SEO is one of those big, scary, ominous things that is going to come up time and time again whenever you talk about getting your website online and driving more traffic to it. It’s a field so nuanced that even SEO experts admit that most of what they’re doing involves a lot of guesswork about what they think is going to be beneficial for your website.
But by following a few common sense best practices, you’ll make a more enjoyable experience for users and potentially boost your search rankings in the process.
Increase your site’s speed
You know that feeling you get when you click on a website link or type a URL into the browser only for it to take FOREVER to load (more like 5 seconds or so, but it seems like forever)? Well, that’s what your visitors feel every time they visit your site if it hasn’t been properly optimized—and impatient visitors are more likely to click away and search for a different site rather than sit around waiting for your website to deliver the information they’re looking for.
If you’re not sure whether your website has good load time, you can use Google PageSpeed Insights to run a free test. It will tell you how good your page load time is on multiple devices and what you can do to speed it up even more.
Create instructional content
People turn to the internet whenever they have a question they’re looking for an answer for. And even if you’re not in the business of providing instructional tutorials, it’s time to start. People like businesses and websites that take the time to share useful and interesting information, and you can earn yourself a few fans (and better search rankings for associated keywords) in the process.
For example, if you have an automotive parts shop, create content about how to replace your windshield wipers, put on new hubcaps, or change your oil. That way people who are searching for that information online are more likely to discover your website organically and could result in a sale you would not have otherwise gotten.
Think about accessibility
Accessibility is an incredibly important consideration for website owners of all kinds. It assists those with sight, hearing, motor, or cognitive disabilities to get the same information and insight from a web page as everyone else. But did you know that quality accessibility standards make search engines happy as well? So before you breeze over those ALT tag descriptions for images or decide to skip captioning on an embedded video, remember that making your content accessible is win-win for all parties involved.
Use natural language
When you work in a particular field or industry for a long time, it’s easy to get caught up in the jargon and lingo that has become commonplace to you but doesn’t make a lot of sense to other people. Think about the type of language that appeals to a broad audience (not just a niche one) when creating content to increase your chances of having a page or two rank for a keyword string that people are likely to search for.
Not quite sure what it means to write using natural language? Think about how you’d explain something to your mom (or perhaps a grandparent, or an elder at the grocery store, or whoever else floats your boat).
By making a website that’s intended to help customers solve problems or answer questions in the easiest way possible, you’ll be making smart SEO decisions without any complicated technical work.
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