How to Optimize Your Website Content for SEO

So you’ve created some awesome content for your website, but you’re not seeing as many views or interactions with your work as you would like. Chances are you haven’t incorporated SEO (Search Engine Optimization) into your website. Research shows that 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine. If you aren’t properly tagging your work with the right keywords and terms then there is very little chance that your work is going to be seen.

SEO can be a fickle beast to learn, but once you master it, your website will flourish with higher rankings, more views, and more interactions with your audience. We’ve prepared a list of SEO tips and tricks for you to use to help you get your content noticed.

Learn about keywords

broad long tail keywords
Here we see examples of both broad and long-tail keywords.

If you’ve heard about SEO, chances are you’ve also heard about keywords. There are many different kinds of keywords that you can use to incorporate SEO into your website, but we are going to focus on two of them, broad and long-tail keywords.

Broad keywords are just basic keywords that you would use that have to do with your business, industry, or content. These are usually just 1-2 words in length and are used more for just general searches. For example, if you run a local pizza place, some keywords you might use for your various website pages might include, “pizza”, “(your town name) pizza”, “pizza delivery”, “best pizza”, etc.

The problem with broad keywords is that they are very generic and there is massive competition between everybody using them. Long-tail keywords are for narrowing down a search and standing out from your competition. Long-term keywords, as you might have guessed, are longer phrases that usually contain 3-4 words. So instead of having short terms, you can have very specific phrases that people might search for when they get on whichever search engine they choose. Some examples might include, “Best pizza (your town name”, “best pizza delivery”, “authentic Italian pizza place”, “family-friendly pizza restaurant”, etc.

Research keywords and incorporate them into your website

When you are coming up with keywords for your website, come up with about 10 different topics that have to do with your industry or what your website is about. Once you have those topics you can start surrounding them with various keywords and phrases that relate to them. A good place to start for these keywords and phrases is in an actual search engine.

When you enter certain words into the search bar of a search engine it will try and finish what you are writing. This is because the search engine is trying to match your words with popular things that others haves searched for. With this feature you can get a glimpse at would people are searching for with terms that revolve around your industry and begin to improve your SEO.

The next step is to use a keyword tool to find keywords for you. There are many different places you can go for this, some free, many not, but if you want the best results possible to improve your SEO, you’re probably going to need to pay a website for their services. For free tools, you can try Keyword Tool or WordStream, but for more reliable results you might want to try Google Analytics or HubSpot’s Keyword App.

If you pay for a website or App to help you find keywords you’ll most likely get a list of related terms followed by the number of times they were searched for on the Internet. This will let you know what terms will work for you and what terms are not really searched for. Now, don’t panic, these keyword websites are usually inexpensive and you don’t absolutely need to use one. If you do not use a website to find keywords, however, you will need to do a lot more research and there will be a lot more guess work involved with your keywords.

Once you’ve done your research incorporate your keywords into your website to improve your SEO score. You’ll only want to add 1-2 long-tail keywords and a few of the shorter keywords. If you overstuff your website with too many keywords search engines will penalize your ranking and you’ll be hurting your SEO rather than improving it.

Optimize your images

image optimization
What you actually name your image files plays a role in your SEO.

This tip is pretty simple and straightforward and it will really help you to incorporate SEO into your website. A lot of people don’t realize that when search engines rank websites for searches that they actually take images into account, not just text. This is because the search engine will see images differently than you do. While you might see a beautiful picture that you’ve spent a good amount of time getting ready to be seen on your website, a search engine just sees the code. This is why when you’re naming your images that are going to be placed on your website you’ll want to keep keywords in mind. For example, if you run an online remote control car store, an image named “best-remote-control-car-canada.png” will help your website rank higher than an image simply named “stockimage47.png”. Go through the images on your website and make sure that they all are tagged with keywords to improve your SEO.

Ensure your website is mobile friendly

Mobile friendliness is a big necessity if you want to optimize your website for search engines. According to research by Google, 61% of users that experienced difficulty accessing a mobile website are unlikely to return and 40% of those visitors go to a competitor’s website instead. This coincides with the fact that now 80% of Internet users own a smartphone and that Google lists mobile-friendly results first. Honestly, if you have not made your website mobile friendly in today’s day and age, you are way behind the curve.

Don’t worry, there are plenty of easy to use tools out there to get you all caught up with the times. Most website builders come with a responsive web design that will identify what device a visitor is using, whether it’s an iPhone, Android, tablet, or desktop computer. Check to see if your website building tool has a responsive web design feature and if it doesn’t consider upgrading to a more SEO friendly option. If this is not an option for you, you can also build two websites, a desktop, and a mobile website. However, this option does not benefit you nearly as much when it comes to SEO. When you think that your website is mobile ready, make sure to test it with website tools like MobiReady, Responsinator, Mobile Phone Emulator.

Internally link whenever you can

Internally link whenever you can
Incorporating SEO into your website is not purely about tagging and keywording. Linking internally is also a very important part of SEO. Internal linking is when you link back to your website from other sources like blogs, social media, ebooks, or other web pages you may own. Why are internal links important? Well, internal links help search engines, like Google, check the relevance or validity of your website. The more links that point towards your website, the higher your website will rank in search engines. Be careful though, if you Spam links or have untrustworthy sites link to your website, then search engines will punish your search rankings and potentially blacklist your website. Only link from trustworthy sources with relevant content.

If you want your content and web pages to be seen then it is incredibly important to incorporate SEO into your website. Keywords are a big part of SEO and researching the right terms that get the most traffic can really give a boost to your website. Don’t spam keywords everywhere possible, because search engines can punish you for that, but do insert them whenever they are appropriate, like headlines, subtitles, in the body of text, and even in the URL. After that, it’s all about finding whatever other aspects you can optimize to rank as high as possible in search engines. There is a learning curve to SEO, but once you get the idea of it, you will see all of the different aspects that you can improve on your own website.

Ryan is a self-described geek. He's an avid gamer, a fan of science-fiction literature and an aspiring author and journalist. At HostPapa, he focuses on creating content to help small business owners make the most of their entrepreneurship experience.

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