1. Keyword Research: People are searching for your products and services, but they may be using words you’re not anticipating. That’s where keyword research comes in. It allows you to understand the ways your customers are searching. For example, if you sell footwear, you might assume people are searching for your products using that word. But are they also using other words?
The Google AdWords Keyword Tool can show you this. You can enter a word and see how often people search for that word and related ones. Using the tool, I can discover that people do search for “footwear”—30 million searches per month for that word. But nearly 70 million are using the word “shoes.” That’s important to understand, because if you’re only talking about “footwear” on your site, you may be missing all those people interested in “shoes.”
2. Good Content: Once you understand what people are searching for, you can then ensure you have quality content that matches. For example, say that you sold strollers and saw that there was interest in an “all-terrain” type. Do you have a page about them? If not, that’s content you might want to create.
That doesn’t mean you make a page called “All-Terrain Strollers” and just fill it with nonsensical copy, such as:
Looking for all-terrain strollers? We have the best all-terrain strollers you’ll find. All-terrain strollers are like regular strollers, only they work on all terrains. All-terrain strollers are popular, which is why we sell them.
Would you want to read that? There’s a difference between just using a word over and over in copy and having great content about a topic. Great content adds value, and helps inform and guide readers.
Just having a dedicated page listing your all-terrain strollers might be enough. That’s as much SEO as writing copy for the page. But you can go beyond merely selling or listing items by offering advice that may help you gain search engine visibility.
Consider this page for “all-terrain strollers” that’s top-ranked on Google:
You’ll find that this page uses the term “all-terrain strollers” several times, but it never feels forced or excessive. It’s a natural part of talking about the subject, a compelling read for anyone looking to make this type of purchase. This is good content, and the type of content that search engines say they want to reward with high rankings.
3. Accessibility: Once your content is online, can the search engines actually find it? Search engines need to be able to “crawl” your website and locate pages that they can add to their searchable “book” or “index” of the Web. It’s possible to block them without realizing this. Here’s a fast, easy test to tell. Search for your website on Google or Bing by using the site: command ahead of your domain name, like this:
If you don’t see any or only a few of your pages, you might have an indexing problem.
Another issue is whether your pages are heavy on images or multimedia content. Search engines like text. Whatever you can copy-and-paste from a page and put into a program like Notepad or TextEdit, that’s what they’re going to “see.”
Don’t get me wrong. Images and multimedia content can be great to include on a Web page. But don’t let them be the only thing on your page. Have textual content too. Search engines will like this, as will your human visitors.
4. Health Check: Closely related to accessibility, there are ways you can check on the “health” of your site, in terms of SEO. Two leading ways are free and trustworthy, offered by the search engines themselves.
Google Webmaster Central is a toolset and advice resource offered by Google. Bing Webmaster Tools is a similar resource offered by Bing. Enroll your site in these services, and they’ll alert you to site issues such as whether you’ve been hacked or if your site is having crawling problems. They also provide data on things like how people are linking to you and the top terms people are using to reach your website.
Written by ; Ali hassan