8 Basic SEO Tricks That You Should Already Be Doing by Paola Mendez of South Florida Bloggers

8 Basic SEO Tricks that You Should Already Be Doing | Sarah Smirks | Southern Florida Bloggers | Keywords:  SEO, marketing tricks, getting found on Google, organic search

Hello! My name is Paola Mendez and I started a blogger community for bloggers to support each other called: South Florida Bloggers. I share blogging tips & blogger opportunities with the community via our blog. Any blogger can benefit from these insights whether they are in the South Florida area or not. If you live in South Florida feel free to join us for our monthly meet ups. 

Alright, so you have a website and it’s not showing up on the first 10 pages of Google search results. What gives? Well, it could be that you just launched your website. Don’t expect Google to throw you into the first page search results before keeping an eye on you for at least six months to make sure you’re legit and not a weirdo spammer. So if your website is a newborn on the internet just give it time.
If you’ve been around for at least six months you might not be doing some of the search engine optimization basics. Don’t worry, implement all of the techniques listed below and you should see improvements in your search results.

So what is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

SEO boils down to regular improvements and practices that cause a website to improve its rankings in search engine search results. Rand Fishkin defines SEO as “The practice of increasing the quantity and quality of the traffic that you earn through the organic results in search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.”
coral-gables-love-search-resultsI will be using the website Coral Gables Love as an example for this article. It was published in March 2015 and is the first result when searching: “Coral Gables Love”. It was a frustrating six months trying to earn the top spot because a local restaurant in the area, Love is Blind, was taking the top spots with big review sites. Nonetheless, search results reward those who wait patiently and publish new content consistently. So let’s get started!

1. Write Quality Content

The biggest and most important practice in search engine optimization is to write for humans instead of search engines. The main reason being that search engines continue to change their formulas to give relevant search results. If you write your content to please the robots you will get burned when the algorithm changes again. On the other hand, humans use search engines to answer questions. They are trying to find specific information. If you give them the answer they are looking for you will be ranked higher in the search results. In other words, you must provide value. So whenever you start to write a blog post have a specific goal in mind – a specific question you are trying to answer. For an in depth review of what exactly is high quality content check out Neil Patel’s article: How Long Should Each Blog Post Be: A Data Driven Answer.
Creating compelling and useful content will likely influence your website more than any of the other factors discussed here. – Official Google SEOStarter Guide

2. Create Accurate Titles Using the <title> Tag

The title is important because it tells both humans and search engines what the topic of the page is. Also, the title is usually shown on the search results – it’s the top blue link on each search result. Make each page’s title unique and accurate. If you are using the same title across all the pages on your site – don’t. Using vague page titles such as “Page 1″ makes it harder for search engines to figure out what your website is about.
I use WordPress for my site and use the Yoast SEO Plugin to take care of the meta tags SEO problem on my site. It’s free and allows you to add the title and description to each page and post. It also provides a nifty search result snippet preview. The preview makes it easier to see what the search engine users will see when making the decision whether to click on your website or not.
The title for your homepage can list the name of your website/business and could include other bits of important information like the physical location of the business or maybe a few of its main
focuses or offerings (3). – Official Google SEO Starter Guide

3. Take Advantage of the “Description” Meta Tag

The description meta tag is the second most important tag to use. Search engines usually use this tag to add a short snippet of the page on the search results as a summary of what the page is about. Now that you know how search engines use it – really own it! Write accurate and informative descriptions for each of your pages that will catch users’ attention and will make them want to click on your search result. Just as the title tag, each description should be unique to each page. This helps search engines AND humans differentiate between different pages in your site.

4. Use Easy To Read URLs

Avoid using cryptic URLs that are hard to read. Instead use URLS that incorporate relevant keywords to your page’s topic. Using words in the url (coralgableslove.com/about-coral-gables-love) helps users decide whether the page will answer their question. However, urls with strange parameters (coralgableslove.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=1) do not provide any useful information about the page making it less likely to be shared or clicked by users. Check out this article for 15 SEOBest Practices for Structuring URLs.

5. Make Your Site Mobile Friendly

In April 2015, Google started penalizing websites that were not mobile friendly during mobile searches. This event was given the catchy name of Mobilegeddon. With mobile searches surpassing desktop searches it’s no wonder Google wants to show the best search results for mobile devices. So what does it mean to have a mobile friendly website? It means your website will resize to fit the device appropriately without having to scroll awkwardly to see the content. This is known as responsive design. Another major component of mobile friendliness is navigation. Does you site have a mobile navigation button that is easy to click with a thumb? Take Google’s course on how to make your site mobile friendly. You can also test if your site is mobile friendly taking Google’s Mobile Friendly Test.

6. Make Non-text Assets Search Engine Friendly

Make you non-text content readable by search engines. To do this, add alt tags to images describing what the image represents. The alt tag is used to show alternative text for broken images or for visually impaired users using a screen reader. Also, name your image files using relevant keywords instead of gibberish assigned by the camera. Using the filename: googles-mobile-friendly-test.gif is better than using the file name: IMG5934.JPG.
<img src=”http://coralgableslove.com/images/mobile-friendly-test.gif” alt=”google mobile friendly test results” />

7. Use Informative Anchor Text

Anchor text is the clickable text users see when there is a link on a website. When using links use informative words instead of place holders like “click here”. Anchor text should describe the content of the page it links to.
Think about anchor text for internal links too. You may usually think about linking in terms of pointing to outside websites, but paying more attention to the anchor text used for internal links can help users and Google navigate your site better. – Official Google SEO Starter Guide

8. Update Your Site Consistently

Search engines are constantly looking for new content to update their search results. Websites that update frequently with quality content will be given a better reputation than websites that updated infrequently. Be sure not to update your site frequently with filler or garbage content. Search engines can detect worthless content and will penalize you instead of giving your site more authority.

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