According to web designer Curtis Peters, good SEO doesn’t need to be a huge technical and financial undertaking. “Work to develop content that is meaningful and search engines will reward you and your audience will thank you,” says Peters.
Content can be a page, a document, image or other multimedia such as video. “Search engines want to send you to content that is trusted and relevant. Your job as a publisher is to make your content trustworthy and targeted,” says Peters.
According to Peters, here are three ways to improve your site’s SEO:
1. Use relevant words to create links
When creating text links to content, avoid terms like “click here” and instead have the link text describe the content to which you are linking. A link titled “Read more about Facebook Etiquette” will bring more SEO value than one that reads “Learn more.” “A well-written link would make sense out of context, so give a clue about the type of content and describe it well,” says Peters.
It is even more helpful if the page you are linking from is related to the content to which you are linking. “For example, linking to your Facebook etiquette article from a page that already contains a lot of advice on Facebook is worth more than if you link to the article from a page that doesn’t mention Facebook or etiquette at all,” says Peters.
2. Use Facebook and Twitter to link back to your site
Being active on social media and linking to your site from Facebook, Twitter, etc. will actually help your ranking in search engine searches.
“Furthermore, when your content is tweeted, liked or shared on social media, it also improves your ranking; after all, if people are sharing your link, they must trust it and it must be relevant to them,” says Peters.
Keep in mind that it is better if your content is being shared in related social groups. “For example, sharing your article on Facebook etiquette in a Facebook group about etiquette will be respected by search engines. So join and share your content in groups that are related to you,” says Peters.
3. Know Your Niche
When creating links to and from your site, know which words best describe your product or service (that is, the words that your potential audience uses when searching for you).
“This is about making your content relevant. If I really want to learn about Facebook etiquette, I’m more likely to buy a book that is dedicated to just that topic, than I am to buy one that has just a chapter devoted to it amongst other topics,” says Peters. “The same practice applies in websites: A page dedicated to what I’m searching for is more valuable than if it was just one paragraph on a page. A website dedicated to what I’m searching for is even better than just a page with that focus. Search engines deliver results in this manner, so the more focused your site or webpage is on a particular topic, the better your results.”
So when is it time to DIY and when should you call in the pros? “You know your business best,” says Peters, “but there are advantages to working with professionals to develop content for SEO. A writer would be great for expanding a paragraph’s worth of content into a full page in a meaningful way. Well-written content will become trusted content. And if you’re doing multimedia, work with a qualified photographer or videographer to ensure that you’re producing content worth sharing. Web developers can help you make sense of statistics—looking at search trends, behaviours of your visitors and what is working for your competitors—and put it all together to help you define your niche (or redefine it as things change).”
Curtis Peters is a freelance web developer and creative problem solver. Not a typical tech-head, he has a wide array of interests including culture & travel, martial arts, and photography. It is rumoured that he has a sense of humour but it is not yet confirmed. Connect with Curtis on Linkedin or get more great website advice by following him and others at Back2Front—The website people.