In order to rank high in search results your website needs to be optimized. This is known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is important to every website that wants to be found by someone using a search engine. A high ranking doesn’t happen by accident. Your sites needs to be optimized for it.

In this article we’ll take a look at 8 tips for improving your SEO.

1. Focus on Keywords

Create your content around specific keywords and then use those keywords in your post’s title, within your content, in image names and alt tags, etc. Use them naturally within your content or humans won’t enjoy reading it.

You can use a keyword planning tool to discover what people are searching for. Search for long tail keywords. This means strings of words that your visitors might search for. Instead of “SEO”, try something like “How to improve SEO in 2016”.

Popular keyword tools include:

2. Create Quality Content

Even though your content focuses on specific keywords the content should be well-written and make readers want to come back for more and share it with their networks. It should also focus on a specific niche rather than anything and everything.

This is the kind of content Google loves. It needs to be better than your competition. Give Google a reason to rank you higher. This will also help you get great external links.

If you produce local content then use local information such as maps, addresses, and list your site on Google+ to increase visibility.

3. Post Often

Create a reason for visitors to return often. This drives organic traffic. You don’t have to post multiple times per day or even per week, but posting on a consistent schedule, such as once per week, is a great way to keep your content fresh and keeps your site from looking abandoned.

4. Use Good Permalinks

Your permalinks should include the title of your posts, which in turn should include your keywords. Rather than something like this:

It should look like this:

5. Focus on Link Building

There are several types of links you want:

Internal links – Create links within your own content to your own content. This gives your readers another article to read, which gives them another opportunity to share, make comments, and keeps them on your site longer.

External links – These are links from other websites that are related to your niche. You can get these by guest posting, asking for them, and creating content they would want to link to. The more authority the site has in the niche the better.

Links to other sites – When related sites have amazing content that can shed more light on a point you’re making then link to it. This raises their awareness of you and encourages them to do the same.

6. Have a Strong Social Media Presence

Social media links may not have a large impact on rankings, but it does encourage sharing, drives traffic to your site, builds authority, and encourages external links. Of course this requires a decent following on social networks. Rather than trying and failing at all of them, pick a few that have the kind of readers you want and build those.

Users search social media and the networks themselves have high authority, so when you’re found on social networks it helps build your traffic which helps build your authority.

7. Speed Up Your Website

Your page loading speed is important to Google and your audience. A good testing tool will not only show your speed but also what is slowing your site down. Be sure to look at both desktop and mobile results.

Tools include:

8.  Use an SEO Plugin

A good SEO plugin will give you control over meta, create a sitemap, inform search engines of your new content, and even give you advice on improving your content.

Two of the most popular plugins are:

For more information about SEO plugins, see the article Best Plugins for SEO.

Final Thoughts

Following these simple tips should get you great results in your search engine rankings. It takes time to build strong SEO so keep at it. The results are worth it.

Do you have any tips to add?

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Photo credit: Deposit Photos

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Randy is a WordPress writer and child theme developer from east TN. You can catch him writing, reading, guitaring, or drinking coffee just about any time, night or day.

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