8 SEO Practices You Must Embrace

By on December 15, 2012

Search engine optimization is what helps your website get found, visited and customers pitched to while they are on your site. If your pitch is a good one, you will convert that interest into sales. Oddly, not enough small businesses understand the importance of SEO, missing out on certain practices that they must embrace. We list eight of those here.

1. Write relevant content. This practice should be considered a “no brainer” but unfortunately is not. Your blog’s information should always be tied closely to what your business is all about. Resist adding fun, but unrelated photos or stories, staying with your topical theme at all times. Feel free to comment on industry news especially if a story can be related directly to your business.

2. Stay on top of your industry’s news. Speaking of news, you will want to keep your reader informed about what is going on. For instance, if you manage an automotive website, you will want to report what is going on at an auto show or what new product a manufacturer has to offer. Be objective — that means do not take sides. If you are offered a trip to a manufacturer’s assembly plant, let your readers know that the trip was paid by the company.

3. Write magnetic headlines. You can have the best content, but what you write will never get read if your headlines are unclear, uninteresting or downright boring. Read Copyblogger’s “magnetic headlines” article to learn how to make your titles pop. You will still need to write stellar content, include relevant photos and use the important keywords and phrase as you craft your articles.

4. Know your keywords. What keywords and phrases define your industry? You need to know what these are and shape your stories accordingly. Use your keywords in your titles and within your articles, to pull in web searchers that are looking for answers that you can supply. Use the Google Keyword Tool to help you expand your reach.

5. Build links. Link out to relevant sites, taking care not to link to your competitor’s sites. Contact similar sites and ask for webmasters to link to your site. Invite people to submit guest articles, allowing them to link back to their site. Ask for a link back to your site as well. Such links can help raise your site’s visibility.

6. Use social media. Get active online by using social media to advance your website and thus your business. Sign up with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and interact with users to gauge interest in your site. Learn what it takes to share information and how a rising tide can lift all boats.

7. Study your analytics. Every website comes with site analytics to help you gauge and monitor traffic. Use Google Analytics to find excellent information on how to optimize your site, checking your referrals to learn where traffic is coming from, how long people are staying, what they are reading and more. Shape your content accordingly and make an effort to expand your web presence.

8. Use a clean theme. Your theme may be outdated and you may not even know it.  Some themes have faulty canonical errors, problems that could hurt your SEO. Choose a new theme with excellent design elements such as relevant colors, fonts, headers, footers, page layout and social media enhancement. Avoid sites that supposedly make use of SEO practices such as indexation, titles and descriptions, RSS feeds and menu structure. Use a plug-in to handle these functions.

SEO Practices   Be consistent with your SEO efforts. Keep an eye on the prize which is, in this case, a higher search engine ranking for your keywords. Monitor your results regularly and make adjustments as needed. If you cannot handle the work yourself, choose a highly recommended SEO firm to help you out.

Jason Bayless is a professional blogger that gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice. He writes for BestSEOCompanies.com, a nationally recognized comparison website of the best SEO companies in the United States.

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