Four Steps to Better SEO. Hint — keyword cramming is on the list.

Follow these four simple steps to improve your search engine ranking and draw more eyeballs to your website.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an ever-evolving science. In the early days of web development it was an effective optimization method to cram all the keywords you could think of, relevant or otherwise, into the meta data of your website. Well that doesn't work anymore, and this is a good thing. Keyword cramming made it difficult for the search engines we rely upon to generate relevant results to our web searches.

For the most part, modern sophisticated search engine optimization techniques are not really 'techniques' at all. Authoring good content that organically drives traffic to your site is the absolute best way to rank higher in search results. That is not to say that there are not countless best-practices that should be followed to further optimize your excellent content. Here are some of the most important techniques that you can implement today to make your website more visible.

  1. Add 'Alt Text' to your images. If you are using a website development service this feature is usually built into the platform. They may refer to it as caption text or description text. Every single image on your site should have supporting text even if the text does not show up on the web page. Alt text will add another layer of accessibility to your website In the event that a user has disabled images or uses a screen reader. But, most importantly in terms of SEO, web crawlers can not interpret images. So you are missing an opportunity to add relevance and rank to your site by not including alt text. The HTML is rather simple to implement: <img src="your-image.jpg" alt="This is my image">
  2. Pay special attention to your page titles, headlines, and subheads. This is a simple practice that anyone can overlook. Each page title is an excellent opportunity to add SEO value to your site. You can be descriptive in your titles but do not make them too long otherwise you risk coming off as spam. Again, with most web development sites and software there is usually an obvious place to input your pages title. If you are dabbling in the code the HTML will go in the <head> section: <title>My Page Title</title>
  3. Another good place to enhance your websites SEO is by appending descriptive words to the URL. The best practice here is again to write a relevant description that is not overly long. Separate each word with a hyphen (i.e. 
  4. This fourth point has been reiterated already a couple of times in this article. But it is important enough to mention on its own. Write relevant content. Do not try to outsmart the system by cramming fishy words into your titles, URLs, alt tags, or elsewhere in your web page. I promise it will be counterproductive to your quest for the first page of Google results. On the contrary, you should write everything as if you are explaining it to another human being. Conversational language is the best way to approach your SEO content. This may surprise some people but it is true, and it is a good thing for web developers. Gone are the days of having to know which SEO tricks work best. Content is king, so write it well.

We are not implying that there are no sly tricks to achieve greater SEO. But, if you follow these four basic and easy to implement steps, you will see an improvement in your search ranking and increased traffic to your website. You may have to wait for your site to be re-crawled after making changes to your site before you see the results of your efforts. Be patient, the eyeballs will come.

Teddy Tedford | Graphic Designer | Marketing Strategist
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