When experts discuss SEO, or search engine optimization, most marketers and entrepreneurs get a glassy look in their eyes and quickly send their minds to the ether for a respite. The problem is that a lot of SEO is technical and quite boring, and experts will often brush over the more basic tactics that still produce great results. By focusing on some of these small, simple methods rather than trying to figure out the more technical aspects of SEO, you can quickly raise your position in search engine results. You’ll have less of a learning curve, making it easy to apply these SEO changes now and be able to continue using them.
Choose the Right Keywords
One of the biggest problems people have with SEO is choosing keywords that actually generate traffic. While you do need to select keywords that people use and have little competition, you also need to select keywords that are relevant to your content.
You also need to select a few keywords for your blog posts. The exact number that you need will be determined by the size of your site and your industry. Most small blogs, for example, only cover one or two different main keywords, while authority sites can cover hundreds. After you have selected your main keywords, you need to find several long tail keywords that relate to your main keywords. These can help serve as inspiration for your blog posts and help you target a more niche market.
Small Things Can Count the Most
When it comes to optimizing a blog post around a keyword, search engines don’t just see how many times you used the word. Every search engine takes META data into account when they choose which sites rank higher than others. This makes sense, as META data also has a great influence on how your webpage is displayed to someone searching online.
META data is comprised of several components, but for SEO purposes, you will mostly need to focus on the title and description. Having a well-formatted URL that relates to your META data is also appealing to search engines.
To get the perfect, SEO-friendly META data that will help you get more traffic:
- Write a unique title that relates to the content of your post. Use a long tail keyword, but make sure your title is not just the keyword. For example, “How to write a META title the easy way.”
- Write a short, but catchy description that encourages people to click. Include your long tail keyword and one supporting keyword in this description. For example, “Learn how to write a META title to help you get traffic fast.”
- Properly format your URL so that it includes a keyword and is easy to find. For example, “examplewebsite.fakeurl.com/how-to-write-a-META-title”
The goal of META data is to entice human readers to click on your links, but to also send signals to search engines using consistent keywords.
Avoid Recycled Content
One of the first things that people learn about SEO is that search engines can recognize plagiarized content and they don’t like it! While most of us know not to steal other people’s work, we often forget that it is easy to plagiarize ourselves. Offering the same content over and over again means you will not only bore your readers, but be placed lower in the search results as well.
If you are building your website around a single keyword, you may run out of writing ideas very quickly. If this happens, you will need to explore the topic from a different angle or buying perspective. Try to include fresh news stories about your topic. Remember, not every blog post you publish needs to contain the same keyword to help you generate traffic.
Check Your Loading Time
How fast your content loads is almost as important as what you have written. If your website takes longer than others to load, visitors may become bored and click the back button. Search engines like Google have focused on promoting sites with fast load times because they are more appealing to those searching the web.
Improving your website’s speed can be difficult, but for the average user, it is all about loading the right amount of content. Use these tips to help you speed up your website so that you can rank higher every time you write a new blog post:
- Avoid using large image files
- Eliminate unnecessary coding or file attachments
- Limit the number of embedded videos you have in a post to one
- Avoid writing blog posts longer than 2,000 words
If your load times are still not satisfactory, you can take some steps to improve them right away. In some cases, your hosting provider may not be able to keep up with the amount of traffic you receive. Moving to a faster provider could be one of the best things you could do for your site.
If you are still seeing a high loading time, try exploring some of Google’s PageSpeed Tools. These free tools are designed to help make your website mobile-friendly and improve the overall speed of your site. Once you have the speed issue sorted out, it isn’t something that you will need to worry about on a regular basis.
Promote on Social Media
Find ways to promote your latest content on social media, rather than focusing on building backlinks or placing external ads. Social media sharing can be one of the easiest ways to get traffic to your website and the number of shares your link has can impact your ranking.
In addition to gaining social signals, promoting your content with some budget will increase its reach and better your chances of having it gain links and mentions. In fact, we’ve crafted some very specific audiences on Facebook and Twitter that target journalists and influencers in our industry. By promoting our content to them directly, we’ve been able to establish links with some of the largest media outlets.