5 Things to Know About Search Engine Optimization
By Shari Steinbach, MS RDN, RDBA Contributing Editor
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic to your online content. The goal is to have a search engine show your website or web page as a top result for searches of a certain keyword. SEO targets unpaid traffic rather than direct traffic or paid traffic. Here are 5 things you should know to drive more organic traffic to your content and improve your search rankings:
- Remove anything from your site that can slow it down. Page speed is a measurement of how fast your content loads. Nobody wants to wait for a slow-moving site so it’s important to eliminate non-essential elements to improve your page speed. If you use WordPress, for example, consider deactivating plugins that may be installed but not needed. You can also declutter your sidebar to keep only needed widgets.
- Link to other relevant websites to encourage trustworthy connections. Start by being willing to link out to authoritative blogs from your own content. Choose those that offer immense value. You can notify an influencer when you link to them so they may also link back to you or share your post. Remember that link building is definitely about quality not quantity. If you create useful content, and link to a few respected blogs, more people will link to you naturally.
- Write content for your audience first and to search engines second. Do what you do best and create content that provides relevant solutions to your audience. By putting your users first, you will be writing helpful content that search engines will reward as search engines follow users. This will also help build trust with your audience.
- Have web analytics in place at the beginning. Start by defining your SEO goals clearly so you can successfully track what’s working and what is not. Web analytics software solutions like Google Analytics and Google Search Console, can help you track your progress. In addition, tools like Crazy Egg can also show you where your site visitors are clicking and how they navigate away from your site.
- Write unique meta descriptions for each page of content. A meta description is the bit of information below the link of a search result. Its purpose is to describe the contents of the page to the searcher in order to convince the searcher to click through to your website. Any words that match the search term are bolded in the description. Meta descriptions should be written using action-oriented language and provide a solution. They should also be honest and relevant, all in 150 characters or less.
For more information on this topic check out information by SEO expert Neil Patel.