Are you drowning in the deep, murky depths of search engine optimization (SEO)? Although there is no magic formula to maintain high search engine rankings, there are a number of smart practices that, especially when combined, can help significantly. Completing SEO tasks, sticking to implementation plans, and getting teams onboard with SEO made a big difference to the three businesses profiled in this infographic. If your team is not with you, even the most perfect SEO plan will fail. Here are the top ten items that you can implement immediately to improve SEO:
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1. Create Link Bait
Link bait is the look-at-me-now of any website. It refers to any content on a website created specifically to gain attention and encourage others to link to the website. Infographics are a great example of creating eye-catching content that has excellent visualization and a wealth of information. Articles that are funny or incite debate can also stir up attention, while breaking news and current affairs add timely content.
2. Create SEO Friendly Content
Spend some time researching and selecting appropriate keywords using Google AdWords. Once you have a list of keywords, place them strategically in the title tags, body text, meta tags, image captions, etc. Write with your audience in mind and be relevant to the category for which you’re creating content.
3. Redesign Homepage
Your homepage represents your company – treat it as your calling card. Without the right links and functions, it won’t serve its purpose. Evaluate your homepage load time and check whether it is effectively communicating your brand’s value proposition. Note if there is any significant content around which keywords can be targeted. Flash can also be a major drawback for websites as it often poses a problem when loading, especially in Google previews.
4. Improve Primary Navigation
Having the right keywords present in your anchor text, including your major menu structures, is good practice. Navigation should also make logical sense. Ask someone outside your company if your menus are intuitive to them, since a pair of ‘fresh eyes’ can be very valuable.
5. Social Voting Buttons
Search engines are increasingly crawling the web for social signals to understand how users value a page. Adding voting buttons such as “+1”, “Like” and “Tweet” attract up to 8X more user interactions than the equivalent sharing buttons. Social voting buttons with links to popular social media sites help users share and recommend links to your website.
6. Remove Duplicate Content
Search engines do not generally return more than one version of the same page, so identical content on a website can be a missed opportunity. This leads the search engines to consider pages carrying duplicate content as irrelevant or spam, and these pages may be removed from the search index. Instead, consider combining duplicate content onto a single page with a single URL.
7. Title Tags
Title tags appear in the clickable links on the search engine results page, so ensure that specific keyword phrases relevant to your company are present in the title tag. Keep title tags short and simple, ideally less than 70 characters.
8. Fix Broken Links
Broken links don’t just get you into trouble with users, search engines also consider such links to be an indication of poor quality. A poorly maintained linking structure won’t rank as well as one that is maintained properly.
9. Fix 404 Pages
External or internal links pointing to pages that do not exist (404 errors) should be corrected immediately. However, you also need to ensure that your 404 pages are correctly reporting the ‘404’ HTTP response code to the browser. If the wrong response is sent, search engines may make your error pages public, and will certainly have trouble understanding the structure of your website.
10. H1 Headers
Implementing optimized headers allows search engines to easily identify the topic of a passage or section of a page, thereby letting them know what your site is about.
Let us know in the comments if any of these SEO suggestions have worked for you.