92% of online users first use search engines to look for products and services. (HubSpot) The question is: Where do you rank in those results? Are you happy with your ranking or do you want to increase it? Either way, following the best practices of SEO (search engine optimization) and understanding how search results are formed is a must in inbound marketing.
Every page of content that is created is crawled on the Internet. The content of the page needs to be understood and then indexed correctly by the search engine, so that it can be provided with relevant results at the right time. These different parts are connected to SEO.
SEO is always being completely transformed and becoming more competitive. This means the way in which we rank in results is continually changing. SEO has many different components, and things you should and should not do. Here some ways to avoid being overlooked in search results and increase your rankings.
Common SEO Mistakes
- Don’t over-abuse SEO, meaning don’t try to over-rank for keywords just to get your content on page one of the search results.
- Don’t tease your visitors with one keyword or topic, and then switch the content when they go to page. In other words, don’t get their hopes up and then leave them hanging.
- Don’t stuff meta keywords in order to get a better ranking. Too many keywords can hurt more than help. 3-4 keywords per page is a good number.
- Don’t over-submit your site to directories. Inbound links from link farms or lesser quality websites hurts your ranking, as search engines see these as black hat links. (Black hat is anything suspicious or unnatural.)
So, you know what not to do, now here’s what you should do.
Best SEO Practices
- SEO has become CEO = Customer Experience Optimization. Write for the customers, NOT the search engines. Focus on the user and provide what they’re looking for – what they would find useful.
- Create content based on 1 topic and follow that one topic throughout the entire page. 1 long-tailed keyword per page or blog. Content needs to be related to the keyword in the URL. Overall, everything needs to be related, relevant, and consistent.
- Add your keywords to a few key places:
- Blog title
- Naturally throughout the content
- Alt tags
- Image file names
- Develop a quality website with a great user experience, that will create inbound links on its own through the social sharing of great quality content.
In the end, ask yourself: Are you providing value? The answer should be YES! What are some SEO practices that are working for you?