Search Engine Optimization is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. Whether you run a business website or a blog, it can have a profound effect on your business and ROI (return on investment).
- Webpages: Speed Performance and Sharing Ability
- Content: Your Voice, Headlines, Media, Format
- Pre-Publishing: Social Media, Internal Links, Timing
Webpages: Speed, Performance and Sharing Ability
Google prioritizes sites that load faster. A lighter themed website, having a better host and proper caching will all increase your site speed. A detailed guide to improving site speed can be found here.
Search engines use social signals as a ranking factor. Adding share buttons makes it easy for users to share your content, enabling more people to find you online. A couple of floating share buttons you can use are SumoMe and Mashshare.
Image optimization also decrease the loading time of your website. You can do this by using plugins like Imsanity to limit the upload size of your images, WP Smush.it to compress your images, or by using Lazy Load, which stops the browser from loading an image until it is scrolled to. Changing the file name and ALT tags of the image to describe it are also helpful steps.
Content: Your Voice, Headlines, Media, Format
Accurate grammar and spelling is best for website users, which will in turn be good for SEO. You can use an online checker like Grammarly to make sure everything is in check.
“Five times as many people read the headline as the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent 80 cents of your dollar.”
– David Ogilvy, founder of Ogilvy & Mather
Headlines and the use of keywords have a massive effect on your post’s shareability. You can avoid cannibalizing keywords by either:
- putting together a spreadsheet to document previously used keywords
- using the Yoast SEO Plugin or Ahrefs
- Use the query site:<yoursite.com> “target keyword” on Google to make sure none of the results targets your target term in the title
You can also use Yoast to optimize your headlines for both search engine and social media clicks.
Having subheaders can improve your structural SEO, make your content easy to scan, and help you plug-in relevant keywords. Adding multiple headers, using different levels of hears and long-tail keywords are all things you can do. A detailed guide to writing subheaders can be found here.
Meta descriptions add appeal to your main title. Try using target keywords, compelling writing and limiting yourself to 156 characters.
With the shortening attention span of the online audience, having engaging media like images, memes, excel charts, and videos will help retain the user’s attention. Websites like Pixabay, Compfight and pond5 provide right free images for your use. With video consumption expected to make up 84% of all internet traffic by 2018, videos are also a wise media choice to include. Either creating your own or embedding a related Youtube video in a blog post are some ways to include them.
Some basic formatting rules to follow are:
- limiting the length of each paragraph
- using bullet points to describe individual steps
- breaking down content in sections with headers every 3-4 paragraphs
- linking sources wherever you make a claim or use statistics
- using multiple Calls To Action
Authority Hacker themselves saw a 9,725% increase in traffic after reformatting one of their sites.
Pre-Publishing: Social Media, Internal Links, Timing
To increase your social media shareability, you can optimize your images for social media. The image size 1200 x 638 works on most social networks. Yoast also allows you to define the title, description and image for Facebook, Twitter and Google+. You can also promote your post on social media multiple times over several weeks to reach its full potential by scheduling multiple updates in advance.
You can also optimize your URL by keeping it as short as possible. Retaining only keywords, removing stop words like ‘of’, ‘the’ etc, and keeping the whole URL readable help increase the searchability of the post.
Creating internal links by linking keywords from older posts to your new one can give the old post a boost as well as push your new one up in searches.
Timing the publish of your post can also help. Authority Hacker has found Monday and Tuesdays, 11 AM is one of the best times to publish a blog post.
Lastly, right after publishing, you can check how the post appears on social media such as Facebook. Plug your URL into the Facebook Debug Tool and click on ‘Fetch new scrape information’ to check how it will look.
Once again, a more detailed checklist can be found here. With the online digital platform growing exponentially, it is important to fine tune the workings of your online presence in order to stay ahead of the competition. If your small business is looking to improve the SEO of your website, EVE is here to help you enhance it to its full potential.