What do you think of when SEO comes to your mind? If you think of a quasi-mystical trade where a selected few professionals know the secrets to get your website on top of the search engines results and ahead of the competition, then it’s time to re-check your perspective.
Simply put, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization – nothing more, nothing less. It’s an extensive set of practices you can use to help the search engines understand what your website is about.
You don’t necessarily need an expert to do your SEO right; to begin with, there are simple but wholly important insights that you should be mindful of while developing your website. And here they are:
Fill up image tags and captions
Image alt tags are tidbits of information that you’re supposed to use to describe the pictures in your website. Since search engines are not so good at recognizing pictures, it’s up to the webmaster to fill in such information. Since most webmasters are too lazy to bother doing so, that’s actually a great opportunity for you: because due to low competition/poor optimization on image searches, often you’ll manage to get pictures to rank across image searches simply by writing in a descriptive alt tag!
On a similar note, you should take the time to add captions below your pictures – not as much because search engines like captions, but especially because most of your visitors really like them. And search engines can tell when people like your website, and they will invariably reward you for putting in the effort to create a great user experience (see more on this point later in this article).
Linking posts to one another
When people think about SEO, they usually wonder about link building. Which makes good sense: links certainly help establish what your website is about, as well as boosting its authority. However, before setting out across the world wide web looking for interesting link opportunities, why not start by looking over your own domain for such opportunities?
It’s utterly important to watch your internal linking structure, and make sure all relevant posts are connected to one another by a descriptive link. Not only will this induce visitors to keep clicking around and reading more content, it also helps establish what are the most important pages or posts in your website.
Adequately placing social media buttons
If you haven’t already integrated social media share buttons in your website design, you really need to put that in your urgent to-do list. The easier you make it for visitors to share your content, the better! And the more people click those social media buttons in your website, the more visitors you’ll get… not to mention that your website authority will grow steadily from those extra links.
So, how do you make sure you’re adequately placing those buttons? Easy. Make sure to put them in a place where visitors will click on naturally, such as below the post or scrolling alongside the main content column. No need to go overboard, though: it usually works better to add just a few social bookmarks(usually Facebook, Twitter and Google+), since too many options tend to lead to visitor inaction.
Doing a bit of keyword research before choosing a post title
If you haven’t quite gotten in the habit of doing a bit of keyword research prior to deciding on your post and page titles, you’re absolutely disserving yourself. This research needn’t take more than 5 minutes, which sometimes will be enough to locate a popular phrasing for your title that people actually search for… as opposed to a poetic sort of phrasing that sounds better to you, but no one else searches for.
Believe it or not – with all other elements the same, the phrasing of the title can be the difference between a post that gets thousands of organic views per month and another post that hardly anyone will read. Do your best to write titles enticing titles around terms that people actually search!
Do you know what the average page-views per visitor are, across your websites? Do you have any idea how you might be able to improve that ratio? If not, it’s time to get creative! In this day and age of SEO, user engagement is an increasingly important ranking factor.
In simple terms: the longer you get visitors to hang around your website and the more articles they browse during each visit, the better your website authority will be. Which only makes sense… after all, the main goal of most search engines is hosting a great user experience. If your website is aligned with that same goal, it’s more power to you!
Did you found this article useful? Then adopt these insights of Internal SEO right away, and your website traffic, reach and popularity will surely tend to grow.
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