In a previous article, we talked about what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is. In this article, we continue this discussion by talking about 10 simple but effective SEO steps you can perform, in order to make your website more visible to search engines and rank higher.
Step 1: Use a Proper Domain Name
Based on what your website is all about, choose a proper domain name that points to the type of your content and it is self-explanatory. For example, our website domain is techhowtos.com. This domain name is quite self-explanatory. When you take a look at the domain name, you will get the understanding that this website is all about technology-related how-to’s.
Step 2: Create Unique Page Titles
A page title lets users know within a few seconds, on what about the page is. The same happens with search engines. A good SEO practice is to write clear, self-explanatory page titles, that make it easy for search engines to understand what each one of your web pages is all about.
Step 3: Make Use of the Description Meta Tag
In addition to unique and self-explanatory page titles, you also need to set a proper description for each one of your web pages using the “description” meta tag. Keep in mind, that the maximum length of a description meta tag must not exceed 160 characters. In a different case, any additional characters will be truncated by search engines. Here’s an example of a description meta tag:
<meta name="description" content="Check our list of top 10 simple, but effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) steps that can help you get your website rank higher in search engines.">
Step 4: Keyword Research
Prior to start creating content, i.e. writing a blog post, you need to do keyword research. As of that, you need to test different keywords for the content you want to create and see how many people actually searches the web for that content using those keywords. A tool which can help you perform comprehensive keyword research, is Google’s Keyword Planner.
Step 5: Write Compelling Content
Even if you have applied all SEO best practices but you don’t have high-quality content on your website, your website will be still ranked lower. Content is everything. Make sure that your website contains compelling, original content, rich in keywords on the topic you are writing about. Also, make sure that your content, i.e. a blog post, has over 300 words else it will be too short and won’t rank well in search engines.
Step 6: Make Proper Use of H1 Tags
H1 tags in html code indicate a heading on your website. H1 tags are heavily used by search engines because they help them towards understanding what your web page is about. To this end, H1 tags are considered a major ranking factor. An example of a H1 tage is:
<h1>This is a H1 heading example</h1>
Step 7: Get Backlinks from Trusted Websites
A backlink, is a link on some other website pointing to a web resource on your website (i.e. a page). Having backlinks to your website from other well-respected websites with same topic as you website’s, adds value and authority to your website and thus, it helps your website score higher in search engine rankings.
Step 8: Make Sure your Website is Fast
The majority of people wait only at around 2-3 seconds for a website to load. As of that, you need to make sure that your website meets these standards and it is fast enough. There is an excellent free online tool available which can help you speed up your website. This tool is Google PageSpeed Insights.
Step 9: Provide Sitemaps
Sitemaps are lists of pages of a website. They are used for displaying how a website’s pages are organized and interconnected.
It is a good SEO practice to provide an HTML sitemap on your website for your visitors and an xml sitemap for search engines.
Step 10: Use of SSL and HTTPs
By using SSL on your website, and HTTPS, it allows the clients (computer browsers) and your web server (website) to communicate in an encrypted manner thus securing the communication between them. This is a plus when it comes to search engine classification of your website.