It’s a simple concept : The higher you rank in Google search results, the more likely that users will click on your website. But what goes into getting to one of those top spots? The simplified answer: content, design, and SEO.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) relate to the different methodologies a website owner need to perform to optimize his site so it will send positive signals to search engines to improve the site’s visibility and rankings in the SERPs. The different methodologies include the technical optimization of the site, optimizing the site’s content and UX, establishing the site’s authority in the relevant business niche and more.
To get you started on your way to the top, we’ve boiled some easy SEO tips you can (and should) implement. Here are our 6 Easy SEO Tips to Boost Your Site in Search Engines:
1. Choose the Right Domain Name
It is important to choose your domain name carefully. Your domain name can be short and simple if you decide to use just your business name (i.e – www.carter.com) or it can be longer if you will also choose to incorporate one of you keywords into it (i.e – www.cater-candles.com).
2. Create a Navigable Website
SEO navigation best practices can be summarized in that both search engines and users need to be able to understand your site hierarchy and to find everything on your website quickly, within a few seconds and a few clicks.
Use a familiar hierarchy when sectioning off your site by creating product categories and placing like products within the same category. Imagine the organization of a grocery store: you know when you go into the store that all of the canned fruits and vegetables are going to be in the same, clearly-labeled aisle (category), within that aisle you’ll find canned fruits in one section (sub-category) and vegetables in their own section. The same scheme holds true for clear website navigation: everything should be clearly labeled and organized (you don’t want customers going to the produce section for their canned fruit).
Make sure that all of your pages are reachable; never abandoned or orphaned. And if you’re out of a product, make that clear and offer an alternative; a custom 404 page is a great way of doing this. A support section is also helpful to your customers, as is the customer service counter at your grocery store.
3. Optimize the Title & Description of each Page
Title tags and meta descriptions are often the only things visible in the search results, and bots also judge the contents of a page based on these meta tags (especially based on the title tag).
Title tag length usually ranges between 55-70 characters, though it is actually judged by pixels and may vary based on the whims of Google. The current viewable pixel count is about 600. Meta descriptions give you a bit more space, usually between 155 and 160 characters, though that too is subject to change.
Having the right keywords in the right places is critical, as is using an enticing headline, so you should make the most of this limited space and don’t forget to include your business name. Here’s an example based on a fictional candle-maker. The important keywords are “handmade candles”, “tea lights”, and “custom candle.”
Title tag – Handmade Candles & Tea Lights | 50% Off Custom Candle Orders | Carter’s Candles
Meta Description – Free shipping when you order handmade, custom candles online. We make artisan candles and tea lights from soybean and beeswax. Carter can make custom scents and colors for any occasion!
4. Images and Alt Text
People love images, but search engine bots can’t “see” them and they depend on the Alt text tag to understand what the image is about. Therefore, you need to use the Alt text tag to describe what’s shown in the image. For instance, an image of a green hand-made candle should use an Alt text of “green handmade candle”.
While it’s tempting to dump numerous keywords into the alt text, remember that it’s also used for accessibility for visually impaired people using special screen-reading software, so don’t abuse it by stuffing keywords into it.
5. Connect your Website to your Social Channels
Connect your site with your social media channels. With the rise in use of social platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, your visibility on these platforms may increase your potential to draw customers. Maintain your social accounts, keeping them fresh and up to date. Above all, be sure that the links to your social profiles and back to your site are clearly visible.
6. List Your Site Locally
There are many ways to leverage your site in local search results, but 3 of the simplest things you can do are:
- Make sure your address and phone number appear on every page with a universal footer.
- Completely fill out Google’s local business listings.
- Listing your site on both local and niche directory sites (Yelp, Angie’s List, etc.).