SEO: 10 Best Practices for Businesses

10 SEO Best Practices for Businesses

Repost from Business2Community, August 7, 2013

By Brenna Keough

When done properly, search engine optimization has the ability to  significantly contribute to the inbound marketing success of a company. However,  developing an effective SEO program is far more complicated than it used to be,  and requires deep, thorough evaluation of your website and digital presence as a  whole. Understanding and implementing SEO best practices can help you establish  a comprehensive inbound marketing strategy that truly works.

SEO Best Practice 1: Select a SEO-friendly CMS This seems  basic, but it’s incredibly important. The content management system you develop  your website on should provide for SEO-friendly code, as well as custom title  tags, meta descriptions, H1 tags and URLs. Not all CMS’s are created equal when  it comes to search engine optimization, so choose wisely if SEO is a business  priority.

SEO Best Practice 2: Develop using responsive design When determining results, search engines evaluate the amount of traffic to a  domain, with the logic that more traffic equals more credibility. Having  separate sites for desktop/laptops and phone/tablets splits site traffic into  different URLs, thereby reducing their combined SEO strength. Responsive design combines all traffic into a single domain,  increasing the site’s search engine appeal and theoretically its ranking. Just ask Google!

SEO Best Practice 3: Use HTML in promotional space Promotional banners on websites should not be images alone. Such images often  contain text that is keyword-rich, but search engines can’t read it like we do.  Overlaying HTML text over imagery allows search engines to “read” product and  service information, which can positively contribute to a site’s ranking.

SEO Best Practice 4: Do your keyword  research You can have first page ranking for a certain term or  phrase, but if no one is searching for that, it’s meaningless. It’s crucial that  you do keyword research in the first stages of your project in order to  establish a list of terms and phrases related to your business with high search  volume and/or low competition. Your SEO strategy will flow directly from this  keyword research, so spend the time to determine the best approach for meeting  your business goals.

SEO Best Practice 5: Utilize long-tail keywords Long-tail keywords are key phrases specific to your company and the products,  services and solutions you offer. They have a much lower search volume, however,  they are typically much less competitive. Utilizing these in your search engine  optimization strategy can provide great opportunity to rank highly in search  results and gain exposure to ripe prospects that are likely to  convert.

SEO Best Practice 6: Strategically compose title  tags, meta descriptions and content There are strict limits to the  number of characters that should be included in title tags and meta  descriptions. It is imperative that you remain within these character limits, as  search engines will disregard any valuable, keyword-rich content that exceeds  them. Additionally, title tags and meta descriptions should focus on keywords  that are specific to the unique topic and content of that page. Consequently,  search engines will find your page relevant, and users will be satisfied with  their results.

SEO Best Practice 7: Consider your geographic market If  your business operates within a defined geographic area, that information should  be fully incorporated into every aspect of your search engine optimization  strategy. Search engines will have no idea that you are the #1 carpet cleaner in  Topeka if your site doesn’t indicate that. Be sure that your local SEO strategy  is reflected in your title tags, meta descriptions and the content on your  website. Such categorization will narrow your focus, enabling you to compete  better in a more defined arena.

SEO Best Practice 8: Write content with SEO in  mind Fresh content is absolutely critical to achieving high  rankings, as search engine algorithms interpret new content as being more  relevant to a particular search. You should update or add to your website  regularly, ideally several times a month. Creating a blog is a great way to  accommodate fresh website content. Additionally, writing for SEO involves a very  tactical approach, as your tags and page content must be written for both  individuals and search engines. You must strike a delicate balance between too  few, and too many keywords in order to achieve prominent rankings and provide a  positive user experience that will contribute to the perception that your  company is credible and trustworthy. Approach your headlines and copy armed with  your keyword research, but make sure you are first writing to your  audience. Search engines are savvy to content blatantly written for them.

SEO Best Practice 9: Get social Social  indicators from networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ (just  to name a few) can actually contribute to your search ranking. The more active  your company is and the more followers you have that support and advocate for  you, the more social authority you obtain. So make sure your social presence  aligns with your search engine optimization goals.

SEO Best Practice 10: SEO is never done Think of SEO as a garden. Once you plant it, you have to perpetually care for it  so that it thrives. Search engine optimization, like a garden, must be tended to  frequently. Google changes its search algorithms approximately 500-600 times a  year and if your business is like most, your site changes frequently as well. In  order to adapt to these changes and maintain rankings, you need to regularly  monitor your performance and make adjustments to your strategy. Continuously  look for additional keyword ranking opportunities, check your rankings often and  develop fresh, valuable content for inbound marketing consumption.

For help developing an effective search engine optimization strategy, contact ZAG Interactive.





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