Whenever I introduce myself as a website designer, the first question that is thrown at me is “How do I do SEO?” and “How do I get on the first page of a Google search?” When I give the honest answer, people are often disappointed because the truth is, like most things in this world, SEO is not free.
Sure, you can utilize tags and key words, but the internet is a very big place and there are a lot of people using it. You can put 1,000 key words in your meta tags, but you still won’t rank as high as you’d like.
I came across this great article by DreamHost this morning and I’d like to share their suggestions for SEO.
Every new business owner hopes to create a website that will sit on the top of the search results on Google, Bing, Yahoo, and every other search engine. And they hope to rank for more than just one keyword.
However, the truth of the matter is that a good SEO strategy takes time, smarts, and money. Plus, it’s impossible to successfully optimize your homepage for hundreds of keywords. That’s just not how the internet works, and if you try to cut corners, Google knows where you live.
Seriously, it knows.
A better strategy is to think about the top keyword for your website and optimize your content to rank for that keyword. Here are a few suggestions:
- Write Long-Form Content — Once upon a time, stuffing your content with your top keyword would help you rank in the search results. Gone are those days, and just like on that first date we talked about earlier, you’ll actually be penalized for trying too hard. These days, it’s better to simply write your content for the user. Be as comprehensive and helpful as possible and Google will reward you.
- Structure Your Content with Heading Tags — Heading tags — the top-down <h1> to <h6>s — are often seen as a “meh, not that important” sort of thing, but they really do matter. Headings give structure to your pages, making it easier for both readers and Google bots to consume your content. To get the most SEO bang for your buck with headings, follow this guide from Yoast.
- Add a Call-to-Action — Your homepage should have a clear call-to-action (CTA). Not only will it help direct your readers to do the thing you want them to do — buy your product, sign up for your service, or subscribe to your newsletter — but it will help Google focus on what is important to you.
The Moz blog is a solid example of on-point optimization. Here’s what they’re doing right:
- Clear, strong heading tags in every post.
- Structured content that is easy to follow, read, and scan.
- The posts aren’t laden with annoying keywords. Instead, it supports the H1 tag and is helpful to readers.