Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Things to Consider Before You Optimize SEO
As time goes on, search engines will continue to update their ranking requirements and get more specific, which is why it’s so important to keep updated on how to optimize SEO. Yes, the changes can sometimes lead to a drop in analytics/ranking factors, but sometimes they can provide a boost. For the most part, all the changes lead to search engines becoming more efficient and user-friendly, which is good for business! Over time, they give you a clearer picture of where you stand and what you need to improve.
Ultimately, search engine optimization happens over time, and it’s an ongoing process. It’s not a “set it and forget about it” type of tool. Some things will stay the same, but no matter what, new, relevant, and user-friendly content is what drives a site’s ranking to new heights.
Guess what else changes a site’s ranking? Competitors! If you’re not consistently creating tailored/quality content, and a competitor is, plus they’re utilizing SEO strategies, guess who will rank higher in the long run? To add, it’ll stay that way until another competitor (or your company) changes that! No matter what, consistently adding new QUALITY content keeps a website fresh and improves your ranking over time. Once you start doing that, search engine bots take note and come back to crawl your site more frequently. The result = you’ll be easier to find online and show up higher in the search results that matter most to your business.
Three Easy Ways to Optimize SEO
1. Update Keywords
Content requires a focal point and purpose. One way to do that is to use keywords that make sense (and make sure the page or post is detectable by search engines).
Keywords are a vital part of SEO. They help to target specific audiences. Sometimes keywords can become “outdated,” though. For example, buzzword trends pop up all of the time, and they may either help a site or not. Buzzwords are a bit touchy because most of your audience might not be familiar with the meaning(s). Definitely, it won’t help with a search if that’s the case! However, if most of your audience commonly speaks in “buzzwords,” then it might be a helpful tactic.
Quick tip: Ever hear of keyword-stuffing? If yes, keep avoiding it! If not, it’s when you assign a keyword to a post or page and purposely overuse it to manipulate search engine rankings. GoogleBot is more intelligent than you think! Your site can be penalized, flagged, or even blocked!
Use Long Tail Keywords
Next, try experimenting with long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords consist of three to five-word phrases that are very specific to whatever someone is searching for. If you figure out the right combo, it’ll show! Plus, usually, when people search for things in a super-accurate way, they’re looking to buy! Or maybe they’re just researching? Either way, they know what they want.
How to Find the Keywords People Search for
To get an idea of which keywords are used the most, use Google Suggest and the Google AdWords Keyword Planner.
Google Suggest finds phrases people use when searching (queue: long-tail keywords!) Also, when searching on Google, pay close attention to the bottom of the page. (You’ll notice additional suggestions.)
Google’s Keyword Planner is a valuable tool. To figure out how often keywords are being searched (in real-time), use the “Traffic Stat” view. Also note, that the “Competition” view is a debatable stat to follow (for some). It indicates the number of online advertisers the keyword has linked to and falls on to a scale of “low, medium, and high.”
2. Add SEO to Images!
As you write more content for your website, don’t forget to add pictures! Have you been optimizing those too? Remember to make the file name relevant to what is in the image and add Alt Text while you’re at it! Alt text helps viewers who use screen readers, or if your picture doesn’t load, it’ll display the text instead.
So how many images should be in a single blog post? A recent study from Blogpros.com shows to include at least one photo for about every 350 words.
3. Resize Your Images
Lastly, don’t forget to resize images to their proper dimensions (based on your site’s theme specifications). Keep in mind that if you use a plugin that “automatically resizes” images to fit a particular dimension on each page, the full-sized image still probably exists within your site’s media library! If that happens, it can slow down your site’s load time because not only is the original image still the same size, but you now have a plugin that’s taking up space too. Don’t fret, though; there are tons of ways to make your website run faster. No matter what, keeping tabs on site speed and page load times while improving upon it makes a huge difference in user experience and SEO!
Until Next Time!
So there you have it, three quick ways to better optimize SEO by using long-tail keywords, adding SEO to images, and making sure your pictures are correctly sized! If you’re looking for more search engine optimization how-tos and tips, check out these posts!:
- How to make sure your site isn’t over-optimized
- The different types of SEO and how to use them
- Local SEO tips for small businesses
- Why you shouldn’t buy followers and backlinks
- How to fix duplicate content issues on your site
- Nine SEO myths in 2018 debunked!
- Before you optimize a site, consider these 7 SEO tips.
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