In the United States alone, Internet users conduct an average of 12 billion searches per month. Do you know if your website is being found amongst those searches? If your website is not properly optimized to meet search engine criteria, it may not be. There are many factors that contribute to SEO (search engine optimization), including your website’s content, keywords, and other elements. You should make sure you are up-to-date with these requirements so search engines find you and drive traffic to your website.
To help you, we’ve created a list of these requirements and how they factor into your website’s SEO:
1. Keywords. Your keywords are the backbone of your website’s SEO strategy. Keywords should be relevant to the content of the page they’re intended for, while using natural language that searchers would use. Within your content, you should try to include your keyword 1-6 times per 300 words. You should also include your keyword in your title, headings, and URL. To choose the best keywords, we’ve outlined 5 tips to help you.
For more help with keyword selection, there are keyword generator tools available to help you. Pulse uses Google’s Keyword Planner. Although intended for paid advertising, it can be used for blogs or other content.
2. Content. Content creation is essential to both modern marketing and your website’s SEO. For ideal SEO, you should write about 300 words of content per page. Regardless of length, any content you create should be readable and interesting to your target audience. Be aware that most readers will not read full articles online but rather skim for important information. To accommodate these readers, use shorter paragraphs, headers, and bullet points to guide the eyes of your audience. To ensure your readers understand your content, avoid industry jargon and write at a reading level they will understand. The average website’s content is written at about an 8th grade level.
To give you a better idea of what reading level to write content at, we’ve created a chart based on the Flesch-Kincaid test, which is the most widely used for readability.
|Grade Level Understood By:|
Grades 5-6 or children ages 10-11
Grades 7-9 or adolescents ages 13-15
3. Calls-to-Action. Calls-to-action guide visitors to your website through the next steps of doing business with you. They are also part of your SEO strategy. In search engine results, websites have brief descriptions of their content as part of their listing called meta descriptions. Meta descriptions attract readers to visit your website through a compelling call-to-action. Along with improving your SEO, all of these actions make up your inbound marketing strategy.
4. Images. Images support your website’s content and represent your brand. They can also help with your website’s SEO. By adding alt-tags to your images that contain your focus keyword, you help your identify them if they do not load properly. To prevent this from happening, you should use smaller images that load faster. Being mindful of these features makes your image and your website mobile-friendly, which improves your SEO.
5. Mobile. It is likely that your website will be viewed on one mobile devices as well. Search engines have noticed the increasing popularity of viewing websites on these devices. As of April 2015, Google ranks websites based on how mobile-friendly they are. For the best user experience and SEO possible, you should design a responsive website. By responsive, we mean that the website adjusts to the screen size it’s being viewed on. Check out our Web Design Checklist for more web design elements to improve your SEO and mobile user experience.
6. Links. Links from other websites establish your credibility, leading to higher ranks on search engines. The websites that link to yours should be reputable sources of information in your industry. Otherwise, these links should come from other activities your business has participated in, like guest blogging, presentations, interviews, and social media. Most importantly, these links should occur naturally in your content through anchor text and work properly once published to your website.
7. Local. Did you know that SEO can help you be found offline as well? Local SEO helps your business show up in local searches, which may lead more customers at your door. Just be sure that your name, address, phone number, social media, and other contact information is current so that you can be contacted. Local SEO can also improve your customer service strategy through feedback left on review websites, if you claim your business on them.
At Pulse, we know that local SEO is what puts us on the map, which is why we’ve included our contact information, links to our social media profiles, and a map showing our location at the bottom of our website pages. Keeping up with SEO requirements allows search engines to find your website, which is essential to your business’ success. Remember, if your website isn’t being found by your prospects online, then your business isn’t either.