2011 was an epic year for Google, with well-publicized changes to the search engine giant’s algorithms. However, as Google continues to tweak the way it ranks a website, it is important for business website owners to take a step back from traditional SEO and remember the importance of offering content that is written for users first and search engines second.
Business owners need to remember that there is no one trick that can ensure a great search engine rank. A great online marketing strategy is one that pulls together a number of disciplines and great pages are the foundation of any great strategy.
In other words, website owners need to build from great content and on-page SEO.
1. Search-Friendly URLs. Although a small part of the algorithm, search friendly URLs should be part of your overall strategy. Apart from the obvious benefit of having keywords in your URLs, they can also help by providing anchor text for people linking to the page.
2. Heading Tags. Although the effect that heading tags have on rank is also quite minimal, it is no excuse to ignore them. Not only do the heading tags allow the SEO to flow through your page, they also help users confirm that they are on the right page.
3. Optimized Copy. Although you shouldn’t over-optimize your copy, some level of optimization is necessary. However, as the search engines become more sophisticated, businesses need to avoid blatant optimization and trickery.
4. Image Use. There is strong evidence to suggest that images and Alt text play a role in the way a web page is ranked. Do not include images just for the sake SEO. Well chosen images can enhance a web page by helping the user understand what it is about.
5. User-Led Copy. Make sure you know who your visitors are, what they need and what they want. Your website is the most valuable marketing outlet you have, so be sure to give it the attention that deserves.
6. Video Use. Videos have been turning up in search results for years, but so many businesses still fail to see the benefit. Featuring videos on your web pages allows you to better communicate with customers and also diversifies your search visibility.
On-page SEO is about creating useful, sharable, rich web pages that deserve rankings based on their quality. As such, business website owners must combine tested SEO techniques with usability, marketing and psychology to create websites that will rank well among the search engines.
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