Every business owner with an online presence has heard the word “SEO.” It refers to “Search Engine Optimization”—an elusive process that ranks your website and its content at the top of the list when potential clients are searching the web.
Hacking is often used to infiltrate a website—and not in a good way. The term “hackers” is synonymous with computer savvy people breaking into accounts and wreaking havoc. But an SEO hack is a whole different ball game and only used with good intentions.
SEO Keywords and Phrases
Keywords and phrases are the “key players” for customers on the hunt for a specific product or service. People often choose the most obvious words, which can frequently return unrelated search information, or some will specify their search with a detailed phrase such as, “plumbing companies in Austin that work on Sunday.” This helps businesses, because their web page will display as a top place to search first.
When a potential customer is visiting your website, they may use one keyword, a couple of keywords, or a short phrase to find specific information. This is where your successful SEO hacks can retain the visitor, because they’ve easily found what they need.
SEO Hacks that Work
With keywords and phrases in mind, the following list of “hacks” can help save time, be more efficient, improve search performance for customers, and properly manage SEO rules.
1. Compiling Search Data – Customers use a variety of keywords and phrases to find what they’re looking for, generating invaluable information you can tap into by tracking the search criteria. By doing so, you have a continuous supply of keywords based on customer input. With this information, you can optimize your content around these specific keywords. There are free applications available that will track this information on your website.
2. Keyword Updates – Things change on the Internet constantly. This means keeping your list of keywords fresh so you can update your content to reflect the latest information supplied by people searching your website.
3. Google Adwords Keyword Planner – The search engine giant has the tools to help you target keywords to use in your content. With the free tool, you can search for keywords and ad group ideas, get estimates on keywords, or multiply lists of keywords to get an estimate.
4. Passable SEO – Along with knowing the right keywords and staying up-to-date, knowing if you’ve used enough keywords within your website content lets you know if you’re on target or below a passing SEO grade. Plug-ins are available that will provide passing or failing information.
5. Website Design – It’s in the way that customers “see it and read it” that counts. The Internet is full of content, and your website must grab the reader from the get-go. With this in mind, here are some important steps to integrate in your page design:
a. Title page tag should include keywords without keyword stuffing
b. Create a meta description that is short and sweet, clear and concise, and contains a keyword
c. Use (h1) tags to highlight a page title and also add keywords, without stuffing, to make an impact
6. Images – Pictures are a great way to visually impact visitors to your website. But for SEO purposes, you’ll want to include a keyword(s) in the file name as well as the alt tag field. This is yet another page design tool that allows Google to place your site when these keywords are searched.
7. Keyword Distribution – This is an important part of the SEO process, but you have to put it into action without overstuffing. A good rule of thumb is to always mention your keywords on the first page of your website at least two times. Place it in the page title and within the first 100 words of text and also in subheadings. Add it to the remainder of the page 1 – 2 more times and sprinkle the keywords throughout additional webpages.
8. Back Linking – This is a tricky area because doing it too much leads to penalties from the search engine. Use a variation of keywords when hyperlinking versus linking to the same words over and over. This is known as spam, and you want to avoid it.
9. Content is King – The current feeling is the more the better. Not long ago, 500-word pages were the ideal goal. Today, writing 1000+ words is the norm for both blogs and webpage content. With more words, additional instances of keywords can be added without fear of drawing a red flag for keyword-stuffing.
As a marketing tool, your website is a personalized visual and virtual calling card. In order for people to find you, the content must be optimized for SEO purposes—and these tips will help you do just that.