5 Tips for Optimizing Your Content for Search Engines

While advertising is an effective method for attracting new customers, it’s also expensive. That’s why savvy business owners apply Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tactics to increase website traffic while keeping costs down.

Here are five tips you can use to maximize your company’s SEO efforts:

Tip #1: Research and Identify Keywords

People are searching for your website with terms you may be aware of, as well as some you may not. Make sure your website is optimized for the wide variety of terms people are using to find you.

  • Use Google’s free keyword tool (adwords.google.com) to find out what terms people use to find sites similar to yours
  • Take all the keyword terms you found in your research and make a list of the most commonly searched terms. These are the main keywords to use throughout your website

Tip #2: Integrate Keywords into Your Content

To get high rankings in search engine results for your website and pages, you must create content that is easy to read, informative and includes key words and phrases.

  • Keep it Simple.  You don’t need to have every keyword written into every sentence
  • Write your content as if you were talking to a prospective customer

Tip #3: Add Keywords to Your Tags

While the value of meta tags has decreased over the years due to abuse and the evolution of search engine algorithms, it is still recommended to integrate keywords into your meta tags.

  • Meta keywords tag – this tag tells the search engine what your website is about based on your keywords
  • Meta description tag – this short description you see in search results (also indexed by spiders) should include a short description of your website that includes your keywords

Tip #4: Simplify Your Website Layout

Help the search engines by creating a website that is easy to crawl and navigate for both the search engine’s bots and your prospects.

  • Make sure your website is easy to explore.  Use simple navigation that doesn’t require more than 3 clicks to a call to action (such as clicking a ‘buy’ button or filling out a ‘contact us’ form)
  • Cross promote your other pages. Include links to your other service and product pages within your content

Tip #5: Know What Not to Do

It may be tempting to try to fool the search engines in order to influence search results, but these methods do not work and will only reduce your ranking, or worse, have your website banned from the results altogether.

  • Never buy bulk inbound links.  There are questionable companies out there who offer to purchase links for you that link from other websites (from the hundreds to the thousands) to your website, which will reduce your rank quickly
  • Don’t repeat keywords incessantly. Using the same keywords over and over in a single tag or sentence is known as ‘keyword stuffing.’  This practice will not only confuse and irritate your prospects, but it will signal to search engines that you have nothing relevant to say
  • Never hide keywords. Search engines are now intelligent enough to recognize hidden keywords on your pages and will ban your website for such a practice (such as adding paragraphs of white text on a white background to your pages)
  • Refrain from excessive linking. While it’s good to link to other pages and websites, don’t over link (think more than 100 links on a single page). Search engines see that as spam and will penalize you for it
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