Anyone creating a business website has probably wondered: If I build it, will ‘they’ come? (like the question made famous in the movie Field of Dreams). Getting targeted traffic to your site is an essential for success of any online endeavor — and SEO (search engine optimization) is a primary means of accomplishing it.
According to the Wikipedia entry for SEO, the concept has been around since the mid-1990s. (The history of SEO on this page makes an interesting read!) Over the years, both website development and SEO have increased in complexity. But the goal of search engines and the process that drives them remain the same: to provide the most relevant and useful results to a searcher’s query.
An article on SEO secrets in Website Magazine attributes the foundation of SEO success to three pillars: content, links and experience. The most successful websites balance the needs of search engines with those of site visitors in each of these three areas.
Consider these elements that can help search engines work for you and your visitors:
- URL: Use keywords (targeted search terms), avoid special characters, and keep the length moderate.
- Title Tags: Keep in mind how these tags appear on the site and in the search results. The character count is limited here, so use keywords early in the title and, as possible, use symbols (such as &, $, %).
- Headings: Heads and subheads break up text into scannable segments for visitors – and provide signals for search engines to categorize your content. Use them wisely and in descending order (H1 for the primary heading, and lower numbers for subsequent ones)
- Keywords: Use keywords toward the start of the page content and related words and phrases throughout.
- Length of Content: Studies show search engines rank pages with1,000 to 2,000 words higher than shorter ones (due to perceived authority). Where possible without providing “too much information” for site visitors, include longer content.
- Multimedia Content: Images, video, charts and graphics can make pages visibly appealing for visitors. Using keywords in image tags can be beneficial in search engine results.
- Links: Including a few links to relevant on-site and off-site pages can be helpful to readers (for further reading) and provide relevancy signals to search engines.
While some SEO basics have remained the same over the years (see our previous SEO post from 2014), others have changed as search engines have developed more complex algorithms to obtain the best possible listing results for their searchers. Unfortunately, according to Website Magazine (May 2016), “a majority of websites still create digital experiences that come up woefully short, which negatively impact their success with SEO initiatives.”
Page Progressive helps numerous companies improve the search listing results for their sites. If you are seeking to improve yours and would like our help, please call us at 919-374-3014 or use our online form to contact us.
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