10 Tips for SEO and Avoiding Mistakes
Search Engine Optimisation or SEO is an essential part of getting your commercial website up in search engine rankings, thereby getting it seen by more people and increasing interest, leads and hopefully custom. SEO may seem like a complicated endeavour, only open to web-professionals and tech wizards, but if you can run an online business then you can, and should, make use of SEO as one of the main components of your marketing strategy.
However, there are also pitfalls and mistakes which you need to look out for. These mistakes can cost you time and effort, and even drive people away from your site if you don’t use SEO properly. If you have an online business or any kind of e-commerce site, you’re no doubt quite busy. Here is a shortlist of the top ten best pieces of advice regarding SEO for the beginner, gleaned from the technical genius of Wirebox staff.
Use anchor text for internal links. If you’re linking to a site about boats in California, title it “Boats in California here” rather than “here”. Then people scanning the page will be able to access the links they want quickly, making the website easier to use. Use internal linking where you can to make it easier for people to find the page they want, but don’t put in too many redundant links that link to the same page from the same page.
Optimize the images on your website, giving them alt tags so that people searching for the image, or for something like it, can be quickly directed to your site. Write descriptions for them as well, so that people searching for phrases relating to the image are more likely to find you.
- Time-Specific Content
Make sure that your content is kept up to date, with the inclusion of new information pertinent to your business, as well as removing information that is no longer correct or irrelevant. This serves the dual purpose of keeping your readers up to date about the goings on of your business, and draws in new customers by mentioning current events and news.
- URLsURLs should be kept simple and easy to understand. Because Windows servers are case sensitive, you should avoid using capitals in your URL to avoid confusion. Also use hyphens (-) instead of underscores (_) to increase readability.
Use category description paragraphs. This will help to chunk down all the content on your site’s pages into groups, making them easier to find and access.
If you’re able to, use sticky posts. These are posts which you can keep at the top of your page even if it isn’t the most recent post. They’re similar to pinned tweets on Twitter. They can be used to post important information that you need people to see for some time while you keep posting regularly.
Use rel=”nofollow” to deselect content from page rankings if they are of low value. For example, About or Contact pages.
- Target Audience
Know your target audience and write for them, posting content that is relevant to their interests and needs.
- HyphensUse hyphens in text to make it more reader-friendly. See what I did there?
Use sub-directories rather than sub-domains. Because sub-domains are treated as different domains, they do not share link-influence. Sub-directories do and so will make the stats for your website go further.