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Optimizing Your Website for Search Engines

As you know from last week’s article, search engines like Google and Bing are how most people find what they’re looking for on the Internet. So how should you be optimizing your website so your business is at or near the top of the search results? You can start with a few of the basics, like…

Content is still king!

Search engine optimization SEO concept“Content” is a term used to describe any information on your website. This article is content, and so are the pages used to describe our Merchant Shops. The more information your website has, the better you will do in search engine results. Period.

That’s why it’s so important to post regular updates to your website. Talk about what’s trending in your industry or your latest and greatest products.

You don’t have to write a novel every time, but shoot for around 300 words on your pages.

Choose your keywords wisely.

Keywords have changed over the years. It used to be that you could just tell search engines what your topic is about with a special “keyword” tag. That feature became abused and is now ignored by many modern search engines. These days you’re best off to decide on a phrase that best fits your topic, and try to repeat the phrase in throughout your page.

That doesn’t mean you should copy and paste the same phrase a thousand times on your pages. Your keywords should flow naturally, and be in context with the rest of your page.

You should try to use different keywords or phrases, or at least different variations of keywords and phrases, on each page of your website. That means product pages too for those of you with e-commerce websites.

Use your keyword phrase in the right places.

If you chose your keyword phrase correctly, it should be easy to work into the rest of the content on your page. The following areas are where you will get the most bang for your buck, so make sure to add your keyword phrase here:

  1. Your keyword phrase should always be part of the title of your page. When adding products, this is generally the name or title you give your product. So, if you are selling a gold necklace, give your keyword phrase some detail, like “Womens 14k yellow gold box chain necklace”. You could make that the title of your page, and easily work it into your product description: “You won’t find a better deal on womens 14k yellow gold box chain necklaces anywhere else.”
  2. The first paragraph of your content right after your title is also important, and you will want to include it as early in the paragraph as possible.
  3. If your website setup allows you to modify the url (the website address) of your pages, it’s a good idea to include your keyword phrase in the url as well. It’s not possible use spaces in a url, so separate your keywords with hyphens, not spaces, and remove punctuation. If you use WordPress for your website, like we do, then it’s easy to change at the top of your editor pages:

optimizing-your-website-edit-url-300x219

Optimize your pictures and video too.

Search engines like pictures, and you can help yourself out by optimizing those as well. Try to add your keyword phrase in the Title and Alt tags of your images. We generally rename our image file names to include our keyword phrase as well, but the Title and Alt tags are generally much easier to change.

Following these suggestions will go a long ways in improving your search engine results, but remember that it takes time. Changes can take weeks or even months to show up in search engines, but making SEO a habit will pay off greatly in the long run.

Do you have more tips for optimizing your website for search engines? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

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