SEO First Steps.
Every smart SEO (search engine optimization) strategy begins with the very platform (content management system or CMS) a website was created with – for example WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc. Websites constructed using ‘old school’ methods, such as those that are built by straight HTML coders, may require a significantly higher amount of effort to get positive keyword rankings. By default, mainstream CMS platforms have a much higher likelihood of enabling search bots to crawl, translate and index the contents of your web pages.
When creating website content, do your best to forget SEO tactics and just create unique and interesting pages that offer your visitors a great experience. Gone are the days when you could just throw piles of keywords onto lame web pages (keyword stuffing) and expect great rankings. Intriguing content that ranks high with major search engines requires hard work, so expect to invest some time and energy.
Are you wondering why your website has never achieved a page 1 rank position for popular keyword searches? Have you invested a good deal into building an awesome website, but barely yield any organic search traffic? There may be some very fundamental elements you are overlooking. If your website lacks good structure and ignores ‘best practices’ for SEO, you may never resolve your ranking issues. Here are a few checklist items that are simple, yet critical:
- Do your URL strings contain readable keywords that are commonly searched?
- Are your page titles appropriately labeled and match the topic of your web pages?
- Do your pages follow an H1/H2/H3 hierarchy?
- Do your pages contain a good amount of content (300+ words)?
- Does your website offer original images, graphs, charts and data, as it relates to your topics?
- Do you have dozens or even hundreds of domains that point to yours (backlinks)?
As simple as this all sounds, if you’re experiencing ranking challenges, we’re betting one or more of the above points have been executed improperly. While URLs, page titles and headlines are of extreme importance, avoid using keyword stuffing tactics in these areas, as they will likely appear unnatural to Google bots. What’s more, avoid using any duplicate content (copied content that originated from another website) and ensure that you are creating articles that use good syntax and grammar.
The best SEO strategy may not always involve targeting the most popular keyword searches, particularly if your business offers something that your competitors can’t. Get realistic with what you can and cannot accomplish with your search engine marketing goals and sidestep your competitors if your industry is especially competitive. Your next potential customer may be using more than 2 or 3 keywords to find you if they’re on the hunt for something very specific that you may offer. Longer-tailed keywords tend to have much lower competition levels, and can sometimes be entered by consumers in the latter stages of their shopping, so focus on these if you’re trying to find paths with the least resistance. Website search rankings for descriptive search queries (long-tailed) keywords, may not only be easier, but may also do a better job in bringing you traffic that is more qualified and therefore more likely to purchase your product or service.