Far too many web developers and webmasters believe that search engine optimization, or SEO, is more dependent on arcane sources of hidden knowledge than it is on practical use of powerful tools. The truth is, search optimization is likely to be as simple as the search engine companies claim it is, because ultimately the proof any kind of optimization is effective is how readers respond. Finding a site is only the first step in a successful search. Finding the right information is more important. So where can these practical and powerful SEO tools be found? They might be closer than you think.
Have you ever seen the list of results that appear when you start typing a key phrase into Google? How about the list of “similar” search phrases at the bottom of the page? Those phrases are derived from what users are searching for. If your keyword appears in those searches, then those phrases might be the ones you should be using to optimize your page.
If you are using Google’s Adwords service, you may have noticed there is a “Keyword Planner” tool. This is a section of Adwords that will help you determine the popularity of your keywords based on actual statistics pulled from Google searches.
Once you have a list of popular key phrases, you can use a paid service like SEMRush to track up to 500 different combinations to advance your keyword research. This is a valuable and powerful way to evaluate your website’s performance over time. With these statistics you can build a long-term strategy for focusing on those phrases that bring you the best traffic.
Yoast SEO Plugin
If you are using a content management system like WordPress, plugins can enhance your site with some rather amazing capabilities. The Yoast plugin, for example, can evaluate the articles you write and compare them to a set of standard criteria for SEO effectiveness. By following the basic recommendations, you can edit each post to support your strategy.
The web is rapidly moving towards an architecture that favors secure HTTP connections, and that means sites with secure sockets layer certificates that support TLS where they can will be favored in search results. If your site doesn’t already have an SSL certificate installed, this is a relatively easy way to get a head start.
Sites like Shaw Media Marketing offer packages of SEO tools that include things like blog posting, tagging, linking, and content creation. If you don’t have time to manage these things yourself, you can get ahead of the game by outsourcing to such sites.
One of the major reasons content management systems are so popular is because search engines are tuned to rapidly index them using the standard tools they include. WordPress is the leading CMS platform by a wide margin. If your site uses WordPress it gives you a major advantage over sites using other middleware solutions.
Accelerated Mobile Pages
Many of your readers are already using mobile devices to access your site. The faster you install support for technologies like AMP and responsive designs, the better results and conversions you will see from your mobile audience. Those satisfied readers will gradually improve your search rankings in the form of lower bounce rates and higher engagement.
There is a lot to SEO that might be confusing or obscure to web developers these days, but with time and patience, these SEO tools will give any site a good foundation for future success.