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SEO Fundamentals to Follow

Have Great Content

Give your visitors high-quality content, a great user experience and a secure, technically sound website. That isn’t fast or easy, but it is the sure way to rank well and maintain your rankings. Search engines like fresh content, but they also like sites that earn clicks consistently.

Know your area of expertise and be generous in sharing insights. That markets your business to potential customers and helps search engines understand where your content fits with searcher interests.

Focus on original content over links to other experts in your area. While links to related sites are good for SEO, you need to generate a body of information that draws people to your website and your business.

Create the best quality content that you can, and consistently review and improve on it wherever possible. Demonstrate your expertise and stand out from the crowd.

Pay Attention to Speed

People don’t wait for sites to load. They move on. We all behave this way, yet we forget to check our own web presence for speed. Slow sites are not effective. Period.

Use Google’s free page speed analyzer often to make sure your site is fast to load.

There are several ways to speed up your website. Some may require more technical skill than you have, but it is worth the investment to bring someone on who can rev up your load time.

Images are one factor that you can control easily within your site admin area. Large, high definition images will take a long time to load. Always take the time to resize your images to the scale needed by your website.

Focus on Your Audience

You will only succeed online if you focus on what your audience wants and needs. Search engines aim to give users what they’re looking for. If your content doesn’t get clicked, you will never achieve good SEO.

Are you really offering searchers what they’re looking for when they type in their search? Are they looking for information or to take action? What do they need from you? Focus there.

Competition for attention is fierce. Users want to visit sites that solve their problem or provide the information or service they need. They don’t care about product-related jargon or why you want them to read your blog post. Always write for your audience.

Link Within Your Site

Link related content within your site. These are called internal links. These links make it easy for search engines to crawl your site to work out which articles are most important and to help your users find what they’re looking for.

Make sure that your most important articles also have the most internal links pointing to them. Use keywords in the link text to make the benefit of clicking the link clear.

Maintain Your Content

Keep your content fresh and relevant.

Do a site search for one of your most important keywords and see what comes up. Do articles overlap, and do you still need to keep everything? Delete or merge content as needed to ensure everything that is published is worthy of a click.

Avoid Getting Toppled by SEO Rule Changes

Focus on these SEO fundamentals and you will protect yourself from huge demotions as SEO algorithms change. All of these focus on providing great content that is meaningful to your audience. If you focus there, you can’t lose!

Best Practices for Link Text

Links are important in online content. They help you connect people with the content they want. They are also an important component of search ranking. There is a strategy to creating the best link text in your content.

Research Identifies These 4 Qualities of Great Link Text

Recent research by Nielsen Norman Group indicates that to get the most clicks, write specific links that set sincere expectations, are substantial enough to stand alone, and are as succinct as possible.

As people scan your site, they look for links to get them to the information you want. Keep these four elements in mind to create links.

  • Specific: Make the link text specific, so the user knows exactly what they’ll get.
  • Sincere: Link text must set expectations that will be instantly met when the user clicks. When links set expectations that aren’t met, the user’s trust in the site and the organization it represents is reduced.
  • Substantial: Most users scan rather than read online. Links draw attention. The link text needs to give the user enough information to decide to click.
  • Succinct: Get to the point as quickly as possible, to increase the likelihood that users will quickly understand the link.

A link’s primary purpose is to communicate to users what they’ll find when they click. Vague or repetitive language fails that purpose. “Learn more” and “Click here” are not effective links.

SEO Considerations for Links

SEO is also a consideration when creating links. Search engines use links as a signal of content quality.

Be sure to create external links to high quality sites that supplement your content. This helps people get to the content they want, and also signals to search engines that your content is part of valuable content within a topic area.

Also create internal links within your website. Links from one page to another help connect your content. They also signal the most important pages at your site. Several links equate to high content value.

Both internal and external links should use keywords as link text. Keywords indicate what the linked content is about. This helps people and search crawlers understand your content focus and expertise.

Website Meta Descriptions Are Mega Important

Google displays a brief description with most web page results – this content is the meta description of the page. Since this text influences whether your link will get clicked, having the right content is mega important.

It there is no meta description designated, the first 150 characters or so of the page will be used. Depending on how your page is constructed, that content might not make any sense!

The ideal meta description is about 150 characters and summarizes a page’s content. Search engines show it in search results mostly when the searched-for phrase is within the description.

Meta Descriptions Earn Clicks

Search engines don’t use meta descriptions in their ranking algorithm but the descriptions are valuable for SEO.

  • Search engines use meta description content to determine if a page might be relevant to a searcher
  • Page click-through-rate DOES factor into the ranking algorithm

What Makes a Good Meta Description

  • 120-155 characters long
  • Active voice/actionable, motivating user to click
  • Uses keywords
  • Accurately reflects the content of the page

Set Yourself Up for success

If you have no idea how to set the meta description field for you website content talk to your web support. This is as essential as the content on the page. You need to be able to write the description for each page and to change it as needed.

Once you have access to this field, don’t accept any default content. Write the best description for each page based on the guidance above. Update them as content changes or keywords change.