So you created a website, worked on it for hours and hours on end and came up with a great looking site. You’ve got some excellent content and a nice looking design but you’re getting hardly any views.
Don’t give up just yet. There’s nothing wrong with your articles and it’s not that no one cares what you have to say. The problem is that no one knows your website exists!
Currently, Google indexes tens of billions of websites, so what can you do to stand out? The answer lies in SEO (search engine optimization). If you improve SEO on your website, you will increase your chance of appearing in relevant search results. While the algorithm behind search engines can be pretty complicated there are a number of simple steps you can take to improve your sites ranking.
Number 1: See where you stand. If you don’t know what your current ranking is, you won’t know how to improve it. There are a bunch of ways to do this. If you’re working with blogger you can simply click on the stats page on your dashboard and see which posts are getting the most views, where your readers are coming from etc. You can also install google analytics to your website and track even more information. You can see how your visitors are interacting with your content, what they’ve searched to find your site and so on and so forth.
Once you know where your views are coming from… or aren’t coming from, you can figure out what you need to work on to improve SEO for your site and increase your numbers.
Number 2: Keywords. Keywords are probably the most important factor in determining your search engine ranking. These are the words that users type into their search bar to find the information they are looking for.
First, you’ll have to decide which keyword is most relevant to your posts content. For example a post I wrote in the past was about how to create a blog button. In this case, clearly the most relevant keyword would be “blog button.”
The most important places for you to make sure your keyword appears are as follows:
- Article Heading
- Page Title
- Page URL
- Meta Description/ Search Description
You would think that the more places you have your keyword, the better. However, this isn’t the case. If you place your keyword in the content too many times you could be picked up as a spammer and it could actually decrease your page ranking.
Number 3: Linking back to past articles. When you integrate you own internal links into your blog it’s a really easy way to improve SEO and increase traffic to your other pages. One tip that makes your link more search engine friendly is to change the anchor text. For example instead of doing this:
To see our previous web design work visit this page: http://creatingmyowncareer.com/web-design-portfolio/
Change it to this:
Visit our portfolio to see our past work.
When writing new articles it’s pretty easy to remember to link back to past articles but don’t forget to link your past articles to your new articles. You’ll be missing out on a big chunk of links if you never go back and edit past posts.
Number 4: Make your URLs search friendly. This means changing the default permalink of your post to a custom one. For example changing http://www.creatingmyowncareer.com/page172 to http://www.creatingmyowncareer.com/web-design-portfolio, will do two things
For one it will let your reader know what page of your site they are on and more importantly, it’s another place to sneak in a relevant keyword.
If you’re using blogger you can edit your URL for a post by clicking on the permalink button on the “post settings” sidebar. By default the “Automatic Permalink” is checked off. Click the “Custom Permaliknk” button and then type in your desired name.
Number 5: Image descriptions. While images are great for your site visually, unless you associate text with them, they do nothing to improve SEO for your site. Adding “ALT tags” and image descriptions to your pictures will help search engine crawlers find your site.
If you’re using WordPress you can enter all this information while uploading a photo. On blogger you can go into the post editor, click on your image and click “properties.” This opens up a window that allows you to enter ALT text. The reason I usually prefer ALT text over image captions is because ALT text doesn’t show up on your site, but having them there can dramatically help with your search rankings.
The most important thing you can do to improve SEO and increase traffic to your site is to write interesting and relevant content. After you write your post, try out some of these tips and you’ll be on your way to climbing up the search pages.
What else do you do to improve SEO and bring traffic to your site?