You’ve created a beautiful website for your business that showcases the very best of the products and services that you provide. You’ve tested and tweaked the website so that it converts well and provides your customers with the information that they need. The trick now is how to market your website well and get it in front of the right people.
In this article Atlanta SEO Company Leads Near Me ® will explore common onsite and offsite search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, together with SEO methods that you’ll want to avoid at all costs.
Search Engine Optimization (onsite)
The best place to start with your online marketing is through getting your site listed on the search engines (i.e. Google). There’s plenty that you can do, both on your site and off your site to increase your chance of getting ranked.
Here are the main ways that you can use onsite SEO to your advantage:
- Content – Create high quality, worthwhile, well-researched and expert content; ensure that your content is informative, entertaining or educational and adds value for your audience
- Keywords – Research the main keywords people may use to find your site and include them in your content; think about what you would search for if you were looking for a site like yours
- Wordcount – Long form, deep articles and pages tend to do better in Google; as a minimum, you should aim for 1,000 – 1,250 words in your content. This also increases your chance of getting found for ‘long-tail’ keywords
- Engagement – Ensure your pages are ‘sticky’ and keep people there; work as hard as you can to reduce bounce rate (the number of people that only visit one page on your site and then leave)
- Relevance – Make your content as relevant, engaging and timely as you can for your audience. Keep your content fresh and updated, even if some of it is ‘evergreen’
- Authority – Create content and resources that will mark your site out as a trusted authority in its field; include links to other trusted sites and establish yourself as a credible voice in your niche
- Title & URL – Ensure that the titles and URLs of your pages are concise and contain the keywords you want to get ranked for
- Headings – Use heading tags on your site to break up and highlight important content; you can use multiple levels of headings to create a good hierarchical structure for your on-page text
- Description – Ensure you have proper descriptions (meta) for every page on your site that clearly and succinctly explains what the page is about and why it’s relevant to your potential readers
- Indexable – Can search engine spiders (like the Googlebot) easily crawl every relevant page on your site and does the site load quickly?
- Images – Make sure that your images have appropriate file names, alt-text and captions; Google Image Search is often easier to rank for than web search (there’s less competition)
Great SEO is probably the most efficient, cost effective way to bring people to your site. The principles of superb content, relevance, easy navigation, keywords and proper HTML will all help your site in organic search rankings. There’s lots of advice on search engine optimization all over the web and chasing the ‘secret sauce’ of the Google algorithms is an endless process!
The simplest rule to remember though is: create great content, write for people, not search engines and provide relevant, accessible and clear information.
Advantages of onsite search engine optimization: easy to start; inexpensive if you do it yourself; lots of information on SEO out there.
Disadvantages of onsite search engine optimization: algorithms are changing all the time; can take a while to track effectiveness of SEO; time consuming; expensive if you hire someone else.
Search Engine Optimization (offsite)
This goes hand in hand with your onsite SEO efforts and is equally as important. Although you might not have as much control over offsite SEO, there are still lots of steps that you can take to enhance it and get your website a better place in search results; they are:
- Create backlinks – Get links to your site from other websites; backlinks are essential for ranking well in search results
- Quality of backlinks – Your backlinks should come from other, high quality, trusted and respected websites that are authoritative in their fields
- Wording of backlinks – The backlinks may contain the keywords that your site is trying to rank for (although they don’t have to) and the websites being linked from should be on a similar subject to your site; note that ‘keyword stuffing’ backlinks is becoming less valuable and that Google are looking for natural backlinks, so be wary of your links looking too optimized
- Number of backlinks – The more backlinks there are from other websites to your own, the better although they should be from quality sites
- Social network shares, likes, tweets and +1s – It helps if your content is regularly shared and interacted with via social networks
- Age of your site and linking sites – The older your site and other sites are the better as this will help with your authority rating
- Searchers – Search results are customized for the individual searching; factors that can affect what they see include their country, history, what their friends like and whether they have visited your site before
Advantages of offsite search engine optimization: very effective way of creating authority for your site; can be inexpensive if you do it yourself; lots of sites that can link to yours.
Disadvantages of offsite search engine optimization: can be difficult to get backlinks; takes time and effort to get backlinks and social shares.
Bad Search Engine Optimization Techniques to Avoid
Just as there are some great onsite and offsite SEO techniques you can use, there are also a number of techniques that you should avoid. Although these techniques might get you a temporary boost, in the long term the search engines will recognize this and penalize your site. As a result, don’t do any of the following:
- Keyword stuffing – This happens if pages are stuffed with keywords in an unnatural way and almost always happens when people are writing for search engines and not for people
- Hidden content – Some techniques try to hide text on pages or use invisible images and other tricks to influence search engines
- Thin content – If your content is lacking in quality or pages are very short, that will count against your site in search engines
- Paid links – Backlinks paid for on other sites, directories or blogs are generally penalized on search engines
- Spam links – Putting out lots of links yourself onto forums, blogs and other places too quickly can have a negative effect on your site
- Duplicate content – If your website deliberately copies or ‘scrapes’ content from elsewhere, that can count against it
- ‘Spun’ content – Spun content consists of articles that may be featured in multiple places but with some words subtly or badly altered
- Bad translation, spelling, grammar or punctuation – Content that is badly written, grammatically incorrect or misspelled may have a penalty against it
You would be best off avoiding these ‘black hat’ SEO techniques.
In closing, SEO is probably one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways that most small business owners have to promote their websites. Spend some time learning and applying good onsite and offsite SEO techniques – This will increase your rankings in the search engines and drive more visitors to your website.
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