Getting Ranked: The SEO Basics to Help You Drive Traffic to Your Website
A lot of people wander in the dark when it comes to SEO and how to reap the benefits. They’re aware it increases traffic, but how? If that’s you, you’re in the right place.
What is SEO?
SEO is a way to drive organic traffic to your website. You do this through on-page and off-page elements. Google owns 92% of the search engine market share, so that’s the search engine we’ll be discussing today.
When you rank high on Google, your website shows up on the first Search Engine Results Page (SERP). This means your website will have a greater chance of getting clicked on.
There are many components that contribute to a high ranking. These include mobile usability, website speeds, keyword incorporation, and high-quality content. A few other factors are direct page visits, your bounce rate, and the number of pages the user views per session.
These are all things you can improve with the use of optimization, which we’re going to talk about in this article.
How Do Search Engines Rank Websites?
The process Google takes to rank a website can get complicated, but let’s break it down into simple terms. Search engines do three things: crawl, index, and match websites.
The crawling phase is best described as the search for information. Google has bots and web crawlers. These bots scan different websites and follow their links. They also analyze keywords and various elements such as website speed and usability.
Next is the organization of the information, also known as indexing. This is where the bots send the websites to the Google server. Here the bots index the site and store it until users search for correlated keywords. This is when Google matches the websites to the search queries. , and you see them show up on the SERPs. It takes an average of three to six months for content and websites to rank, so patience and consistency are key.
Some important elements that the bots look for are relevant H1 tags and meta descriptions. You can incorporate these through the use of a company blog and optimized landing pages.
How Can I Rank High On the Search Engine?
Now for the part you came here to read: how to rank high on the search engine. This article will tell you enough to get started. You can also take free SEO courses like this Search Engine Optimization class from Hubspot or this SEO Basics class from Simplilearn.
Utilize H1 and H2 Tags
Header tags are a great way to make your content more readable. A lot of users searching for information want to be able to scan websites for the key points they’re interested in, and that’s where H1 and H2 tags come in.
These are bold and bigger than normal paragraph text, so they stick out and capture the readers’ attention. This will decrease your bounce rate and show Google that your content is valuable to the reader.
Optimize Your Images
Another way to make your website easier for Google to scan is by optimizing your images so the search engine can analyze and sort your content. You can do this by adding ALT text, which explains what your images contain so the bots know it’s relevant to your specific keywords. You should add the ALT inside and outside of the images for the best results.
You should also make sure you’re using the right file types, which include JPEGs, PNGs, and GIFs. These will ensure your website loads faster and ranks higher.
Include a Keyword in Your Meta Descriptions
A meta description is the two sentences you see when you’re browsing a Google results page and looking through listings. It appears right under the SEO title and informs the user about what they will find if they click on a webpage. This shouldn’t be more than two sentences and should include your keyword at least once, but make sure you aren’t keyword stuffing.
There are also useful tools that tell you if your meta description is an acceptable length, such as this one by To The Web.
Generate More Backlinks
Backlinks are a key indicator of whether you’ll rank high on the search engine. Backlinks are any links that direct readers to your content from another website. The more shares you get, the more valuable Google will rank your content. Building backlinks could mean reaching out to popular blog owners and asking for features or collaborating with other businesses to ensure your site gets shared among their readers.
Add a Blog to Your Website
Having a blog makes optimization 10 times easier. You can build credibility by positioning yourself as an industry expert and it’s a convenient place to store keywords, incorporate header tags, and use meta descriptions.
This is a great way to also use internal links, which direct users to other parts of your website, whether that be another blog post or a service page. You should always include 2 Calls to Action in your post and at least 1 internal link for every section under an H2 or H3 header tag. This could be linking a relevant part of a section about cat treats to your product page that sells organic cat treats or linking a phrase about the percentage of fitness equipment users to your blog about the ten best exercises to get a summer body.
Internal links are one of the most important parts of optimization alongside backlinks and having blog content gives your reader something to follow.
In this article, you learned about 5 different methods for optimizing your web pages and getting ranked at the top of Google. Remember that ranking takes time, usually ranging between 3 to 6 months, but the results definitely pay off