Jill Kurtz, Owner, Kurtz Digital Strategy
Want to show up well in major search engines? You will hear a lot of things that make it sound hard. But, really, SEO is all about paying attention to the basics of having a good web presence.
Provide Excellent Content
Create the best quality content that you can, and consistently review and improve on it. Your content should demonstrate your expertise.
- Say something worth reading
- Be current
- Answer the questions your audience is asking
- Use the words your audience uses (not insider or corporate jargon)
Speak to Your Audience
Focus on what your audience wants and needs. If you offer the content that your audience is searching for, you will come up well in searches.
Make sure your website offers the things your audience needs in a straightforward manner. Don’t hide the good stuff in a lot of paragraphs and words. Straight up, offer the info that people are looking for. Make it about your user, not yourself!
You may be tempted by offers to quickly get you to the top of search results, to sell you leads, to manage your Adwords campaign and more. Don’t.
Search engines have a very fine tuned radar for anything that does not appear to be authentic to the site. If your content or activity gets flagged you are worse off than when you started. It can take weeks or months to get back on track. Your reputation may suffer irreversible damage.
Give your visitors high-quality content, a great user experience and a secure, technically superior website. It may take more time, but it will build you the right base.
Optimize Site Speed
As far as search engines are concerned, the fastest websites are the best websites. This is because people expect content to be served to them quickly. Nobody waits.
- Install a caching plugin
- Optimize image sizes
- Check Google’s page speed tool for issues and fix them
Make sure that related content within your site is interlinked. Don’t rely on navigation or your site search to do this for you. If content is related, link it.
Likewise, link to external sites that will help your audience. The better you are at completely serving their interests, the more valuable you become.
When you have great content, it also puts you in a great position to earn links from other sites. Reach out to places that make sense and ask for links. Be sure to be specific about what page and where your content is a good fit. Make it as easy as possible for the webmaster to act on your request.
Search engines love new content because people do, too. This means removing content that is out of date or no longer relevant. You can move it to draft if you think you may need it someday. Just don’t keep it live on your site to clutter out the newest, best content.
Also, keep track of your content and the topics it covers helps to avoid keyword cannibalization. Offering too much similar, competing content can actually harm your SEO.
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? How are pages performing? Merge or delete content as warranted.