Give Search Engines More than Keywords

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

There’s more to SEO 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. These are 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: Google penalizes pages that aren’t optimized well for mobile. Mobile traffic likely 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.
  • Page meta description and image alt tags: These two tags are not seen on your page, but they are used by search engines. Keep the meta description to less than 160 characters and make sure it says something that will attract visitors. Use at least one relevant keyword in image alt tags.
  • Internal links:  Link to relevant content across your own pages.
  • External links: Link to quality, relevant sites that are not your own. And-ask those sites to link to you.
  • 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.