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How to Improve Your Website’s SEO – The Basics

Search engine optimization is fundamental to the overall success of each website. In a nutshell, it is SEO that lets people find you online when they search for a product or service that you offer.

Question is, how do you make the search engines put you ahead of the others, considering there are hundreds of thousands or even millions of websites competing for attention? The answers can be many and complicated, but these tips can help you find them:

Imagine your website is a cake.

If you website were a cake, your links, social media connections and paid searches would be the icing. All the rest – your content, content management system, information architecture and infrastructure – forms the foundation. At the end of the day, they all have to come together to make a delicious and attractive cake.

Know what search engines are looking for.

The main job of search engines is to bring users to websites that have the information they’re looking for. The following factors are used to determine site relevancy:

Content – depending on page text, titles, descriptions and tags

Performance – site speed and efficiency

Authority – when content quality is high enough to be cited or referenced often by users or authority sites

User Experience – includes site’s appearance, ease of navigation, user safety and bounce rate

Know what search engines DO NOT like.

Search engine spiders only have up to a volume of data storage, and using shady tactics to trick them will surely backfire on your SEO in the long run. In particular, search engines are averse to keyword stuffing (overusing keywords), purchased links and poor user experience based on bounce rate.

Determine and understand your business model.

First of all, how do you define a conversion? What are you selling products and services or impressions? What do you want to achieve? Do your know what assets and liabilities you have? Use keywords not only on-site but in other channels as well, such as your social media profiles, email, offline ads, etc. The key is to be consistent so you can train people to use the very words or phrases that your SEO campaigns are targeting.

Use domain names with consistency. Domain naming is important to your site’s foundation, so as a best practice, use subdirectory root domains (thissite.com/nice) rather than sub domains (thissite.nice.com). Other best practices are using consistent domain names (so that search engines don’t get confused when redirecting users); using keyword-rich URLs; and using old domains, as long as they don’t have a suspicious background.

Aim for different results.

Lastly, make sure your site can be used on most standard devices, like tablets, mobile phones, etc. now that Google has made mobile responsiveness a priority in its indexing algorithm. After all, most users are on mobile nowadays.

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