SEO Best Practices and Useful Tips

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of improving your website’s rankings in the search engine results pages.  75% of users click on the organic listings in the search engines and rarely do they go the second or third page anymore. SEO is one of the most important yet underutilized marketing strategies.

The most effective way to drive visitors to your website at the lowest cost is to build your website’s organic search engine rankings. Search Engine Optimization is an effective tool for improving the volume and quality of traffic to your website. The process involves a combination of “on page” and “off page” strategies designed to support your business goals. Visibility in the search engines will improve your company’s online brand exposure while increasing site traffic, time one site, and conversions.

The reasons that so few companies still do not use SEO strategies properly include lack of understanding, lack of ability to implement, and the ever changing landscape of search engine algorithms.

The following are some best practices to follow.

Use the Right Keywords:  All SEO starts with the keyword strategy.  Its not always about choosing the most competitive search terms in your industry or the same keywords that your competitors rank for.  Its about choosing the best possible keyword variations for your business and prioritizing them accordingly.

Proper Keyword Mapping:  Based on your main target keywords, you can write page titles and descriptions.  These title tags and descriptions will give the search engine spiders and understanding of the content of each page.  The title and descriptions will also be what appear in the search engine results pages.  Be sure to also place keyword focused header tags (H1, H2, H3) in the HTML code on the page.

Code Order and Information Architecture:  Use SEO best practices when arranging code order.  When possible place your content further to the top of the page.  Proper information architecture will ensure good user experience but also help the search engine spiders navigate your pages and content.

Resolve 404 Errors:  Broken links and 404 errors in your site can cause penalties which will have a negative impact on search results as well as provide a poor user experience.

Use 301 Redirects for Canonicalization Issues:  You want to make sure you do not have www and non-www pages showing in the search engines.  This will cause duplicate content issues.  For example you do not want to have Domain.com and www.domain.com without redirecting one or the other.

Continually Develop Great Content: Content is king.  Content can come in the form of copy  written for each page, blogs, articles, press releases, video, and images.  All of this content should support your keyword strategy and be optimized for the search engines. Great content will help your site rank well, attract good links, and help turn website visitors into revenue. When writing SEO content, remember to write for the user first, search engines second.