Search engine optimization, the act of tweaking your website to gain favorable search-engine rankings, is a vital aspect of succeeding. After all, just because you build a website doesn’t mean that people will come.

Learn to attract the right traffic through SEO best practices and increase your traffic and conversion rate.

Some basic best practices can help you maximize your site’s potential:

Keyword Research

Search engines crawl web pages, grading them and looking at the words. Find out what your target customers are using for search terms and optimize your site for those terms. Optimize for the “long tail” and add synonyms. This means that instead of optimizing for “computer” if your business is a computer shop in Dallas, optimize for “buy computer Dallas.”  If you sell Apple computers, add synonyms to the page so search engines won’t mistake your site for an apple (fruit) store. Keyword research tools will help you determine the best keyword phrases to target for your niche.

Optimize Tags

Various sections of each page are crawled and measured by search engines. Some of these include the URL, title tag, subheadings, and image tags.

Use keyword phrases in your tags and increase the chances of being graded as relevant in your niche.

Your permalink structure should contain keywords and titles, and subheadings should be formatted as <h2> and /or <h3>, with relevant words inserted. 

Search engines cannot read images, so give your images tags that match your keyword phrases as well.

Optimize Each Page of Your Website

Search engines don’t just index home pages. They can send traffic to any visible page on your site, so optimize each and every page.

Update Content Often

Search engines eventually ignore static websites in favor of sites that are updated often. Update your site regularly to keep search engines coming back. A blog or news section added to your site is a great way to accomplish this and will also keep visitors engaged.

Get Backlinks

Google and other search engines don’t just grade your site based on what’s on it; they will also award points for what and how much point to it. Gain page ranking through links from other relevant sites. Ways to get backlinks include blog commenting, social marketing, article marketing, and getting listed on directories.

Content Is King

At the end of the day, what’s most important is that people who visit your site get what they came for. The secret to successful SEO is to optimize for search engines as well as for visitors, so that each visitor counts.

But SEO is not evergreen. It requires you to stay up to date on rules, competition, and trends as well as to constantly work at optimizing your website. 

Once you’ve initially optimized, you’ll want to visit your website analytics regularly to maximize traffic, and you’ll want to stay updated on SEO trends as well.

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