SEO is an intimidating, confusing topic, even for the professionals. So we’ve put together the ultimate 6 step guide to making your website SEO friendly, right here, right now. Forget about the pandas, the penguins and all that talk about algorithms for a moment, and let’s focus on the SEO friendly basics that will have search engines loving you long time.
Keywords make your website rank in search engines and direct people to your content, so they’re the first, and perhaps most important, step to making a website SEO friendly. To find the right keyword (for your page or blog post) think about what people would type into a search engine and do some basic keyword research to discover what the most popular search terms are on your topic. Once you’ve found your keyword or phrase, strategically place it in the title, meta description, permalink (URL), H2 tags (headings), in the alt text of images, as a tag and naturally throughout the copy. Whatever you do, resist the urge to keyword stuff. If you’re using Wordpress, install the SEO Wordpress by Yoast plug-in and use it as a keyword checklist right before you hit publish.
Crawlable Link Structures
Crawlable link structures (URLs) allow your website to quickly and easily be found by search engines and helps them determine what the page content is about. So, use meaningful keywords in your URL rather than numbers and symbols for the best results. For example, www.example.com/make-your-website-seo-friendly is much more effective than www.example.com/81215_ 5_steps_to_make_your_website_seo_friendly.
The content on your website has a great impact on whether or not it is SEO friendly because, if it’s not able to be indexed by search engines, it will never show up in search results. To ensure your content is indexable, publish high-quality, informative content that gives visitors exactly what they are looking for, which ultimately lowers your bounce rate (although there is no confirmed connection between rankings and bounce rate). Also, make sure there is no duplicate content on your website, because that warrants an SEO penalty and can severely impact your ranking.
Change the name of the file to a description of the picture e.g. Paris.jpg rather than image123.jpg as it helps images appear in search engine image searches, ultimately exposing your website to new readers and driving traffic towards it. You should also include alt tags on all images too.
Diverse Link Profile
Once you have completed all of the onsite steps to make your website SEO friendly, it’s time to work on your backlink profile and brand awareness. Start by creating a diverse backlink profile with both follow and nofollow links pointing to your site. These links give your site credibility and greater visibility in search results, making it easier for visitors (and search engines) to find your content. To put it simply, links pointing to your website act as a ‘tick of approval,’ and the more ‘ticks’ you have, the more Google will love you (and then reward you). In saying that, it’s important to build a natural, earned link profile that generates results long-term, rather than participating in bad link building strategies for quick results that you’ll eventually be penalized for.
While it has been suggested that social media is not a direct factor of Google’s ranking algorithm, there are many, many benefits to having social media platforms linked to your website. Social media platforms start the process of sharing your content across the web, which ultimately increases pageviews, generates new leads, drives traffic, widens brand exposure and builds your community of followers - all of which indirectly supports your SEO efforts. Start with Facebook, Twitter and Google+, and then depending on your niche, explore LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest.