Define a keyword list – Think about how people would search for your products and services, make a list of these keywords, and check the estimated traffic for each term with a tool like Google’s Keyword Planner. Whittle your list down to the highest-trafficked, most relevant terms.
Use keyword repetition and variation in page content – Creating relevant page content is still the best way to rank high, and a big part of content creation is your use of targeted keywords. Never repeat keywords too often at the expense of good writing, but you should repeat keywords in your content 2-3 times for short pages and 4-6 times for longer pages. Include important keywords in your first 50 words, since early placement can be a signal of relevance.
Identify Your Target Keywords
Your keyword research will determine whether or not your search optimization effort will be a success or a failure. Many businesses make the mistake of basing their keywords on just the search volume. This often leads to attempting to rank for keywords that are very difficult and costly to move up, or even keywords that aren’t “buyer” keywords and just send useless traffic to the website.
It is important to target keywords that your target consumer is likely to search for while looking for the product or service that you offer. For example, if you are an accounting firm located in Miami you would not want to target a general keyword such as “accounting firm.” Not only is it a very difficult keyword, but also you will be attracting visitors from all over the globe. Instead, you would want to target a more precise keyword such as “accounting firm in Miami” or “Miami accounting firm.”
Use keyword variations as anchor text for internal linking – Using descriptive, relevant anchor text helps Google determine what the page being linked to is about. When you use internal links, you should use anchor text that is a close variation of your target keywords for that page, instead of phrases like click here or download here. But avoid overuse of exact match keywords. Using close variations will help you rank better for more keywords.
Develop Your Content Strategy: You should have a blog on your website. This allows you to constantly add new content to your website. The search engines love websites that are constantly updated with fresh content. In their eyes a website that is constantly updated provides more value to the end user.
Every new blog post that you publish gives you an opportunity to spread it through social media, which helps to drive more traffic back to your site. Use your blog as a way to connect with your audience. Your blog isn’t a place to just post overly promotional posts. This is an opportunity to address possible concerns or even common questions related to your service or product. If you are worried about coming up with enough content ideas to publish blog posts on a regular basis then check out these resources:
Good content will win out – Always remember that writing compelling, high-quality content that attracts interest and compels visitors to share it and link back to it is vital. Good content has the best chance of being viral content, and Google rewards content virality heavily in its rankings algorithm.
Create cornerstone pages – If you have 10 pages relating to the same set of keywords, Google will have a hard time determining which page is relevant. Instead, consider merging your content into a single cornerstone page. With one authoritative cornerstone page on a specific topic, there is no SEO confusion, and you should rank higher.
Get Your On-Page Optimization Perfect : There is absolutely no reason why your on-page optimization should not be perfect. It can mean the different between your website showing up on page three of the search results and your website being the top listing. We encounter so many local businesses that simply ignore their on-page optimization (or the prior SEO company didn’t optimize correctly). Instead of repeating the steps to optimizing your on-page factors, we will point you to a detailed explanation and guide that you can read to see what you need to do to get your on-page optimization perfect. Check out our definitive on-page optimization guide to learn more.
Optimize your page titles – The <title> HTML tag defines a web page’s title and is meant to be a concise description of that page’s content. Google considers this to be the second-most important on-page SEO element. Keep page titles under 70 characters, with important keywords in the title, preferably in the beginning. It is also a good idea to include your company name as well towards the end.
Write compelling meta descriptions – The <meta name= description content= > HTML tag is meant to be a concise explanation of a web page’s content and plays a big role in getting clicks from users. Keep your meta descriptions under 150 characters. You should also include target keywords in your text, since any words matching a user’s search query will be displayed in bold.
High Quality Links
Track your visitors and leads – In order to optimize your SEO results, it’s important to measure the impact of your efforts on web site traffic and lead/sales generation. Google Webmaster Tools can give you important insight into how your site is functioning and identify potential errors you should correct. An analytics tool such as Google’s Universal Analytics is helpful for measuring changes in search traffic as well as tracking visitors interactions with your web site that are a direct result of SEO. Marketing automation tools and call tracking tools (like DialogTech’s call tracking) can help you tie leads and sales back to SEO.
Links to your site still (and will continue to) play an important role in SEO. While the wrong approach and the wrong links can get your website penalized, the right high quality links can help you reach the top of the organic search results.
If you (or your SEO agency) are using spammy SEO strategies it is time to stop before it is too late. Google’s is constantly rolling out algorithm updates and refreshes in an attempt to clean up their search results and keep spam from ranking.
Guest blogging and infographic distribution are great ways to attract high quality links. Do not focus on the total number of links. Spend your time focused on quality links, from websites that are highly relevant to your business. If any SEO company tells you that they can rank your website virtually overnight you need to turn around and run away…fast. Google will continue to refresh their Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird updates, so make sure that you are focusing on quality rather than quantity
Get social – Social signals are already impacting Google SEO rankings and many industry experts believe that will only increase. If you haven’t already, consider setting up some social media pages such as Google+ and Facebook, and start engaging with your audience.
Have a link-building strategy – Link building is a catchall term for the practice of creating new external links to your site. Beyond creating great content people want to share, guest blogging and asking webmasters from authoritative sites relevant to your business to link back to your pages are great ways to build links. When possible, use keywords are the anchor text for your links, as this will help send signals to Google that your pages are relevant for those terms.
Don’t forget about ALT tags – ALT tags are HTML elements used to specify alternative text to display when the element they are applied to (such as images) can’t be rendered. ALT tags can have a strong correlation with Google SEO rankings, so when you have images and other elements on your web pages, be sure to always use a descriptive ALT tag with targeted keywords for that page.
Your URL names matter – Shorter URLs seem to perform better in Google search rankings than longer ones, so keep that in mind when you build your site. Keep slashes to a minimum. You should also include keywords in your URL names, and try to place them closer to your domain name. When you have multiple keywords in your URLs, separate them with hyphens.
No black hat – Black hat SEO refers to the practice of trying to trick the search engines into giving you higher rankings by using unethical tactics, such as buying links. Even if you enjoy a temporary boost in rankings due to black hat tactics, it’s likely to be short lived. Google is getting better and better at spotting dirty tricks and sooner or later the progress you made will be wiped out by an algorithm update, or worse, your site will get removed from the index altogether.
Invest in a mobile-friendly site – Google has announced a mobile-friendly ranking algorithm that will have a significant impact on mobile search results. Seeing as about 50% of all searches done on Google are on mobile devices, the time is now to optimize for mobile and ensure your ranking doesn’t take a hit as a result.