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Basics of Improving Your Website’s SEO

Search engine optimization is basic to every website. In a nutshell, it is SEO that lets people find you online when they search for a product or service that you offer.

Question is, when you have hundreds of thousands or even millions of websites like yours, how do you impress the search engines so they put you ahead of the others in the search results? There answers can can be winded and and complex, but the following tips should help you make sense of them:

Imagine your website is a cake.

On a cake known as your website, your social media acts, paid searches and links would be the icing. All the rest – your content, content management system, information architecture and infrastructure – forms the foundation. At the end of the day, they must combine together to create a cake that is both attractive and delectable.

Be aware of what search engines want.

The main goal of search engines is to refer users to websites that provide what they are looking for. The following factors are used to determine site relevancy:

Content – depending on page text, titles, descriptions and tags

Performance – site speed and efficiency

Authority – when the quality of content is high enough that people, especially authority websites, often use the site as a reference

User Experience – includes site’s appearance, ease of navigation, user safety and bounce rate

Know what search engines DO NOT like.

Search engine spiders only have up to a volume of data storage, and using shady tactics to trick them will surely backfire on your SEO in the long run. In particular, search engines are averse to keyword stuffing (overusing keywords), purchased links and poor user experience based on bounce rate.

Determine and understand your business model.

First and foremost, what is a conversion for you? What are you selling products and services or impressions? What do you want to achieve? Do your know what assets and liabilities you have? Keywords should not only be used on-site and off-site (social media profiles, email or print, tv or radio ads). The key is to be consistent so you can train people to use the very words or phrases that your SEO campaigns are targeting.

Use domain names with consistency. As domain naming is important to the foundation of your website, using subdirectory root domains (yoursite.com/awesome) instead of subdomains (yoursite.awesome.com) is considered best practice). Other best practices are using consistent domain names so that search engines don’t get confused; using old domains as long as they don’t have a questionable past; and using keywords in URLs.

Aim for different results.

Lastly, make sure your site can be used in various types of devices, now that Google has announced it is prioritizing mobile responsiveness in its indexing algorithm. Which makes perfect sense, considering that users are mostly on mobile these days.

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