Today, we’re talking about optimizing your whole site, not just a single page, for search engines. After choosing the right SEO keywords but before writing a ton of content, you have some choices to make. So think through this carefully.
Before you begin, you need to know the following:
- What your site is about
- What the purpose is
- How committed you are
Once you’ve settled on those three things, then it’s time to get to work.
To optimize your whole site for search engines, you’ll need to follow these basic tips:
1. Make the website about one thing.
It can be about other stuff, too, but choose one primary topic that is most essential to your message.
This step is important, so you may want to do a little keyword research before choosing a topic.
2. Mention keywords where they matter most.
Include your “one thing” in the site title, domain name, description, tagline, keywords, blog categories, page titles, and page content.
If you’re on WordPress, you can change a lot of this in the General Settings or through a plugin like All in One SEO Pack (which I use).
3. Remove anything that slows down your site.
A slow page can frustrate the user experience and ultimately discourage people from buying your product.
As businesses become more aware of the opportunities to generate targeted leads and increase revenue through search engine optimization, there is a huge demand for speed.
10 years ago on April 9, 2010, Google included site speed as one of the all-important ranking factors.
This means that if your pages are slow, you’re fighting a losing battle for top organic listings, regardless of the quality of your content or your professional website design.
4. Link to internal pages on your site.
A lot of content management systems automatically do this, but if yours doesn’t, you’ll want to be intentional about linking to your most important pages directly from your homepage and cross-linking them with each other.
5. Write for humans first, search engines second.
Lately, I’ve noticed that more and more bloggers and content creators are going back to the old method of SEO, wherein keywords meant to drive search results surpassed the real qualities of engaging, valuable content. If that’s you, it’s absolutely time to change your mindset.
Many people still aren’t capitalizing on long-tail keywords, preferring instead to attempt to manipulate search engines
That’s the wrong approach.
Don’t prioritize search engines over the actual humans reading your work. Instead, write content for the user, people who have eyes to read and credit cards to purchase your product. Search spiders are just scripts — they don’t buy products, they don’t engage with you on social media, and they won’t become a loyal customer.
6. Use keywords in your images.
Include words that reflect your site topic in the image title, description, and alt attributes.
Also, re-title the file name if it doesn’t reflect your main keywords (e.g. writing-tips.jpg instead of d1234.jpg).
7. Link to other websites with relevant content.
Linking out to other blogs is critical to growth,
says Brian Clark, founder of Copyblogger Media.
You can do this by including a blogroll, link list, or resources page on your website.
Of course, do it sparingly, as each outbound link is a “vote” for another site. However, if you do it well and people click your links, this tells search engines you are a trusted authority on your particular topic.
8. Update your website frequently.
Sites with dynamic content often rank higher than those with static content. That’s why blogs and directories (like Wikipedia) do so well on search engines. They are constantly being updated with new content.
9. Have web analytics in place at the start.
After defining your search engine optimization goals clearly, you need software to track what’s working and what’s not.
Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and other private web analytics software solutions can help you track your success.
10. Stop changing your domain name.
The age of your URL is a factor in your site’s search ranking, so be patient.
If you’re launching a new blog every six months, you’ll never see your site get the value it deserves.