Search engine optimization (SEO) is the latest buzz phrase in online marketing and one of the most puzzling elements of web and content development in today’s battle for online presence.
As communicators and marketers, we strive to understand these modern tools that can help our news releases, web pages, and social media posts stand out in search engine results and boost our online page rankings. If you’re still trying to navigate search engine optimization, here are 5 SEO tips that will help you get started.
Optimize Your Website Tag
As search engines crawl through your website looking for keywords and content to help them cultivate query results, you can help them along by adding a few basic features to your web coding.
- Title Tag: Every webpage should include a custom title that is unique, written specifically for that page, and gives hints about the content on the page.
- Attributes: Use the title attribute when using h1, h2, and h3 header tags. When embedding images, remember to give it a custom file name, and include title and alt attribute tags that describe what it the image portrays.
- Customize your Permalinks: Google suggests using URLs that contain relevant words, that provide users and search engines with more information about the page than an ID or oddly named parameter would.
Get Your Brand on Major Social Networks
If you’re planning to engage customers on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, then you should head over to each platform and reserve your brand name. Jayson DeMers states that, “Simply having a brand presence on these channels will improve your search engine rankings, because it proves credibility and authority to the search engines.” Twitter’s new search function also promotes search engine results, so start producing and distributing content.
Add Social Media Buttons to Your Website
Is your website socially charged? Consider nesting social media like, send, +1, and email share buttons on each page of your website to make sharing easier on your visitors.
If you have share buttons visible at the beginning and the end of each blog post, user interaction and sharing will make it easier to match interested groups of people up with relevant content. AddThis just released a Welcome Bar that can help you customize your share prompts based on the social platform your user arrived from. Use soft suggestions like, “if you enjoyed this, then you should Like it on Facebook.”
Share Your Awesomeness Frequently
DeMers also suggests that users create shareable content often. He says, “The more content your site has, the higher the chance it’ll be returned as a search result, yielding more organic search traffic.” The more links available on your blog, the more content that will be available for web crawlers to look through. Also, when you publish compelling content, you encourage the belief that you are a thought leader in your industry, raise the likelihood of your site appearing in searches, and slowly but steadily raise your Klout score.
Add an HTML Site Map
Another frequently overlooked addition is the “Site Map” page. This can be especially useful if your site consists of hundreds of nested pages that would normally take forever to navigate, but can be easily categorized. You may think you’re just offering a user-friendly service, but Google suggests adding an HTML or XML site map page to your website to help ensure that search engines discover the pages on your site. It will help search engines crawl across your site faster, and allow them to find the most important pages easier for search results.
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