Creating an SEO strategy can be a complicated process. With so many different pieces that need to come together flawlessly, it’s easy to make a mistake that could push your website down a few slots on a results page. Making the same mistakes over and over could cost your company important business. In order to improve your SEO strategy and start seeing better results, follow these six do’s and don’ts:
#1 Do: Properly Research Your Keywords: The keywords you select for your SEO strategy will be the center of your plan. If you’re not selecting the right keywords to target, you’ll struggle to find any success with your SEO strategy. Taking the time to properly research your keywords will help you get started on the right foot. Instead of selecting whatever keyword fits your topic, spend some extra time looking into how crowded a keyword is, what keywords your competition is targeting, and what keywords your target audience is searching for. When selecting keywords, look for a few that fit your post topic, are not heavily utilized by your competition, and that your audience is actually using when they search for content. This will give you the best chance for appearing at the top of a search engine results page. For more information, check out this Beginners Guide to SEO Research.
#2 Don’t: Keyword Stuff : How you place your keywords within the content is just as important as the keyword research. If you have the right keywords but you’re not applying them appropriately, you won’t find results from your SEO strategy. While stuffing your posts with relevant keywords may have been enough to get you to the top of a results page in the past, Google and other search engines are quick to shut that behavior down. Instead, they want to see keywords used productively and naturally. You should aim to keep your keyword count around 4 to 5 times within the post. To avoid keyword stuffing, use similar keyword phrases.
#3 Do: Use Internal Links in Your Copy: Internal links allow your readers to move from page to page easily. This can help boost your SEO strategy because it encourages them to keep reading, keeping them on your page and proving to search engines that you provide relevant content to your audience. Internal linking also gives search engine crawlers and easy path to move from page to page. If they can’t find what they’re looking for on the first page of your website they visit, following a link to the next page can encourage crawlers to keep exploring. This can improve your chances of getting placed on the top of a results page. When writing posts, include two or three internal links to other relevant posts on your website.
#4 Don’t: Only Use Internal Links: While internal links can help both readers and search engine crawlers explore your own site, only focusing on your own page can hurt your SEO. When creating your web of links, you also want to include a few external links. When you add an external link to a relevant site on your posts, you’re increasing what is known as “link juice.” The more link juice your website has, the better ranking you will have on a search engine results page. For every internal link you have in your post, you should include an external link. Be sure you’re only linking to highly credible websites and that the content backs up your claims or facts.
Do: Include Alt Text, Meta-descriptions, and Custom URLs – The copy of your content isn’t the only important part of an SEO strategy. Alt text, meta-descriptions, and custom URLs can all help boost your search engine results ranking, but they are commonly forgot about. While it may be an extra step, adding these additional components to your post gives you a better opportunity for ranking high on a results list. Optimizing your images, including easy to read URLs, and creating relevant meta-descriptions will allow you to further utilize your keywords and see better results.
#5 Don’t: Forget About the Reader: When you’re trying to create content that will rank highly on a search engine results page, you’re probably focusing on how well it fits with the search engine algorithm. While knowing the details of the algorithm is important for your ranking, forgetting about the reader will ultimately hurt you. Each post that you upload should put the reader’s needs first. Because search engines are always looking for better ways to improve their user experience, considering what the reader needs will help your SEO strategy stay relevant and save you time in the end.
#6 Don’t focus on trying to “cheat the system”: Instead, focus on providing your readers what they need and your SEO strategy will fall into place.
With the right tips and tricks, SEO doesn’t need to be complicated–you just need to know what you’re doing. Next time you’re creating an SEO strategy or optimizing a post, keep this list of SEO do’s and don’ts handy. If you’re looking for help building your SEO strategy, contact NiKnack Marketing – we’d love to chat!