There has long been a shroud of mystery around search engine optimization (SEO), but when it comes to creating website content, what’s good for people is also good for search engines. Search engines like Google strive to deliver the most relevant information and provide the best user experience to searchers. At the same time, they try to stay one step ahead of the cheaters who try to steal top search results using deceptive linking, keyword, and content practices. Google algorithms like Panda and Penguin were rolled out to identify and punish black hat tactics, making it even more important to put searchers first in your SEO strategy.
Here are eight tips to help you keep it human:
Keep URL structures simple.
The URL should reflect the content on the page. If it’s logical to people, it will be logical to search engines.
Make pages descriptive.
Likewise, page titles and headers should accurately describe page content to give searchers and search engines clues about what they can expect.
Use keywords carefully.
You’ll want to include keywords and keyword phrases in headings, subheads, and body copy. But research the right ones and don’t load up the page with them. Your content should sound natural when read out loud.
Include meta tags.
The content in title and description meta tags are usually what searchers see in organic search results, so include keywords and keyword phrases that accurately describe what searchers will find on the page.
Create compelling content.
There doesn't appear to be a magic number when it comes to the optimal word count for web pages. Whether it’s 250 or 1250, it needs to tell a story that holds the reader’s attention.
Keep it easy reading.
Just like you would in any communication, content should be easily digestible. Break it up with headlines, subheads, bullets, and paragraph breaks.
Use images and alt tags.
Images help to hold the attention of the reader and with the right alt tags, they have the added benefit of showing up in image searches.
Include links and social signals.
Use links to guide visitors to related content on your site and use social sharing to improve your site’s credibility and visibility.
Bottom line: speak their language, and searchers will be more likely to find you.