12 Unusually Simple and Helpful SEO Tips and Tricks
About 12 billion web searches are conducted each month in the U.S. alone, according to hubspot.com. SEO helps you drive quality traffic, get visibility, boost your brand, and lend your business the credibility it needs to succeed. SEO, therefore, becomes more and more important if you are an entrepreneur. Hence, you will find helpful SEO tips in this blog post.
Though search-engine rankings keep changing from time to time, make sure you have built your site the right way, that you regularly post high-quality content, and that you stay up-to-date regarding the latest SEO developments.
This blog post focuses on the 12 simplest ways to have a good start with SEO. If you are an entrepreneur, this blog post will get you started with SEO or it will give you helpful ways to improve your SEO relatively quickly.
12 Helpful SEO Tips and Tricks
Want to know where to start when it comes to improving your SEO? Use these simple and helpful SEO tips and tricks.
1. Helpful SEO tips: ensure a killer user experience.
According to Neil Patel, user experience (UX) is often viewed as a separate discipline, but all of SEO is built on the foundation of user experience. SEO plays a crucial role in the process of UX, but UX serves SEO too.
You cannot have “good SEO” unless you have a good UX. Every aspect of SEO, no matter how technical, somehow gets back to producing a great UX. Patel says that to have “good SEO,” you must have great content (a beneficial user experience) and a functional site (an error-free user experience). You must also have logical site navigation (an easy user experience), relevant keywords (a relevant user experience), and high-quality backlinks (a trustworthy user experience).
Patel concluded that “when you improve user experience, you upgrade your SEO strategy to a whole new level of awesome. That should all be underpinned by the fundamentals of strategy.”
2. Helpful SEO tips: pay close attention to your page titles.
Most people do not even notice page titles, but in search engine results, title tags are very prominent as they are the most noticeable part of your page in the search engine results. Your page title does not show up on the page itself. In many programs, the page’s headline automatically becomes your title, but you can adjust it. Pam Neely lists the three important steps:
- Make sure every page on your site has a unique title tag.
- Make sure they accurately describe each page.
- Try to make them sound enticing.
3. Helpful SEO tips: meta-page descriptions are ad copy. Write them with that in mind.
Meta description tags should be descriptive, but Neely urges you to make them attractive to your reader. Your pages are competing with ads in the search results, so write those page descriptions like they are ad copy rather than a robot’s notes.
4. Helpful SEO tips: use ALT tags.
ALT tags let you add a text description to every image on your pages. They are often overlooked, but easy way to optimize your pages, as most content-management systems make it very easy to add ALT tags. Neely advises you to sprinkle your keywords in as you write them, but to write them for humans instead of search engines.
Neely mentions that ALT tags are also important for social sharing. Some social platforms, like Pinterest, use the ALT-tag copy as the default description. Make sure the text people are sharing is the text you want that audience to see.
5. Helpful SEO tips: reduce bounce rate with interactive content.
Neely explains that a “bounce” happens when someone comes to a page on your site and then leaves without clicking on anything. A bounce rate of less than 50% is great (and unusual); most blogs get about an 80% bounce rate.
There are many tactics to reduce bounce rates. Make your pages look easier to read and add interactive content. Interactive content includes a simple poll, a quiz, an embedded SlideShare or a video.
6. Helpful SEO tips: link your web pages to each other.
Neely lists three basic kinds of links:
- Inbound links are links on other sites that point to your site.
- External links are links on your site that point out to other sites.
- Internal links are links that go from one page on your site to another page on your site.
It is good to add a couple of external links to the content-heavy pages on your site if they are respected sites and relevant. Internal links are part of SEO best practices now. Add links in blog posts, on your About-Us page, and on pages with much content. Google has clearly said they frown on most link-building tactics, but Neely offers some safe ways to build inbound links:
- Create a piece of amazing content (infographic, eBook, video or otherwise) that others will want to link to.
- Do some unique research and publish it as a report.
- Guest post: publish unique, insightful articles on high-authority sites.
- Get the type of traditional business listings that are expectable. That means sites such as Yelp, your local Chamber of Commerce, and trade organizations.
7. Helpful SEO tips: use keywords in filenames of documents and images.
Using keywords in filenames helps your readers understand what is in the file or image, and as shown above: a good UX is good SEO. Do not “keyword stuff” your filenames though; use one or two keywords. This way, you give the search-engine bots more information about what your content is about, and every little bit helps.
- A good file name: TranslationGuide.pdf
- A bad file name: TranslationGuide_BuyTranslations_TranslationServices.pdf
Neely has the great tip of avoiding using underscores to separate words; use hyphens instead. Search engines see a hyphen as a spacer and an underscore as a letter.
8. Helpful SEO tips: upgrade your keyword research.
Keyword research is another old-school SEO tactic that needs an upgrade. Neely claims that search engines are sophisticated enough now that simply inserting the same exact keyword all over your pages is not going to work. You will look like you are trying to manipulate the search results, which you are.
Use the Google Keyword Planner to identify your core keywords and use those keywords where they make sense. Vary them: plural versus singular, difference verb tenses, different word order, synonyms. You know, make the use seem like that of a human being.
This type of keyword flexibility is known as “latent-semantic indexing.” It is how search engines associate different terms. Increasingly more, search engines are using keywords like concepts or topics, so we should too.
9. Make your content easy to read.
As you need to write for humans rather than robots, your pages and content should be easy to read. To make your pages look easier to read, use these tricks that Neely offers:
- Write short paragraphs.
- Punctuate those short paragraphs with a one-sentence paragraph every so often.
- Use subheaders.
- Use bullet points like this list
- Add images every 350 words or so.
- Add quotes and call-outs.
10. Do not forget social media
If you have read the first trend mentioned in this blog, you will not be surprised by this. Make your content easy to share and share it with your audience. Sharing gets your content more attention, which increases its chances of attracting links from other sites. Social signals are now also a ranking signal and Tweets are indexed. Finally, social-sharing buttons have become an important part of search engine optimization.
11. Write more content
According to Patel, the content-marketing boom has produced an undesirable side effect: there is much lousy content out there. Because of all this low-quality content, many thought leaders have said, “We have a problem.”
Some call it “content shock” — the emerging marketing epoch defined when exponentially increasing volumes of content intersect with our limited human capacity to consume it. The premise of that statement is flawed, according to Patel: “Of course, individuals cannot consume all the content, nor is anyone asking them to.”
Patel agrees that low-quality content is a problem, but does not agree that more content is a problem. He has increased his output with success: “My SEO has skyrocketed, my traffic has exploded, and my marketing funnels are blowing up with fresh, qualified leads.”
More content is better as long as it is rock-solid, kickass content. Your audience will select the best content available. Your content can be the best. And the more of it, the better.
12. Helpful SEO tips: register your website with Google and Bing webmaster tools
As Alex Chris says, not having your website registered with the webmaster tools is like driving with your eyes closed. He urges you to take advantage of the plethora of information given to you by both Google and Bing.
Apparently, some people believe that by not registering your website with Google, you can ‘hide’ things from them, slip under their radar, and reach the top of the search results. I personally do not see how hiding and getting the best results are linked…
Chris states that this “is not a ‘hide and seek’ game: good long-term rankings can only be achieved if you follow valid methods and techniques. For the record: Google already knows everything they need to know about your website with or without submitting it to webmaster tools.”
Getting results with SEO
If you are an entrepreneur and just starting out with this whole SEO thing, it may be a bit overwhelming. SEO is just one acronym, but what about SEM and SEA? My blog ‘SEO, SEM and SEA – Explanations for the entrepreneur’ explains the difference between search engine optimization, search engine marketing, and search engine advertising. You’re welcome!