How important is SEO to your website’s success?
Over 90 percent of web users don’t look past the first page of the search results, so if your site isn’t there, then it’s not getting nearly as much traffic as it could be.
It’s not easy to get to the top of the search results, but there are many ways that you can boost your site’s ranking in 2017, let’s look at some of them.
1). Install an SEO Plugin
An SEO plugin is an excellent way to control what search engines see on your website, and a plugin will also help you optimize the content that you create. For WordPress, Yoast is one of the most popular SEO plugins and it has a high user rating.
2). Research Keywords
If you want the content you create to do well in search results, then you need to research keywords first to choose the focus keyword for that content.
Recently, I started using Ferzy Long-tail Keyword Tool to find easy-to-rank search terms that your competitors haven't discovered yet. You'll be amazed. For example, when I did a search for "content marketing" here are the long-tail keywords that I found using Ferzy:
You’ll typically have better success with long-tail keywords, which are more specific strings of words.
For example, if you’re writing an article about boxing gloves, it will be difficult to beat the pages at the top of the search results for “boxing gloves.” You’d have better luck by being more specific, such as “boxing gloves under $75.”
Read more about keyword research methods here.
3). Use the Focus Keyword Right Away
You’ll get the best results by putting your focus keyword in your content’s first paragraph. This shows the search engines that the content is strongly related to that focus keyword.
4). Write an Effective Meta Description
A meta description may not be useful for boosting a page’s search engine ranking, but if it’s well written, it can get more people to actually click on that page.
Write a meta description that draws the reader
This HubSpot article will help you write better meta descriptions.
5). Use Header Tags
Header tags show search engines the focus of your content. You should write headers that include your focus keyword and variations of it.
If you’re using WordPress, your theme will likely automatically give the title of your post an H1 tag, and you can use smaller header tags throughout the content.
6). Add Alt Tags to Your Images
Image alt tags are another part of your content that search engines use to determine if the image is related to the content. When you put images into your content, make sure you include image alt tags that relate to or contain your focus keyword.
7). Keep Your URL Short
When it comes to URLs, shorter is better. Search engines prefer pages with shorter URLs, and web users tend to click on pages with shorter URLs more often. Trim down your URLs to just your focus keyword whenever possible.
Here's a great example of this from the travel industry:
8). Write Long-Form Content
Multiple studies have proven that longer content does better in the search rankings. As a rule of thumb, try to post content that is 2,000 words or longer.
Just like this epic post from Bluewire Media on daily social media planning.
9). Name Your Featured Image After Your Focus Keyword
Before you upload a featured image for your content, put the content’s focus keyword in the image name. This is another way of showing search engines that the focus keyword is related to your content.
10). Interlink Your Content
Any content you create should have links to at least three other pages on your website. This encourages people to look at more of your content and to stay on your website longer.
11). Link Out to High Authority Sites
When you put external links to authority sites in your content, it shows search engines the kind of content that is relevant to yours.
It also provides more valuable information to your
12). Make Affiliate Links Nofollow
Affiliate links can be a great way to earn money from your website, but they can also harm your SEO, as search engines may penalize you if you use too many. You can avoid this problem by making all your affiliate links
13). Build Up Backlinks
To really rise up the search rankings, your site needs backlinks from authority sites. There are many backlink techniques out there, so you should experiment and find one or more that work well for you.
Here's a great resource from Backlinko.
14). Write Evergreen Content
The best type of content from an SEO perspective is content that stays relevant. You’ll get more traffic from it and you’ll be able to share it repeatedly.
And here is an example of an article that is evergreen from Forbes…. Because people will always want to negotiate a higher starting salary;
15). Watch Out for Negative SEO
Backlinks from spam sites hurt your SEO. Keep an eye on your backlinks, and if you become the victim of negative SEO, use the Google disavow tool to build a list of domains for Google to ignore when it comes to your backlinks.
16). Grab Those Social Media Profiles
Make sure you obtain profiles for your site on all the social media networks. You can gain a significant amount of traffic through social media.
17). Make It Fast
Optimize your site to maximize its speed, because not only do search engines take your site’s speed into
You only have seconds to engage your audience, so make sure it doesn’t take long for your site to load.
Improving the SEO of your site is a process, and it definitely requires hard work. Once you get it down, though, optimizing your content for search engines will become second nature.
Author: Mel Devent is a passionate blogger who enjoys writing about all things digital marketing. She is currently working as a Marketing Associate at Blogger Sidekick, helping small businesses build authority brands with content marketing. In her spare time she loves scuba diving, watching movies and catching up with friends.