Things to Consider Before Optimizing SEO
As time goes on, search engines will continue to update their ranking requirements and get more specific, which is why it’s so important to keep updated on SEO. Yes, the changes can sometimes lead to a drop in analytics/ranking factors, but sometimes they can provide a boost. For the most part, all the changes lead to search engines becoming more efficient and user-friendly, which is a good thing for businesses! Over time, they give you a clearer picture of where you stand and what you need to improve.
Ultimately, search engine optimization happens over time, and it’s an ongoing process. It’s not a “set it and forget about it” type of tool. Some things will stay the same, but no matter what, new, relevant and user-friendly content is what drives a site’s ranking to new heights.
Guess what else changes a site’s ranking? Competitors! If you’re not consistently creating tailored/quality content, and a competitor is, plus they’re utilizing SEO strategies…guess who is going to rank higher in the long run? To add, it’ll stay that way until another competitor (or your company) changes that! No matter what, consistently adding new QUALITY content keeps a website fresh and improves your ranking over time. Once you start doing that, search engine bots take note and come back to crawl your site more frequently. The result = you’ll be easier to find online and show up higher in the search results that matter most to your business.
Three Ways to Optimize SEO
1. Update Keywords
Content requires a focal point. One way to give a site’s page/post focus so that it’s detectable by search engines is to use keywords. Keywords are a vital part of SEO. They help to target specific audiences. Sometimes keywords can become “outdated” though. For example, buzzword trends pop up all of the time and they may either help a site or not. Buzzwords are a bit touchy because a majority of your audience might not be familiar with the verbiage. Definitely, won’t help with a search if that’s the case! However, if a majority of your audience commonly speaks in “buzzword,” then it might be a helpful tactic.
Quick tip: ever hear of keyword-stuffing? If yes, keep refraining! If not, it’s when you assign a keyword to a post or page and purposely overuse it to try and manipulate search engine rankings. GoogleBot is smarter than you think! Your site can be penalized, flagged or even blocked!
Next, try experimenting with long tail keywords. Long tail keywords consist of three to five-word phrases that are very specific to whatever someone is searching. If you figure out the right combo, it’ll show! Plus, usually, when people search things in a super accurate way, they’re looking to buy! Or maybe they’re just researching? Either way, they know what they want.
How to Find the Keywords People Search for
To get an idea of which keywords are used the most, use Google Suggest and the Google AdWords Keyword Planner. Google Suggest finds phrases people use when searching (queue: long tail keywords!) Also when searching on there, pay close attention to the bottom of the page. You’ll notice additional suggestions.
Google’s Keyword Planner is a useful tool. To figure out how often keywords are being searched (in real-time), use the “Traffic Stat” view. Also note, that the “Competition” view is a debatable stat to follow (for some). It indicates the number of advertisers the keyword has linked to it. Which is on a scale of low, medium and high.
2. Add SEO to Images!
As you write more content for your website, don’t forget to add pictures! Have you been optimizing those too? Remember to make the file name relevant to what is in the image and then add Alt Text while you’re at it! Alt text helps viewers who use screen readers, or if your picture doesn’t load, it’ll display the text instead.
So how many images should be in a single blog post? A recent study from Blogpros shows to include at least one photo for about every 350 words.
3. Resize Your Images
Lastly, don’t forget to resize images to their proper dimensions (based on your site’s theme specifications). Keep in mind that if you use a plugin that “automatically resizes” images to fit a particular dimension on each page, the full sized image still probably exists within your site’s media library! If that happens, it can slow down your site’s load time because not only is the original image still the same size but you now have a plugin that’s taking up space too. Don’t fret though; there are tons of ways to make your website run faster. No matter what, keeping tabs on site speed and page load times while improving upon it makes a huge difference when it comes to user-experience and SEO!
Until Next Time
That’s it for optimizing SEO (for now)! Stay tuned for additional UGH! Media blog posts and join our mailing list to receive future updates! We share a new blog every other Monday on helpful tips and how-tos that help you to connect the dots within digital optimization → Social Media | SEO | Optimizing Websites