SEO Beyond Keywords

header apple userThe techniques to optimize your web pages for search engine optimization (SEO) change all the time.

There’s more to this than just dropping keywords into your text. Google and other search engines are constantly seeking ways to deliver the search results users want. The result is ever-changing guidelines for SEO.

Here’s a refresher that you can use to make sure your SEO efforts are on target with today’s rules

Start with Keywords

It is still important to know your keywords. Know the words and phrases people use to when they want to get to you and the content you have to offer. Use keywords in navigation, titles, text, image alt tags, etc where they make sense.

Don’t stuff your pages with keywords just to increase the number of times they are used. A page density of between 1-3% will have an impact.

More Page Factors Influence SEO

There are more factors that impact the rank of your website and pages on search engines. Pay attention to these in addition to keywords:

  • Optimize for mobile search: As of April 2015, Google penalizes pages that aren’t optimized well for mobile. Mobile traffic accounts for half or more of your web traffic, so you can’t afford to not be seen well on the mobile search and screen.
  • Title Tags and the page meta description: These two tags are not seen on your page, but they are used by search engines. The title tag should be no more than 60 characters and should include at least one keyword. Keep the meta description to less than 160 characters and make sure it says something that will attract visitors.
  •  Image tags: Image tags are helpful for more than accessibility. ALT tags are used  by search engines to index images, which serves as another path to your content.
  • Internal links:  Link to relevant content within and across your own pages.
  • Business basics: Privacy policy, contact us, and terms of service pages signal to search engines that you are a legitimate business and contributes positively to SEO.
  • Quick page loads: If your pages aren’t loading in 4 seconds or less, your search engine rank will suffer. Speed issues can be cause by several factors, from poor coding, to large images, to web hosting restrictions. You may need technical help to get to the root of slowness issues, but it will be worth the investment if SEO is important to you.