Now that you know the SEO basics, it’s time to learn some SEO principles. Put your plan into action with these tips and tricks that can help your website reach the #1 spot on Google.
You can have the greatest content marketing strategy in place, but without using the right SEO principles, nobody is going to see your content!
In order to keep your posts ranking with Google, you have to go beyond picking relevant keywords and use these technical, behind-the-scenes strategies.
By doing following these simple SEO principles, you’d be surprised at how quickly your pages will start ranking.
Keep reading to find out more!
1. Keyword Placement
Gone are the days when stuffing the same keyword (sometimes quite awkwardly) into your post as many times as possible helped you rank. Now, it will actually hurt you as it’s seen as being spammy.
However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still have a primary keyword for each post you create. This will help you stay focused within the post and to rank for that keyword.
Here are the most important places to include your primary keyword:
- In the URL for that post
- Within the first 150 words of the post
- In your meta tag
- In at least one heading (H2)
Throughout the rest of the post, you should then be using other keywords related to the main keyword naturally. Always keep in mind that content must be written for humans, not search engines.
2. Image Optimization
If you’re not using images in your post, here’s a bonus tip for you: articles and blog posts with images get 94% more views than those without. But if you’re not SEO optimizing your images, then you’re still missing out on a chance to rank higher.
Image optimization happens in three places:
- File name
- Image title
- Alt text
To help your post rank for even more keywords, you only need to include your primary keyword once in one of your images. Then, you can use other keywords in the image text.
Be sure to always describe the image, especially in the alt. text box. This will let Google know what it’s a picture of and help your post rank in image searches as well as regular ones.
You can edit these image tags while uploading an image, or by clicking “edit” on an image that has already been uploaded. There, you can also include a caption if necessary.
Something else that should go without saying is that images should be relevant to what you’re talking about. Don’t include a bunch of family vacation photos just to have images in a post.
If you don’t have your own photos to include, you can use free image sites like Pixabay. There, you can find images that you can freely use without worrying about copyrights. Alternatively, you can also buy stock photos.
3. Mobile Optimization
Since so many people now browse the web from smartphones and tablets, Google ranks mobile-friendly websites significantly higher than others.
This is to help Google continue to deliver on their promise of great user experiences. After all, there’s nothing more frustrating to click a link on your phone only to not be able to read the information because the site isn’t mobile-optimized.
You can find out if your website is mobile-friendly by using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. Just input your site’s URL and let them analyze it. If you get the “all clear,” you’re good to go!
If your site didn’t make the cut, then it may be time to go back to square one and redesign your website to get it there. Although it may take some work, it will be more than worth it in the end to rank higher in Google and have more people visit your site on mobile devices.
4. External Link Usage
While backlinks remain one of the most important factors in how well your website ranks, if you’re not linking out to other sites as well, you’re missing out on some “Google juice.”
In every post, you should be including 3 – 5 external links per 1000 words. The sites you link to are just as important as the number of links, though, so focus on quality external links, not just quantity.
The first thing you need to consider is the trustworthiness of the site you’re linking to. Websites like Wikipedia, Google, Yahoo, and Apple are all highly-trusted and will help show that your website is also trustworthy since you’re linking to them.
On the other hand, you also don’t want to link to your competitor’s website since that will help them more than it will help you. So, only link to high-quality websites that aren’t in direct competition with you for the products or services you’re offering.
Another way to use external links to improve your own site’s trustworthiness is to provide links for any facts you provide. When you give a stat, be sure to link out to the study or website you got it from.
This will show your readers that you’re not just making up numbers to impress them, and boost your search engine ranking position (SERP).
5. Internal Link Usage
In addition to external links, you also want to use internal links. Internal links refer to any link that sends readers to another page on your website. They also help let Google know what your website is about so it will rank better.
As a general rule of thumb, you should include between 2 – 5 internal links on every page.
As with everything else, these need to be relevant. For example, if you’re linking to a blog post you wrote about marketing from a blog post about employee safety, it won’t make sense to Google and your site could be penalized.
Excessive internal links are also penalized by Google as they’re seen as a scam to artificially inflate backlinks to a certain web page, so be sure you’re using internal links wisely.
Need Help Implementing These SEO Principles?
If you’re ready to start using these SEO principles to get your website ranking higher but aren’t quite sure how to start, we’ve got your back. We can help you completely optimize your website with keyword placement, images, mobile-friendly web designs, and links.
Contact us today and let us know what you need and we’ll be more than happy to help you get your website ranking by making these simple fixes.