Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

12 Important SEO Tips for Your Website

Robot photo for post on website SEO tips

Photo credit: Jeremy Noble (Creative Commons)

This is part of a series called the Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization.

Today, we’re talking about optimizing your whole site, not just a single page, for search engines.

After choosing the right SEO keywords but before writing a ton of content, you have some choices to make.

So think through this carefully.

Before you begin, you need to know the following:

  • What your site is about
  • What the purpose is
  • How committed you are

Once you’ve settled on those three things, then it’s time to get to work.

So, let’s begin, shall we?

SEO Tips

To optimize your whole site for search engines, you’ll need to follow these basic tips:

1. Make the website about one thing.

It can be about other stuff, too, but choose one primary topic that is most essential to your message.

This step is important, so you may want to do a little keyword research before choosing a topic.

2. Mention keywords where they matter most.

Include your “one thing” in the site title, domain name, description, tagline, keywords, blog categories, page titles, and page content.

If you’re on WordPress, you can change a lot of this in the General Settings or through a plugin like All in One SEO Pack (which I use).

3. Link to internal pages on your site.

A lot of content management systems automatically do this, but if yours doesn’t, you’ll want to be intentional about linking to your most important pages directly from your homepage and cross-linking them with each other.

4. Use a permalink structure that includes keywords.

Some sites have “ugly” permalink structures that use numbers to identify pages.

Don’t do this. It’s bad for SEO and just doesn’t look good.

Use a URL structure that includes text, and make sure you include keywords in your URLs.

So instead of having a page’s URL be this:

http://yoursite.com/?p=12

It should look more like this:

http://yoursite.com/coolpage/

5. Remove anything that slows down your website.

Page load times are important, so get rid of any non-essentials that bog down your website.

These may including music players, large images, flash graphics, and unnecessary plugins.

6. Use keywords in your images.

Include words that reflect your site topic in the image title, description, and alt attributes.

Also, re-title the file name if it doesn’t reflect your main keywords (e.g. writing-tips.jpg instead of d1234.jpg).

7. Link to other websites with relevant content.

You can do this by including a blogroll, link list, or resources page on your website.

Of course, do it sparingly, as each outbound link is a “vote” for another site. However, if you do it well and people click your links, this tells search engines you are a trusted authority on your particular topic.

8. Update your website frequently.

Sites with dynamic content often rank higher than those with static content. That’s why blogs and directories (like Wikipedia) do so well on search engines. They are constantly being updated with new content.

9. Make sure your website is indexed in search engines.

A lot of search engines will automatically find and index your content, but don’t count on it.

You want to be sure engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo are crawling your site, so that people are finding you online. (You can add them directly, if they’re not.)

10. Have other websites link to you.

This is really, really important, when it comes to SEO. The bummer is that it’s not something you can necessarily control. Other than creating excellent content, the only thing you can do is ask (which occasionally works).

My counsel is to spend the time you would trying to convince somebody to link to you on just writing great content. And, start guest posting on other blogs.

Regardless of what you do, know that inbound links are essential to SEO.

11. Stop changing your domain name.

The age of your URL is a factor in your site’s search ranking, so be patient.

If you’re launching a new blog every six months, you’ll never see your site get the value it deserves.

12. Write like a human.

None of the above matters if you create content that sounds like a robot wrote it.

Write great stuff, follow the steps above, have patience, and you’ll see results.

I realize that many of you have already started blogging, but many of these tips can be applied retroactively. And once if you done this, you can start writing regular content. For more about writing SEO pages, read the next article in this series: The Idiot-Proof Basics to Writing SEO Pages.

If you’re curious as to how well your site is performing on search engines, you can use a free website SEO tool like Website Grader.

For more SEO tips, read this: The Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization

Is your website optimized for search engines? Share thoughts/questions in the comments.

*Photo credit: Jeremy Noble

About Jeff Goins

I write books and help writers get their work out into the world. I am the best-selling author of four books, including The Art of Work. Each week, I send out a newsletter with free tips on writing and creativity.

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  • Kavita

    You’ve mentioned some very useful tips here, it’s important for sites to undergo a technical health check to monitor anything which maybe holding you back. I read a great whitepaper about technical health here – http://www.ricemedia.co.uk/downloads/site-health-beginners-guide/

  • Muhammad Luqman

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  • Muzammal Mridha Noble

    Great post brother.. I will follow the methods.. Hopefully it will help to increase my site rank.
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    Again thnx for writing about seo.

  • Those tips are really helpful and set the tone for for starters doing SEO for their sites.

    Every one stands a chance of high ranking on the natural research of Google if they follow

    those basic tips and could lay the good groundwork.

    For more interested info. tips and factors related SEO,

    you could see

    ‘Most Important Google Ranking factors that you might have missed’

    http://www.nirmal.com.au/important-google-ranking-factors-might-missed/

  • simranpatel

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  • i have tried many niche like edu, tech, entertainment but what i noticed that edu blogs ranks well. Recently i have started a new blog CBSE India Results and this one is ranking good and thanks for sharing these awesome tips…

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  • PaseoVerde

    This makes a lot of sense; thank you for this valuable information. I have just launched a blog about my local community in Philadelphia, and I was wondering how SEO in 2016 would position my blog compared to others that discussed the Paseo Verde apartment project.

  • Mathew Stark

    Thanks for these valuable tips. Still, I believe link building (quality backlink) are the key to get good top rankings along with social sharing.

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  • Arham

    helpful indeed, keep up the good work!

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  • mrtt

    Choice and order of words in the page title seem to be key to getting on page one of any search. Even if you get on page one for a set of keywords, you may not get on page one if the order of the words is different than what is in the title tag. For example, my site https://www.threadthat.com displays on page one for a Google search of “private secure encrypted”, but page 4 for “secure private encrypted”.

  • Hi there… this is Matija from Slovenia. First, congrats to your amazing post. I have been doing in IM, specially in SEO and content creation for last 6 years here on a Slovenian furniture market and would like to comment to parahprahps in your article. First about updateing website frequently. Maybe your readers will find interesting that updating website with daily useful content is very strong tool (if it is done a hand in hand with keyword research), but it doesn’t not contribute anything to rankings – which I think, many SEO’s are mistaken about. Rankings and quantity of content have nothing in common – at least by my experience from last years. After 500 or so posts, I believe rankings goes up even without any backlinks (if a proper keyword research is done).
    Second – I would like to add something to “write like a human” part. I agree totally…. write like a human for the human. Although it is sometimes hard specially for SEO beginners because they always see important keywords in front of them, when they are writing. To solve this – I recommend first to write a content and then to search for appropriate keyword for that content. That way content writers don’t get distructed with keyword at the beggining.
    Amazing blog, btw, nice metrics also. Congrats from Slovenia, again.
    My “slovenian” weekly updated furniture blog is this: http://www.vgradneomare.eu/ (although I have some others in furniture and seo too).

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  • Ground Zero

    Could you please tell me that what is the effect of Geo-targeting in Google(I set it to ‘Unlisted’ for my website http://www.groundzeroweb.com ). I am unable to find much information about it.
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  • Jhoell

    This is an awesome resource, even for local SEO! People think SEO is difficult but really it’s just a bunch of simple things combined together to create a rocket ship website that works to your advantage! Keep the amazingly useful posts coming. You’re the man!

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    http://www.towsonwebdesign.com

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  • Rubana Gaspar

    I’m still pretty confused about SEO and after just creating new site and having my first website designer telling me Google will love me have found out the hard way that I am NOWHERE on Google and now have to hire another designer to completely redo my landing page and add meta tags and actually have content on my landing page rather than just have photos of my portfolio.
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  • Hey Jeff thanks for this. Your writing skills awesome and almost all basic steps are covered. I’ll understand all these important stuffs. Thanks
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  • Carla Williams

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  • Irek Jabłoński

    Pozornie wszystko znane ale nie zawsze pozycjonowanie przynosi oczekiwany efekt . Trudno wówczas dociec co ma wpływ na oglądalność

  • Magnum Solution

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  • Excellent tips.
    Thank you for sharing them.
    regards
    Andres | Entrepreneur from Chile https://www.posicionamientowebseochile.cl

  • joe

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  • Great tips here, it is worth being reminded of all 12 of these every now and again. I will push this as a list of tips to my clients at http://brumdesign.co.uk

  • Ronaldo Aldo

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  • Sravya

    Great tips! we have to remember these while doing SEO for a website or Blog.