The Most Overlooked Areas of SEO for Your Website
Search engine optimization has been around as long as search engines have been indexing websites. During that time, SEO has evolved considerably. Once, it was completely acceptable to stuff as many keywords into website content as possible in order to rank well.
Today, that will get your site banned.
Over time, many important areas that require optimization have come about, but the focus shifts quickly as newer techniques emerge, meaning that critical elements of your website optimization might be overlooked, leading to reduced traffic, lower search engine rankings, and overall poorer performance. What are the most frequently overlooked areas of website SEO?
You should have quality images throughout your website. This might include images of your products, team portfolio pictures, graphics for the various pages of your website, pictures of your company’s physical location and more. Here’s the thing – those images are important for more than just drawing the eye of your human visitors. They are important tools for SEO. Image optimization is often overlooked, particularly by small business owners attempting to do it all on their own, or by inexperienced webmasters.
There are several areas that need to be optimized when it comes to your images. Obviously, the image needs a name, and that should tie in with your keywords. You also need to add a description of the image, as well as an alternate tag/title. These might never be seen by your visitors, but they tell search engine spiders a great deal and can help individual pages rank better.
Of course, your images should also be correctly sized and formatted for the web, and they should be of high enough quality that they show off your products to their best advantage. Low-quality images really don’t have much place in ecommerce today and should be avoided.
Static, Keyword-Based URLS
When it comes to your website structure, SEO should play a significant role. You need to avoid dynamic URLs, as they change constantly, are unwieldy and long, and don’t capitalize on your keywords. Yes, it takes more time to create static URLs, and you’ll need to put some thought into your page names, but the results speak for themselves.
If your site currently has dynamic URLs, we urge you to change them as quickly as possible. Yes, this will be a hassle, but it will pay for itself in no time through better optimization and higher search rankings for those pages and your site overall.
Unique Pages and URLs
Do you have all of your products listed on a single page of your website? It’s more common with small business owners than you might think. However, it’s not doing your optimization and rankings any favors. Instead, you need to have individual pages and specific URLs for each product or service that you offer.
You can have a single product page that acts as an anchor, where your customers can come to find what you offer, and then separate pages linked to the name and image of the product or service on the primary page. These subpages should be named appropriately using a keyword and/or your product or service name to help build better results through search engines.
Customize Your 404 Pages
You should plan on there being times when your customers cannot reach a particular page of your site. This could be due to any reason, ranging from a temporary outage with your host to a problem with the URL to any number of other things. However, if your customer hits a generic 404 page, chances are good they’re going to think that your entire website is down, and they’ll head to a competitor’s page.
A custom 404 page can give them important information, let them know they’ve found the right site, and allow them to access other pages. Plus, it’s another chance to use some of your most important keywords and build your SEO ranking.
Shoot for Longer Content
Content is king, and Google wants you to have as much as possible. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to have dozens and dozens of pages if your company requires only a few, but it does mean that you need to focus on longer content pages. While product descriptions can be 100 to 200 words, you need to focus on creating longer content for other areas of the site. For instance, you could add a blog, and create longer content there.
Google prefers that you have around 1,000 words or so per post, as this comes across as being the most authoritative. You can also use this as an opportunity to achieve a couple of other goals. Obviously, blogging gives you another opportunity to use your keywords, which will boost your site’s overall rank (as long as the blog is attached to the site and not standalone). However, you can also use those individual blog posts in your content marketing efforts.
Share them on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Add sharing buttons to the posts so your audience can spread the word for you, and mix up your content types (text, video, audio, photos and more).
Don’t Neglect Your Meta Descriptions
This is one of the most commonly overlooked SEO steps, even for experienced business owners and webmasters. Every single page on your site should have a meta description. This is the short bit of text that appears under the page name in the search results, and tells human readers what the page is about. It’s also a prime place to use your keywords once more. Every single page on your site should have a compelling, optimized meta description, including product and service pages, blog posts and more.
With these tips, you should be able to ensure that your site is better optimized, and ranks highly in organic search results. However, remember that search engine optimization never really ends – it’s an ongoing process of refinement.
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