Dan Schawblel, Personal Branding Expert, Millennial Branding
It’s never been more critical to optimize your website for Google. Although Google’s algorithm changes from time to time, some of the basic search engine optimization (SEO) tricks are still highly effective. Here are five tips that will help you better optimize your website for search engines, which will help you get more traffic, leads and customers:
1. Choose your keywords carefully. You can’t be everything to everyone and when it comes to SEO, if you try and use too many keywords, your site will get lost in translation. Carefully select a few keywords that you feel people would search for when looking for your business. I recommend using Google’s AdWords Keyword Tool, which will show you the most search keywords and the competition to rank against those keywords. This will help you invest in the keywords that will give you the most return on your time. When it comes to your website, you should use these keywords several times. They should be in blog posts, in the main header and other places where it makes sense. Don’t use keywords just to use keywords because then your site won’t be as readable.
2. Create proper meta tags. In order for search engine crawlers to identify your website and what it’s about, you should create your own META tags. These tags are used to control your site description in the search engines, such as Google. You can use OnlineMetaTag.com to create your own meta tags for free. There are three different type of tags: site title, site description and site keywords. You want to make sure that the keywords you selected appear in each of these tags so they can reinforce each other.
3. Publish content that people will share. By developing eBooks, blog posts, white papers and other forms of content for your site, you are in effect optimizing your site. Make sure that your content reflects the keywords you chose while creating your site so you get the most impact. Also, make sure that you have social sharing buttons so that if a visitor enjoys an article you’ve written, they can pass it through their Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter networks for more exposure. The internet is cluttered with content that people will never read. If you want to stand out, you should invest more time in more unique content.
4. Establish links within your site. In order to boost the rank of each individual page or post within your website, you should link between them when it’s appropriate. If you have a corporate blog, make sure you use categories and tags that match up to your keywords. Within those posts, you should find the keywords and put links to other related articles that contain those keywords.
5. Seek inbound links to your site. In order to build page authority, you need to get websites to link back to yours. You want to search for websites that already have a high standing in Google and the ones that are at least somewhat relevant to your website. Review blogs in your category by going to Alltop.com and Technorati.com. Try guest posting on blogs and news sites in exchange for a link back to your site.
Dan Schawbel is the managing partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen-Y research and management-consulting firm. Subscribe to his updates at Facebook.com/DanSchawbel.