SEO for Dummies: 4 Ways to Optimize your website for SEO

Your website’s content is the most important aspect of search engine optimization. If it is irrelevant, unhelpful, difficult to read, or written for bots, then no matter how much you spend on content for SEO, you will never rank high in search results. Businesses in Holyoke should create fresh, unique content on a frequent basis. The more quality content you have, the easier it becomes for Google to rank you:

1.Create Quality Content Exclusively

Your website will benefit more from useful, compelling content than anything else. People identify quality content easily, and most actually want to direct others to it by sharing it on their social media platforms, sending it via email, linking to it in forums and blog posts, or by other means. Content will build your site’s reputation, and only quality will attract word-of-mouth or organic visitors.

Consider how anyone looking for your content would search for it. Think about the words they would use. Those new to your subject will not use the same keywords as those already well versed in it. Try to anticipate all behavioral search differences. Catering to everyone will produce the best results. When writing your content, keep your target audience and their search habits in the forefront of your mind.

Use an even mix of phrases and keywords when structuring your content. This promises the best results. Google’s Keyword Planner is especially useful: It provides you with the latest keywords variations, as well as the search volume for each of them. Webmaster Tools will analyze the performance of your content and tell you which keywords drive traffic to your website.

Try to be original wherever possible. Consider offering a service no other site does. Ideas are abundant. You can write unique research, leverage the unique demographics of your target audience, or even break industry-related news stories. This is particularly advantageous now, as many companies do not have the expertise or resources to implement these crucial strategies:

·Make Text Easy to Read

People want to understand content. They do not want to struggle reading it. Do not write sloppily. Ensure text is free of grammatical and spelling mistakes. Avoid creating textual content by embedding text into images, as search engines cannot read it and users are unable to copy and paste the text. Readability is of utmost importance, so make your text reader-friendly.

·Organize Your Content

Visitors should not find your pages confusing. It is wise to organize your content so that visitors know where topics begin and end. People want to scan content quickly, and dividing it into logical headings and snippets will help them find what they are looking for much faster. Never dump text onto a page without making topics as clear as possible. Separate layout with paragraphs and subheadings.

·Create Unique, Original Content

Fresh content is vital to keeping your readers returning for more. Providing new content will attract new visitors too. Avoid reusing old content, as sites with duplicate or near-duplicate versions of content offer no value to users. Always create content that is original and unique, and if you must rehash content, make sure that it offers a new perspective or give it a fresh angle.

·Write for People

Although search engines must be able to easily decipher your website and its content, do not write for them. Write for people. Design your site to meet the needs of your visitors, as people-centered content produces the most positive results. Avoid stuffing nonsensical, annoying keywords into your content to please search engines, and never display text for search engines that you hide from visitors.

2.Improve Anchor Text

Use anchor text effectively when linking to other websites. This clickable text validates your content and sends users to sites that prove it. Anchor text informs people and search engines about the links in your pages. They can point visitors to internal pages within your own site or to external content on other websites. Make your anchor text relevant to the actual link and easily understood. Choose words wisely.

·Make Anchor Text Descriptive

The words you choose for your anchor text should explain what the page you are linking to is about. Avoid being too generic with “click here,” “this article,” or “that page.” It bears no relation to the page’s content, does not say anything about it, and is actually off-topic. Unless you are writing legitimate website promotions or references, it is best to write accurate, descriptive anchor texts.

·Keep Anchor Text Concise

Long anchor texts are completely ineffective. Keep them brief and to the point. Aim for concise but informative text, no more than a very short phrase or a few words. Avoid writing lengthy anchor text, as it confuses both search engines and people. If you are ever in doubt about what text to use for your anchor links, simply use the name of the website where your link comes from.

·Make Anchor Text Visible

Your anchor text should be easy to identify. Readers should see it clearly and not scroll past it unnoticed. To achieve this, highlight the text. You can use bold, italics, or even bright colors, but at the very least, it you should underline it with a standard hyperlink. Avoid text styling or CSS, as it will hide the hyperlinks and make your anchor text look like normal text. 

·Have Anchor Text for Internal Links

Most people think of linking to other websites, but it is important to create anchor texts for internal links, as well. Internal links help Google and people navigate your website easily, so pay attention to your internal anchor texts. Avoid stuffing keywords into them or making them too long, and never create unnecessary, useless, or frustrating anchor texts to benefit search engines. People first, always.

3.Optimize Your Images

You may think images the most straightforward component of your website, but they play an important role in SEO too and you should optimize them. Every image has its own “alt” attribute and filename, which you should make use of. If an image does not display for whatever reason, an “alt” attribute will show the reader text instead of an image. You can specify what text to put there.

The “alt” attribute is extremely useful. If, for example, someone visits your site from a browser that does not support images, the reader will still see information about the image. This is true for alternative technologies, such as screen readers, as well. Additionally, if you use images as links, that image’s alt text will behave in the same way as a normal anchor text link.

Using too many image links in your site is seldom a good idea though, especially where text links would serve an identical purpose. Additionally, optimizing alt text and filenames for images makes it much easier for search engines to understand your images and index them accordingly. Use widely supported image formats, such as GIF, JPEG, BMP, and PNG, and consolidate images into a domain directory.

·Write Short, Descriptive Alt Texts and Filenames

As with all optimization efforts, it is best to keep filenames and alt texts as concise and informative as possible. Make sure they match the content of your pages for accurate indexing by search engines. Avoid generic filenames, such as “Pic1.jpg,” and assign images a unique filename instead. If you have too many pictures on your site, then consider automation that does not stuff keywords or copy and paste.

·Give Image Links Alt Text

When using images as links, assign them individual alt texts. This will give search engines the information needed to understand the page you link to, so treat alt texts the same as you would simple anchor texts. Google considers long alt texts spam. Make them as short as you can, and never rely solely on image links for your website’s navigation.

·Create an Image Sitemap

Search engine bots crawl your site indexing every page, image, title, and everything between. Having an Image Sitemap will give these bots more information about all of your pictures. Similar in structure to XML Sitemaps for web pages, Image Sitemaps consolidate data for easier indexing of your website, and ultimately, more accurate search rankings.

4.Use Appropriate Heading Tags

You can emphasize important text with heading tags. Unlike HTTP headers or HTML tags, heading tags provide readers with vital content structure. Heading tags come in six different sizes, starting with the most important, and dwindling down to the least. Because heading tags make text bigger than the rest of the page’s text, they act as visual cues to highlight important information and make navigation easier.

Optimizing Content for SEO

Creating quality content and optimizing it for both users and search engines is a time-stealer. It is also resource intensive. Businesses hire legitimate writers and SEO teams to ensure content is reader-friendly, useful, easy to navigate, and even easier for bots to index. Companies in Holyoke can subscribe to our newsletter for the latest tips and tricks, which will help improve all of your SEO content efforts.

About the Author:

Jason Katsoris

Owner of Holyoke Marketing Company

Jason is a jack of all trades as he has experience as a web developer, account manager and marketing coordinator. He graduated from American International College with a Masters of Business Administration in 2012. Jason dabbles in just about everything from designing websites to creating high converting email marketing campaigns. He has experience working with Adobe Creative Suite, Google Analytics and DiVinci Resolve. Outside of work, you can find Jason outdoors, skiing, or hanging out with his German Shepherd.

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