We all know by now how incredibly valuable content is for websites. In fact, Google specifically states that if you want strong search rankings, posting “high-quality content on your pages… [is] the single most important thing to do.”
The fact is, though, there is much more involved in dominating your competition on the search engines than strong content. Plus, you don’t want to just be focused on the search engines. Rather, you what your content to be actionable. Your content shouldn’t just feed Google and Bing to drive traffic. It should convert people who visit your site.
The following 25 tips can guide you toward greater prominence in the search engines and a more effective, informative, and profitable website.
#1. Get active with your blog.
You want world-class content as part of the main site, along with a blog to keep the website fresh. If you link your blog regularly with the articles, your whole site will be integrated so that traffic flows both straight to the main site and through the content that regularly circulates through the blog.
#2. Think about word count for your blog.
Social Media Examiner notes that blog posts do not need to have strict word counts and that, in some cases, the focus on quantity can damage the quality. If you want to describe a particular topic in brief, you can always link to another post that addresses the same general subject at greater length. Focus on quality, not quantity.
#3. Consider word count for your service pages.
For another perspective, QuickSprout reported in 2012 that the average content length for any webpage that ranks in the top 10 results on Google – for any keyword – is over 2000 words. Furthermore, also in 2012, SEOmoz analyzed its own blog posts, determining that higher word count consistently yielded a greater number of links. Don’t disregard Step #1 for your service pages though. Aim high, as high as you can, but don’t wear your topic thin.
#4. Implement H1, H2, and H3 tags.
David Amerland stresses the importance of header tags to organize your content. By creating a strong structure to your material, you allow the search engines to better “read” the data. Think of your page as an outline. The title presents the general topic, an H1 represents a secondary topic, and so on.
#5. Be careful with internal linking.
In the age of semantic search, aka conversational search, you really need to be paying extreme attention to the way that you link within your own site. As copywriter Nelly Vinnik explains, the Google Hummingbird Update and Internal Link Structure are connected at the hip. The anchor text of your internal links should be natural, conversational, non-manipulative, and diversified.
#6. Avoid keyword stuffing.
Keyword stuffing – repeating the same keyword or key phrase ad nauseum – has become unwise in the age of more intelligent search engines. WordStream suggests a few simple tactics so that you can optimize your site for users seeking particular items – such as “cheap running shoes” – without damaging your search relevance:
- Do the math – For any keyword you choose, make sure it is not overbearing within the content. Make sure your keyword density is 5% or less. If you are optimizing for “cheap running shoes,” it should only appear once every 60 words (number of words in key phrase multiplied by 20).
- Lengthen your key phrases – Develop long-tail keywords. This task will also help you avoid competition by placing part of your focus on more complex search terms. Also remember that semantic search is better at recognizing subject matter, so you won’t just reach users searching for that specific phrase.
- Utilize synonyms – Broaden your keyword list by using synonyms rather than hammering the same words. Among other things, that helps Google determine which particular meaning of a word is relevant to your content. Tools such as Synonym Search can help.
#7. Integrate visuals into the content.
People appreciate pictures and diagrams when they are reading books. The same is true online. ClickZ says that adding photos, videos, and infographics to text performs two roles. First, it creates greater engagement by breaking up the content and reducing digital eyestrain. Second, images allow your visitors to scan the page and determine if it is relevant to their needs, which makes for happier visitors.
The bottom line is to incorporate rich media into your strategy. Pay special consideration to videos, embedding targeted ones into your articles.
#8. Use alt text with photos and videos.
They say a picture is worth 1000 words, but not to Google: the search engine bots have difficulty understanding images. As described by DIYthemes, alt text – like header tags – helps Google to understand the theme and meaning of the picture. To use this approach, simply include the alt text in an image tag as follows:
<img src=”cheap-running-shoes.jpg” alt=”Cheap Running Shoes” />
We will post Parts 2 and 3 of this series in the near future. Good luck in your efforts. If you need help with Cloud VPS Hosting for your website or applications, Atlantic.Net offers 24/7 support for your own SSD cloud VPS, live in just 30 seconds.