For most business owners, search engine optimization is one of the aspects of marketing that is, well, a pain in the butt. The only thing you really know about it is how important it is, and all that does is make you feel more stressed about how much you’re not using it. The good news is, you don’t have to be an SEO or marketing expert. With some basic knowledge about search engines, online users, and your target audience specifically, audience, you can, in fact, do some of your own SEO. Continue reading to learn 5 simple SEO strategies that you can implement to facilitate your marketing goals and improve your rank on Google.
Related: SEO Pocket Guide(A free and handy lil’ cheat sheet that will help to simplify SEO for you)
Don’t be intimidated by the acronym. URL stands for “Universal Resource Locator” and is basically just a website address. Your URLs are the addresses to each of the pages on your business website. You’ll notice that if you include a URL in an email, web page, word document, etc., hitting “enter” automatically turns that URL into a clickable link.
Most online content today does not link to web pages by listing the URL. Rather, writers use anchor text that hyperlinks to that URL. However, URLs for your web pages are visible in many places. For example:
• On a search engine results page, you will see the title of the website with a URL under it.
• Offline advertising campaigns that include a URL. For example, “Call xxx-xxx-xxxx now for a free consultation or visit www.thrivehive.com/request-a-demo
Since your URLS are visible to the public, it’s important to make sure they are neat and clean. A cluttered URL with numbers and letters, such as thrivehive.com/34948_39879_jef890 is, to a user:
• Confusing: not easily readable and hard to remember
• Unclear: Not indicative of what its page is about
• Untrustworthy: How do users know this isn’t an unsafe link or something spam-related? It sure doesn’t look like a human created it…
A clean URL, like thrivehive.com/on-page-vs-off-page-SEO, is easy to read, clear on what the page is about, and creates minimal risk for the user. With a clear idea of where that URL will take them, they are more likely to click on it. Be sure to also include keywords in your URLs.
Using clean URLs is a simple SEO strategy that facilitates traffic to your web pages as well as seamless navigation throughout your site
It’s important to use a keyword tool to find keywords that are searched frequently by users, but that aren’t too competitive to rank for in search engines. However, even after finding keywords that fit these criteria, it’s important to perform a search with those keywords. This way, you can confirm that the information you plan to include in your page targeting this keyword is congruent with the information on the pages that are currently ranking for this keyword. These pages are at the top of search results because the user behavior associated with those pages shows that this is the information people are expecting when they perform that search. Use this SEO strategy to make sure that what you have in mind for this keyword is what online searchers have in mind too.
It’s widely known at this point that keyword stuffing is an outdated and ineffective practice for which Google will actually penalize you. However, not sounding like a robot does not necessarily mean that you sound human. Google and other search engines take user behavior with a page into account when ranking it. The more human you sound, the more engaging your content will be, and the longer people will stay on your page and visit related pages. This, in turn, will boost your ranking, which will get more eyes on your page which will further boost your ranking. Who knew that such a simple SEO strategy could be so effective?
Great content isn’t just human-sounding. It’s interesting, relevant, and free of grammatical errors. It’s also organized into easy-to-digest sections and broken up by headings, subheadings, and images.It targets keywords that have a high volume of searches by your ideal customers—as this means it is of importance to them specifically. High-quality content improves your SEO by attracting qualified traffic to your site and increasing your credibility and trustworthiness.
The more links to your website that exist on other web pages, the better your SEO. This includes external links, such as from other blog posts or websites, as well as internal links from your own website. Internally linking your website pages through anchor text, navigation menus, and other calls to action helps optimize the navigation on your website and overall user experience. This SEO strategy will make it easier for Google to crawl and index your site, to serve the proper web pages up to relevant searchers.
SEO refers to the practices employed to make a website as useful, trustworthy, and relevant as possible to online searchers, and as easy as possible for search engines like Google to categorize it and serve it up to its users. It’s never too late to start SEO, and its importance to marketing a business is only growing. Put these five simple SEO strategies in place so you can start capitalizing on the widespread usage and growing power of search engines today.