I almost called this article SEO Tips for Dummies, but not knowing anything about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) doesn’t make you a dummy. You’re quite normal actually. Many people have heard of the term SEO but don’t really understand what it means and how it impacts website performance and search engine ranking. There are a ton of SEO tips and tools of the trade but we have compiled a beginner’s list of the down and dirty ones you need to know.
SEO Tips for Darlings
See what we did there 😉
Keywords are the most important factor for SEO. Most of our SEO tips will be around keywords; how to establish a focus keyword and how to optimize them for success. So let’s jump into the SEO tips we have for you.
- The first step is to establish a focus keyword. Every web page should include a focus keyword. Some pages like the home page can have more than one, but in general, you want to focus on investing all of your resources into making sure this single keyword ranks well. When you set a focus keyword for a page, you want to make sure it’s one you haven’t used on another page, because you don’t want your pages competing against each other in search results.
- Focus on both short and long tail keywords. If you are already targeting the same keyword on a different page, try researching some long tail variations of the keyword. Long tail keywords are a string of keywords that target a very specific search intention. This will benefit you because the visitors that land on your page are more likely closer aligned to the goal of your page.
- The SEO title of the page needs to contain the focus keyword. The SEO title is the H1 and is also defined in the HTML.
- Your URL should be descriptive of the content of the page and match your SEO title. Your URL should include the focus keyword but can omit the stop words. Stop words are the words you do not capitalize in a subject line, for example, “with”, “two”, “of”, “the”, “is”, “in”,
- Your subheadings should also include your focus keyword. Subheads are the H2.
- The meta description for the page should include the focus keyword. The meta description can also be defined in the HTML.
- The image alt attributes are another element on your page that should contain the focus keyword. All of these instances where the focus keyword shows up will help your page rank for the keyword. The image alt attribute is the text that you see when an image hasn’t loaded yet. I’m sure we have all seen this in an email at some point. Having the keyword in the image alt attributes gives context to the image in the case that it is never seen, and offers another place for Google to crawl and find the focus keyword. Every time Google associates your page with your focus keyword you have a greater chance of being considered as an authority on the subject.
- Your focus keyword should be at the beginning of the SEO title.
- Your focus keyword should also be in the first paragraph of your copy. As we were taught in grade school, the introduction paragraph is the most important part of your page or paper. It defines the goal and the topic. You want to draw users in with your introduction and give them a reason to continue reading, which is why it is essential for the focus keyword to belong here.
- With all this talk about keywords, it’s important to note that the keyword density should be around 2% of your copy. To put it into perspective that’s about 6 times per 350 words. Although SEO tips in the past used to include putting keywords everywhere you can fit them on your page (even to the point where it becomes unreadable) SEO has thankfully developed over the years. Today, you don’t want to overstuff your web page with the keyword because it will actually work against you.
Okay so this section basically turned out to be an extension of keywords, but hey – I wasn’t joking when I said the focus keyword is the most important part!
- Include outbound links. Outbound links include links to other websites. Outbound links should be helpful to your website visitors without giving business away to a competitor. Try finding something that aligns with your brand to add credibility, but does not divulge from the goal of your website.
- Include inbound links. Inbound links include links to other web pages on your website. An inbound linking strategy is one of many great SEO tips for keeping website visitors engaged and creating a complementary network of web pages and paths for them to follow.
- Make sure the content on your pages is over 300 words on average.
- You don’t want your SEO title to be too long or too short. A good average length is about 5 words. This ensures your title remains in the viewable limits.