Knowledge of SEO, or Search engine optimization, is vital when trying to improve search engine rankings, whether your goal is to reach the first page of Google, Bing or Yahoo! You may understand that adding new content and obtaining links to your website from other websites can affect your ranking. You may even understand how to use social media optimization to your advantage. Many people ignore some of the most important SEO tactics to achieve their ranking goals.
- Use ALT tags and titles effectively. Including your main keyword in the ALT tag (ALT attribute) is vital. This tactic will allow visitors who use screen readers to be able to access and use your website. You also want to use the keyword in the title. The search engines will use these areas to index your website. Using them effectively can boost your page rankings.
- Link exchanges are helpful for increasing website rankings; however the search engine algorithms change. These changes may affect the exchanges. Remember to use quality in-bound links from popular websites that are complementary to your business. Then, no matter how the algorithms change, you will still reap the benefits of the link exchange.
- Realize how important internal linking is for ranking websites on Google and other search engines. Proper internal linking will keep visitors on your website longer because it is easy for them to obtain the information they want all in one place. Visitors will not have to leave your website. Be sure to include descriptive anchor text using SEO when you link to an internal page. It will be more effective than simply asking visitors to “click here;” they may not know where they will end up.
- Periodically validate your internal links. If your website is dynamic, you may move content to achieve the most benefit from it. This may mean the links no longer work properly. When you verify the link, you not only help it retain its value, but you also ensure your visitors will reach the information they want. This will encourage them to remain on your website longer rather than leaving it.
- Navigation and URL structure can usually be improved. This will make it easier for search engines and users alike to navigate throughout your website. If you choose not to improve URL structure and navigation, you may lose users and search engine bots after the third or fourth level.
- Take advantage of Webmaster tools to learn more about your website. Then be sure you use the information you learn. If you are not familiar with Webmaster tools, take a look at what Google and Bing have to offer. You can learn to drive traffic to your website, optimize it or find a myriad of reports that will help you. These tools are offered without cost, so take advantage of them.
Most people who take an active role in improving their website will use some search engine optimization strategy in hopes it will propel their website to the top ranking position on the search engines. You may want to keep in mind, however, that ultimately your website was created for your user’s benefit and not for that of the search engines. When you use these search engine optimization tactics that make navigating your site easier for users, your website will succeed.