Search engine optimization (SEO) is a shifting landscape. There is no easy formula or magic bullet to showing up as the No. 1 search result, but there are some things every business should be doing in order to improve their visibility on the web, and ultimately drive traffic back to their website.
Did you know? Websites listed on the first page of search results generate 91.5% of all web traffic on average. Think about it. How often do you go to the second or third pages of a google search? I know, I’ve very rarely ventured out of the top five results. Ayaz Ninji provides some more insight into the value of being at the top of search results in this article.
I am by no means an SEO expert, but I’ve read a lot about the benefits and here are some of the tips/information I’ve taken away as most important.
- Add a sitemap to help Google index relevant pages. A sitemap is similar to the index or table of content of a book. It makes it easier to find information and for Google this is all to important.
- Clean up links. Make sure your website doesn’t have any “bad” or old links, and for the links that are current make sure the helpful ones are visible and less relevant ones are hidden.
- Quality content is more important than the quantity of content. Focus on important keywords and phrases, but don’t overload your content with these, so that it doesn’t make sense. Your content should not only be quality, but you should have a schedule to regular keep it updated.
- Choose keywords wisely. I mentioned it in the above point, but focus on specific keywords. Google Analytics has a tool that can help you select the right keywords for your
- Optimize images and videos. Make sure to use keywords in images and videos, as well as, always fill out the alt tag and titles.
- Write quality titles. When formulating the title of a webpage, blog post, image, or video, always use the most important keywords in the beginning rather than the end of a title. SEO weighs the beginning of a title more than the end.
- Share your content on Google+. I actually recently did a project on Google+ for my other class and talked a lot about the importance of SEO on Google+. Check it out!
Once you implement using SEO on your website, you need to monitor and analyze the results. Google Analytics is a great tool to utilize. Here’s a brief introduction to how the service works and why it’s important. When it comes to analyzing the metrics, as a business, you should be looking to learn who is returning to your site. How often are they “stopping by” and how long are they staying.
You also want to keep track with how many visitors are engaged on your site. I know at my organization we pay a lot of attention to bounce rate. Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page. You want to keep visitors on your site by keeping the engaged. Google Analytics can help you track this, along with how many pages the average user usually visits, and how long they are spending on each page.
The best part of Google Analytics: It’s free! Well for most of us. If you receive 10 million or fewer web hits a month it’s free. So, you should routinely monitor Google Analytics and try and make strategic changes to your website accordingly.
Questions to Consider:
What do you think is the most important aspect of SEO? Keywords? Links? Content? And why do you think it’s so important?
What are your thoughts on Google Analytics? Have you used it a lot? What are the best features when it comes to measuring and tracking SEO?