The search results are in. Are you on the first page?

Coming up on the first page of search results is a good sign that your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is working. According to MarketShare, 75% of users never even look past those initial results. Search is king now, so it’s in your best interest to know how it works and how to use SEO to your advantage.

Online searches are how consumers find the information, goods, and services they need. SEO is a way to boost a company or webpage’s placement in the results. This technique uses metadata, keywords, and other features to make sure placement in the search is as high as it can be.

So how can I get on the first page?

There are several ways to achieve this, but let’s start with keywords. It’s important that all the aspects of your page agree, so choose at least 2-3 focus keywords and make sure they are in your page titles, headlines, subheads, image tags, headers, and alt tags. This allows you to rank higher in searches when users look for those focus words.

You won’t just have a few keywords, of course. You’ll ideally have many; words that feature prominently in your content or are part of your meta tags (an element of metadata) count as keywords. They should be in your URL, your page title, section titles and subheads, image tags and captions, image file names, metadata, and throughout your content.

Note, your page title and your header are not the same thing. Your header is at the top of your page and is the title of your content. The page title is part of your metadata and is the name you give your page in your content management system (CMS) settings. Try to keep the page title under 70 characters. Your meta description, on the other hand, should be about 150 characters. This is the description of your page users see in the search results.

It’s in your best interest to be original and frequent

Reusing or rehashing content from other blogs, online sources, or even your own old marketing content will push you down the list of search results. Google, for example, frowns on “duplicate content” and will reduce your ranking accordingly. On a related note, there are two possible starts to URLs: “www” or “non-www.” Make sure you choose one or the other, but not both. This will register as duplicate content. Search engines do not prefer one over the other, but “www” domains may have benefits in other areas. They can act as hostnames, which means they can be more flexible with the domain name system (DNS) and can restrict cookies when using multiple subdomains. For more information, consult a web developer or the Basics of HTTP Guide provided by Mozilla, the creator of web browser Firefox.

It is also important to have a steady stream of new content. More frequent posts are correlated with higher traffic, and if your blog is on the same domain as your website (which it should be) that will most likely mean more traffic to your site as well.

Need a little help?

An expert creative agency can boost your business’ SEO technique and help your customers discover you through search. Contact us to learn more about our expertise in search engine optimization and marketing. Email or call (914) 607-7888.

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