Having a great site isn’t enough to get it popular; people have to be able to find it. There are direct ways to boost traffic and getting your link into people’s browsers one at a time, but the majority of your traffic comes from people using search engines. Gaining and keeping relevance in those searches can be helped by making these five simple changes:
- Target Keywords to Keep Content Relevant: Using keywords in your web content should come pretty naturally when composing it, but keeping it structured the way search engines prefer may take a little tweaking. You want your keywords to appear naturally within the content, but try to make sure they appear once or twice in the opening and closing paragraphs, and at least four times through the middle. However, don’t write content for search engines, write it for the people reading it. There are bigger influences on search engine rankings to be taken advantage of.
- Meta Title: The words at the top of every browser window are composed of the site’s title metadata. This is one of the most important tags you use, as it identifies each page to the search engines. Tempting as it may be to use catchy, clever titles, these should come second to clear, concise titles that guarantee more traffic.
- Meta Description: The description metadata gives you a few sentences to describe the content of the page. Often times, search engines will display these descriptions, but don’t base their site rankings as heavily on the contents. If you want to be clever, do it here, or at least put in basic information.
- Meta Keyword: Use keyword metadata to label your pages with the words people are likely to use when digging for your content. Keyword metadata makes for a big search engine boost, but be careful not to use too many keywords, and always order them by importance.
- Alt Tags: Variation in visual media is a plus for websites, but without alt tags, search engines won’t always identify with them. With alt tags on your images and videos, people and search engines alike will be able to read text descriptions if their browsers don’t allow the video.
Structuring your site in a way that meshes with the way search engines look for sites will give your web content a better, mutually beneficial relationship with the search results page. Proper coding alone won’t win you a number one spot, but avoiding the little mistakes will go a long way towards improving your rankings.