One of the primary goals of online content is to nail search engine optimization (SEO). There are a metric ton of websites, fly-by-night companies, and SEO-based companies that want you to think it takes money to rank on search engines. And they would be wrong. We’re here to tell you two things: SEO doesn’t have to cost you money, and it doesn’t have to be confusing. In fact, we’re going to share five effortless tips you can use to make your content SEO friendly.
If you’ve been marketing in the online world for any length of time, you understand the need for search engine visibility. If you’re new, SEO seems like a foreign, super complex thing. But it’s really not. Here’s the scoop:
- The Definition of SEO: Search engine optimization is all about visibility. According to Search Engine Land (a resource you’ll want to follow for the latest and greatest in SEO strategies and news), the process of receiving traffic from the results on search engines is SEO. When you go to Google, Bing or Yahoo, type in a search and hit enter, the resulting page is filled with results pointing to relevant web pages. Where each web page places on those results depends on how the search engine sees (i.e. ranks) them.
- Increasing SEO: In order to better place on a search engine results page (SERP) for a given search term, optimization needs to be present. SEO allows businesses and brands to increase their visibility for specific terms. Thanks to Google Hummingbird, synonymous and non-specific search terms can also be generated.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a brand, business, or business professional (like an independent author); SEO is important. It can make the difference between someone seeing your website or never knowing you exist. You can build some basic SEO into your web pages simply by following these five tips:
1. Create SEO Friendly Blog Titles
The days of keyword stuffing are dead and gone, but this doesn’t mean keywords are no longer important. You need to place keywords in your content naturally to let search engines know what your content is about. One of the easiest ways to do this is to create SEO friendly blog titles. For example:
- If your keyword was SEO and your latest blog was about a Google algorithm, your title might be, Google’s Latest Algorithm Update Impacts SEO.
- If your keyword phrase was make my content SEO friendly and your blog was about making content SEO friendly, you might title the blog, How to Make My Content SEO Friendly or How to Make Your Content SEO Friendly.
The trick to SEO friendly blog titles is relevancy and natural keyword incorporation. If you use a title tag, keep in mind there are specific best practices applying to this particular tag.
2. Spice It Up with Images
Graphics are more than mere visual aids on the Internet. They are a means of increasing search engine optimization. It’s true; no search engine can read the text in a graphic. However, search engine crawlers can read the tags associated with them.
When you insert images into your website or blog posts, take a few extra minutes to optimize the alt and description tags with a few keywords pertaining to the content. You’d be surprised how many Google referrals you can land as people conduct image searches and find your content.
3. Internal and External Links
Part of search engine optimization is building a link profile. You can almost effortlessly accomplish this by following two steps:
1. Link to Your Content: If you’re running a blog, link back to previous posts relevant to your new content. The links entice readers to delve more deeply into your website while simultaneously building your internal link profile. If you do this just once in each new post, you’ll soon build a diverse internal link profile. Take care to link to different pages, but be sure they are relevant.
2. Link to Outside Content: Ever heard of the MozBar? Anyone at any level of SEO understanding can use this simple, free tool. It works with your Internet browser (specifically Chrome and Firefox) to display the domain authority (DA) of the websites you view in search results or visit. By linking to high DA pages containing information relevant to your content, you can bolster your external link profile. It’s a good way to increase your DA, thereby increasing your potential ranking in the SERPs. It’s also a proven way of generating attention. As you send traffic to high DA websites, they’ll be more inclined to explore your content, and if it’s quality, they just might give you a backlink.
4. Use Those < H >Tags
< H > tags are heading tags. Most pages consist of at least an H1 and H2 tag, and some go as far as incorporating H3 and H4 tags. Headings are important to online content. They break a page up into blocks of information, all relevant to the heading they are under.
You can quickly optimize your heading tags by naturally incorporating relevant keywords but be careful not to stuff them in. Every heading doesn’t need optimization, but slipping a keyword into at least one can boost visibility.
5. Meta Make a Difference
HTML meta tags sound scary to those of us with little to no technical knowledge, but their sound is deceptive. Meta tags are exceptionally simple to create and incorporate. Search Engine Watch provides a comprehensive look at just how to use HTML meta tags, and if you’re using a blog platform like WordPress, you can find plugins to knock meta tags out of the park.
Resources to Start Your SEO
Search engine optimization doesn’t have to be complex. If you take the time to optimize your content, you won’t need to invest in pay-per-click schemes. Instead, you will naturally build a steady traffic flow.
If you’ll be handling SEO on your own, and even if you won’t, there are two resources we recommend grabbing. First, The Beginners Guide to SEO by Moz. Second, Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide. These resources will introduce you to the basics of SEO, and you can always subscribe to our blog for some helpful tips, tricks, and SEO news.