Without search engine traffic, most sites would be invisible. According to Search Engine Land, nearly two-thirds of all web page traffic comes from search engines. In fact, the top result for most search engine queries gets about a third of all clicks. To get readers’ eyes on your website, your content needs quality on-site SEO. Here are some tips for optimizing your content while still keeping it useful and engaging for readers.
Elements of Quality On-Site SEO
Is your site well-optimized for search engines? Check your web pages, blog posts and other content against the examples below:
This is the mark-up tag that makes the title of your page appear in the browser. Title tags are also used in search engine result pages (SERPs). Write these tags in a natural way while still including relevant keywords that surfers may enter into browser search boxes to get results similar to your page. The need for clear and descriptive title tags extends to every page of your site. Instead of “Index” or “Home,” title your homepage “Jim’s Plumbing Home.” Forego the repetitive “Contact” in favor of “Contact Jim’s Plumbing.” Keep titles under 55 characters to ensure the entire title is displayed in search results.
These are the H1, H2 and H3 tags that divide your content into easily digested bites. Place your main keyword inside an H1 tag, then place subsequent content under H2s and H3s as appropriate. Make sure that your site only has one H1 tag and make sure that the keyword use is natural. “Miami Pest Control” is a better choice than “Our Service” in your H1 tag, as it specifically describes your service and location.
Descriptive Link, Post & Page Names
Every hint that you can give to search engines about the content of your post can help improve your on-page SEO. If a reader wishes to revisit a post and can’t remember the exact URL, having the keyword in the link makes it easier to find again.
If you have a blog on your site, take a look at the links to your posts. Are they descriptive link names, or will they have little intuitive meaning to readers? Customize the link-naming protocol in your blogging system so the name of your post so is included. Below is a perfect example of a simple URL structure:
Images are great for attracting readers. To make them as decipherable to search engine spiders, be sure to include descriptive alt text for every image. On a page of real estate photos, instead of “Image 1,” describe your image in the alt text as “Beach View from Dining Room.” This increases your site’s validity to search engines.
Social Media Optimization
Include easily accessible social media share buttons on every post on your website, and on every page. If a reader sees something they like and want to share, they shouldn’t have to work too hard to find the share buttons. Also, you need to have separate social media pages so people can find you where they live. A good example is the LifeLock Facebook page; the identity theft company makes it easy for prospects to find them online and engage with brand ambassadors and social media managers.
Finally, post often. A site with old posts that appears to be abandoned will quickly be ignored by prospective customers and overlooked by search engines.
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