SEO Tips and Tricks: How to Make SEO Work for Your Website
Have you ever typed in a search term that your website should rank for, but then scrolled down and couldn’t find your website on the first page? You probably need to work on your SEO.
There’s no quick way to boost your page to the top. Through complex algorithms, Google, Bing, and Yahoo rank websites depending on their perceived value to the user.
However, by following these actionable SEO tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your way to working with search engine bots instead of against them!
1. Clear Page Titles
Your page titles are just as important as the content itself. Make sure that your titles help the user understand what the page or content is about in a brief, attractive way.
Composing descriptive, eye-catching page titles takes practice. It’s hard to balance the need to describe the content while also convincing users to click on your website’s page or blog post.
2. Format Simple URLs
The permanent link structure of your website describes how the URLs for all of your pages are structured. These URLs need to be just as descriptive as your page titles and easy to understand.
Avoid long strings of numbers or lengthy URLs. Keep them short and to the point, with hyphens to break up each word and make it easier to read for users.
3. Create a Breadcrumb Trail
A breadcrumb trail is a set of links at the top of each page that aids navigation. Because users will often jump onto your website from a link other than your homepage, a breadcrumb trail helps them quickly navigate your site so they can delve deeper.
Breadcrumb trails also help bots learn what your website is about. When there’s a clear understanding of your website’s structure and description, your pages are more likely to rank for the search terms you choose because the algorithm knows they’re relevant.
4. Add Internal Links
Internal links are links in a page that directs you to other pages within the same website, not a different one. This may not seem important, but it helps search bots determine the structure and hierarchy of your content.
Each of your pages have different link value, and adding internal links helps add more value to pages you deem important. Make sure that you only add a few links per page, with anchor text that’s easy to understand for both the user and search engines.
Internal links also encourage people to stay on your website longer. For instance, if you had a blog about dog walking and an internal link with the anchor text “best leashes for dog walking,” the user will be more likely to click on that link and read the next article.
5. Basic Text Formatting
After you write a blog article or add text to a page, add some basic formatting to the text. This helps both search engine bots and users quickly determine what the content is about. Here are some general guidelines:
H1 tags for post titles
H2 tags for main headings of posts
Bold and italics to draw attention to certain words or phrases
Small paragraphs for easy reading
Font size and color for easy reading
6. Optimize Images
Images are a great way to add interest to your content and strengthen your brand. However, make sure that your images are sized correctly so that they’re not effecting the load speed of your website.
Much like your page title, use keywords in your file names separated by dashes. Lastly, don’t forget to add alt text to clearly describe your image.
Alt text plays a large role in user experience; it describes to visually impaired users what the image is. A good rule of thumb is to keep your descriptions detailed, concise (125 characters or less), and specific. If a keyword doesn’t work semantically in your sentence, don’t use it!
7. Responsive Website Design
The number of searches using smartphones and tablets is increasing every year. Ensure your website is mobile-friendly for users and search engines through responsive website design .
This greatly boosts your SEO because search engines favor websites that are optimized for people using smartphone devices. It also improves your:
1. Site Usability - Users have an improved user experience
2. Faster Page Speed - Mobile responsive websites load faster, improving user experience and ranking
3. Decreased Bounce Rate - Users are more likely to stay on your site longer if it loads fast and displays well on mobile devices
8. Quality Content
If you can only utilize one of these tips for your website, focus on this one! Without good, original content that’s relevant, informative, and entertaining for users, many of your SEO strategies will be less effective, or even not effective at all.
For instance, you can write a page title with your keyword that grabs a user’s attention, but if your content doesn’t deliver what the title promised, your bounce rate will increase.
Black hat SEO isn’t about quality content. These techniques go against search engine guidelines in an attempt to make shortcuts to rank higher, faster. When you’re creating quality content, it’s important to know the difference between white hat vs black hat SEO .
How do you know if your content is good? Ask yourself some of these questions after you’re finished writing:
Would I trust the information in this article?
Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
Does this article contain interesting or insightful information beyond the obvious?
Is this article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hard to read?
Actionable SEO Tips and Tricks
There are many other ways to improve the SEO of your website, but these SEO tips and tricks will get you started in the right direction. With consistency, clarity of purpose, and the drive to produce quality content, your website will rank higher in SERPs (search engine results pages) on Google and other top platforms.
Ready to delve deeper into search engine optimization strategy? Check out the SEO section of the Bootstrap Business Blog for more informative articles on SEO strategy!