There are a tonne of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) advice lists. (Trust me. Google “SEO tips” and you’ll be overwhelmed by the results.) But with Nyman Ink’s focus on not-for-profit organizations and small businesses, we thought the web could stand one more list that addresses how to make your website more search friendly. So here it is: Nyman Ink’s top five tips and tricks for great SEO.
1. Good content and lots of it
Your website needs to be worth reading. It’s that simple. Pack it full of content (about you, your goals, your volunteers, staff and history) and people will come.
2. Incoming links
You want other sites to link to yours, obviously, but you can’t force them to do so. Go back and review point number one. Do you have good content? That’s the first step to getting people to link to you. The second step is to link to others. When you do so, they’ll be more likely to link back. Just be sure your links make sense and don’t go overboard, or it will look like you’re trying too hard.
The titles (or headlines) on your website are very important for good searchability. Keywords in titles and headlines are even more important than keywords in your body copy, so when considering titles, make them as clear and straightforward as possible. Don’t use metaphors or cutesy headlines, even if they’re funny. Remember, web crawlers (those little online robots that search your site) aren’t people. Clever headers will be wasted on them.
When laying out your content, you need to keep in mind that flow matters. The most important message should appear in your first header. This header should tell the reader (as well as the crawling robots) what the text below is all about. You can have a subhead below this first header, but it’s unwise to include more than one main header per page.
5. Keyword density
Have you ever been to a website that repeats the same words over and over and over again? It’s likely that was deliberate. The writer of that website was trying to fool the crawlers with an unnatural proportion of keywords. It’s a common technique (and a terrible one to emulate). Keyword density is about using certain words and phrases as often as possible, but in a natural, unobtrusive way. You might have heard keywords should make up no more than 5 percent of your total copy per page. Don’t worry about that. Just put in your keywords where they make sense and don’t overdo it, and you’ll be well on your way to good SEO.