Explaining how SEO works to a client can sometimes be like explaining car mechanics or nuclear physics to an eight year old. You can try but it will likely go way over their head 99% of the time.
In reality however SEO is not as difficult as some SEO experts make it out to be. With the right willingness to learn anyone can have their website rank respectably in Google and other search engines.
Make no mistake about it SEO is hard work but we’ve compiled a simple list of “commandments” that should make your journey a little easy. If you abide by these your chances of SEO success are high, even without a professional SEO company to help…
SEO For Dummies – The Twelve Commandants of SEO In 2016
1. Domain Name: Before anything else it’s a smart idea to choose an SEO friendly domain name for your website. Keep it short and simple where people are more likely to remember it later. Although the SEO world sometimes frowns on exact match domain names if you can include some of your desired keywords even better.
2. On-Page SEO: Your on-page SEO is your road map to telling Google (and other search engines) what keywords or phrases you want to rank for most. Make sure you use proper titles, URL extensions, meta tags, alt tags along while including your keywords strategically within your content.
3. Mobile Friendly: Once upon a time having a mobile friendly website was a nice luxury, now it is mandatory if you want to rank well in search engines. Your website should be “responsive” meaning the layout adjusts properly to mobile devices including cell phones and tablets.
4. Fast Load Times: There is nothing that frustrates website users more than a website that takes forever to load. Your website should load quickly (within seconds) so make sure your images are optimized and don’t overload your website with unneeded filler.
5. Navigation & Usability: It should be your primary goal to make sure your website is easy to navigate and people can surf from page to page easily. Make sure your most important information is easy to access within one or two clicks maximum.
6. Quality Content: You hear the term “content is king” often meaning the quality of your web content is one of the biggest factors in determing search engine results. Your web copy should be informative and engaging while making the best use of photos, videos and social media sharing.
7. Backlinks to your site: Backlinks aren’t going away any time soon contrary to public opinion. The amount of high quality websites that link to your website still plays the biggest role in top ranking websites. You want quality links that come from reputable sources, preferably in your own niche or industry if possible.
8. Citations or Linkless Mentions: Along with backlinks citations now play a big role in search engine performance as well. This could include being listed in business directories or a website that mentions your company by name (even without a link). The key is quality not quantity when gaining citations for your site.
9. Positive Reviews – People turn to reviews now more then ever when buying a new product or service. This could be Google reviews, Yelp, Facebook, Amazon or anywhere a real life person can vouch for your business. Avoid fake reviews and only use referrals from legit customers.
10. Media & Interactivity – The longer someone stays on your website the more valuable it’s worth in Google’s eyes. Smart use of videos, audio clips, e-books, infographics, blog commenting or anything that keeps people’s interest longer is a big advantage. You don’t just want people to visit your website you’ll need to entertain them when they get there.
11. Update Regularly – An inactive website is a flag to search engines that your website is no longer being used or the webmaster hasn’t taken much interest. Google looks for the newest and freshest content first. If you have a blog make sure to update it regularly and also keep adding content to the most important pages of your site.
12. Fix Technical Errors – A great website can go offer the rails if it’s full of errors that tells search engines your site doesn’t work properly. Make sure there are no broken links, duplicate content, or any typos or grammar errors that bring the quality of your website down.
Jeff is a web design, SEO and internet marketing professional based in Calgary, Canada. He has over 10 years experience in the digital marketing industry and has been featured in several high profile newspapers and online blogs. To contact Jeff regarding his services or with any other inquiries please get in touch with us through our main website.
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