Follow these suggestions to improve your SEO (search engine optimization) and watch your website to the top of search-engine results.
Step 1 – Publish Useful, High Quality, Relevant Content
Quality content is the number one driver of your search engine rankings and there is no substitute for great content. Quality content created specifically for your intended user increases site traffic, which improves your site’s authority and relevance.
Another reason to create highly useful content is that when visitors bookmark your content on Chrome, it will improve SEO ranking of your website in Google.
Identify and target a specific keyword phrase for each page on your website and think about how your reader might search for that specific page.
Multiple Keyword Phrases:
It is very difficult for a webpage to achieve a search engine ranking for multiple keyword phrases – unless these phrases are very similar.
If you want your website to rank for multiple keyword phrases, you need to create a separate webpage for each keyword phrase.
Once your keyword phrase is chosen for a given page, consider these questions:
- Can I use part or all of the keyword phrase in the page URL (by using keywords in folders)?
- Can I use part or all of the keyword phrase in the page title?
- Can I use part or all of the keyword phrase in page headings and subheadings?
- Answering yes to these questions can improve your search engine ranking.
Content beyond the URL, title and title of the page is the most influential in search engine rankings. Repeat your keyword phrase several times throughout the pages. The opening and closing paragraphs once or twice, and the rest of the content two to four times.
Be sure to use bold, italic, title tags (especially an H1) and other emphasized tags to highlight this keyword phrase – but don’t overdo it. You still want to read your language and writing style naturally. Never forsake good writing for SEO. The best pages are written for the user, not for the search engine.
Step 2 – Update Your Content Regularly
You have probably noticed that we feel strongly about the content. Search engines do, too. Regularly updated content is seen as one of the best indicators of site relevance, so be sure to keep it fresh. Monitor your content on a set schedule (for example semesterly) and update as necessary.
Step 3 – Metadata
When designing your website, the metadata sert on each page contains one of the <head> tags or information about the content of your page. If you have a CMS site originally produced by the UMC Web Team, this data will be pre-populated for you. However, it’s important to review and update your site’s metadata over time.
The title metadata is responsible for the titles displayed on the page at the top of the browser window and as the title in the search engine results. This is the most important metadata for your page.
For those who have a CMS website, the web team has created an automated system for generating meta titles for each webpage based on the title of your page. This further accentuates the importance of using well-thought-out page titles in keyword phrases.
Description metadata is the textual description that a browser may use in your page search return. Think of it as your site’s window display a concise and appealing description of what is contained within, with the goal of encouraging people to enter. A good meta description will typically contain two full sentences. Search engines may not always use your meta description, but it is important to give them the option.
Keyword metadata is rarely if ever used to tabulate search engine rankings. However, you should already know your keyword phrases, so it doesn’t hurt to add them into your keyword metadata. You’ll want to include a variety of phrases. As a general rule, try to keep it to about 3-7 phrases with each phrase consisting of 1-4 words.
Step 4 – Have a Link-Worthy Site
Focus on creating relevant links within the text. Try typing the name of the destination instead of the “click here” link. “Click here” has no search engine value beyond the linked URL, but is keyword rich and will improve the ranking of your search engine as well as the page you are linking to. Always use descriptive links by linking keywords – It not only improves search engine optimization, but also adds value to your readers, including disabled or screen reader users.
Step 5 – Use alt tags
Always describe your visual and video media using alt tags, or alternative text descriptions. They allow search engines to locate your page, which is crucial—especially for those who use text-only browsers or screen readers.
Step 6 – Site Architecture And Navigation
When visitors can’t find what they need on a website right away, they most likely leave the site and this contributes to high bounce rate, low dwell time and low number of pages viewed.
A well-thought-out site architecture reflected in clear navigation is critical in helping visitors find what they want on your site, accomplish their goals and come back repeatedly (repeated visits can improve SEO ranking.)
A “flat” site architecture not only makes content easier to find, it can also help improve SEO ranking as it surfaces links of all critical pages making it easier for search engines to crawl the entire site.