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How to Improve Your Website’s SEO – The Basics

Search engine optimization is basic to every website. It is SEO that gets your site found by people who are searching online for something, a product or a service, that you might 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:

Think of your website as a cake.

If you website were a cake, your links, social media connections and paid searches would be the icing. Everything else – your content and content management system, site infrastructure and the logical information structure – is the foundation. In the end, they must all come together to make a tasty and appealing cake.

Be aware of what search engines want.

Search engines only want to lead users to websites that give them 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 whether the site is working properly

Authority – when content quality is high enough that users and authority sites are always linking to the site in reference

User Experience – covers user safety, ease of navigation, aesthetics and bounce rate

Know what search engines are NOT looking for.

Search engine spiders are restricted to a particular amount of data storage, so if you even attempt to trick them, you’ll only end up hurting your SEO eventually. In particular, search engines are averse to keyword stuffing (overusing keywords), purchased links and poor user experience based on bounce rate.

Define and understand your business model.

First of all, how do you define a conversion? What are you selling products and services or impressions? What do you want to achieve? How well do you understand your assets and liabilities? Keywords must be used on-site as well as off-site – on social media profiles, email addresses and offline advertisements). The key is to be consistent so you can train people to use the very words or phrases that your SEO campaigns are targeting.

Be consistent with your domain names. Domain naming is important to your site’s foundation, so as a best practice, use subdirectory root domains (thissite.com/nice) rather than sub domains (thissite.nice.com). Other best practices are using old domains, provided they don’t have a suspicious history; using keywords in URLs; and using consistent domains to keep search engines from getting confused.

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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