Put some thought into your website. I won’t get dramatic and ask you to dedicate your life to it, but your site shouldn’t be something you just throw out there. Attention and updates are essential to organic online traffic, but not all efforts are made equal.
It is a challenging SEO world, and we are trying to get you to the top of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) charts. Because anything beyond the first page is stranded in the wilderness, we have to figure out how to get your work noticed.
The good news about organic SEO is that everything you may not be able to afford with money can be made up with productive and disciplined use of your time. But it WILL take time. Be patient. Be consistent.
But before we talk about all the things we don’t have to pay for, make sure you aren’t scaring yourself by thinking that advertising through Google will cost as much as a 30-second Ad spot during the Super Bowl. Advertising online is much more affordable than you may assume, but I digress.
1. QUALITY CONTENT
Well designed pages entice your audience to engage with your site. New blog posts are reminders to search engines that they ought to pay attention to you, try adding content derived from your keyword/focus.
You know how you hear a song on the radio once, but don’t like it. Then you listen to it over and over and over again. Suddenly the lyrics are stuck in your head? Well, think of the relationship of your website to a search engine in the same way.
It helps to update your site with content that reinforces what your brand is all about. Just like in the music industry, search engines will take notice and rank you higher on their charts after you have thrown enough quality their way.
- Make sure your pages match the search intent of users.
- Make sure you’ve optimized your pages.
- Make sure your pages are persuasive.
Let users comment on your posts, or leave reviews. This is one way your pages updates without any extra stress on your part. When the search engine bots pass by, they will be impressed that your pages aren’t stale.
For five bucks you can find someone to create hundreds of backlinks for you. You will be tempted to make the deal since search engines take you more seriously if many other external pages are pointing to your site. The robots, crawlers, and spiders assume you must be the real deal if many other websites are directing traffic towards you like you are some star.
BUT BEWARE! Rule of life, if it seems too good to be true, it usually is.
For one, creating backlinks on your own is not complicated, though it takes time. But trust me, you want to be as close to this task as possible. You can spend months planning for the perfect website but if you try to trick the system by manipulating backlinks, you will be penalized, and search engines will ignore you.
How does this happen?
Search engines are sort of like your high school teacher assuming you are a problematic kid because you are hanging out with the bullies.
Get linked to the wrong pages, and you suffer.
A lot of black hat marketers will collect your money and promise you results, but all they will do is connect you to their link farms. You run a diagnostics. You see your backlinks numbers are up and you feel satisfied. But search engines are aware of this trick. They know that hoarding useless links that have nothing to do with your content is cheating.
So, if you are linked to one of these tactics, search engines assume you are just as unethical as the scammers.
You want links, but the right relationships. Reputation is made and broken in the SEO world at this juncture. The better ranked and regarded your link source, the more valuable it is to you. You will sleep better if you are submitting your site to respected web directories. And there and thousands of them.
3. KEY HTML METADATA
Each page you aim to rank online ought to strategically implement the following:
- A clearly defined target key term
- An HTML Meta Title Tage
- Well implemented HTML Meta Header tags
- Meta Descriptions
- Images with Alt Texts
Not only do you tell search engines what your content is about but you may impress real users as well. Perhaps you are number 10 on page one of a search query. If users like your description better than everyone else’s above you, they will click. You earn search engine points. You may jump to number 6 for that result.
But if your descriptions do not match the content shown after users click your link, they will immediately hit the back button. This will increase your bounce rate telling search engines that people aren’t interested in your site. Bad news for you because lack of interest, despite a high volume of visitors, means lowered rankings by search engines. Work on your content and take the time to describe your work through tags, headers, descriptions, and titles.
Start with these three recommendations, and you are well on your way to being SEO optimized. But don’t take your foot off the pedal, there are a few other factors which organically drive traffic towards your hard work.