexes your site, it needs to see that your content is relevant to the searched term(s) in order for your site to display as a result. Therefore, it looks for those keywords in your content.
Search engines also rank the relevancy of your site based on its age. If you are able to publish fresh, original content on a regular basis, your site appears to be more up-to-date and therefore is considered more relevant.
Search engines consider the more external sites that link to you, the more relevant your site is. This link building can generate from a number of sites such as social media accounts, local listings/classified, blogs, etc. Keep in mind that link quality is also a factor, so links from reputable external sites, that are relevant to your site, carry more weight than non-reputable sites.
It is also important to include links within your own site content to both internal and external sites. Links within your site show the search engines that you have robust content, but keep in mind that including links just to have links is not a good strategy. You’ve likely been on one of those sites that have you click through a slideshow, with countless page loads, just to read a brief amount of content. This is very annoying for the user and usability issues can often lead to high drop off rates (someone quickly leaving your site), which can negatively affect your SEO.
A lot of the time, SEO is an after thought when building a website. You invest a lot of time and effort to put together a great website and then wonder how do we get people to it? The answer is SEO and it is much easier to implement an SEO strategy during website development, than it is later.