How to Take Your SEO to the Next Level

take_your_seo_up_a_levelIf your business has an online presence, more than likely you’ve already implemented some level of SEO to make your website more search engine friendly. While basic SEO (i.e., proper title tags, H1 tags, H2 tags, etc.) is definitely a good start, if you plan to compete with the major players in your industry, you’re going to have to bump up your efforts. Below are some helpful tips you can use to help take your SEO to the next level.

1. Adjust important on-page SEO factors.

On-page SEO deals with how your site is structured and coded. Adjust the following important (and very often overlooked) SEO factors to make your site more search engine friendly:

  • Your URL structure should be clean and free from complicated or cryptic characters that have nothing to do with the content of the page. For example, instead of having URLs that look like this:http://www.yourwebsite.com/lj7helshg8873jsl3s7/?sessionid=940ec-87te76c-432e3e784

    Restructure them to contain words that make sense to human beings, like this:

    http://www.yourwebsite.com/sweaters/red-cardigan-sweaters

  • Always make sure that your image tags include the “alt” attribute, which is basically a text-based description of the image. This will come in handy in the event that the image doesn’t load, or the link to the file is broken.
  • Ditch the Flash and other cumbersome scripts, which weigh your site down and reduce page load time. In addition, search engines can’t read Flash, so they have no way to index or categorize Flash-based content. If possible, construct previous Flash-based elements in HTML5, which is search engine friendly.
  • Replace heavy, high-resolution images with lower-resolution images. This will speed up page load times, a key organic SEO ranking factor.

2. Make sure that your website is mobile-friendly.

If you’ve ever had doubts about the importance of having a mobile-friendly website, Google’s recent algorithm enhancement (dubbed “Mobilegeddon”) should settle this issue once and for all. In a first-ever preemptive SEO-related announcement, Google made it very clear that as of April 21, 2015, they have begun to give more weight to mobile-friendly websites in search results, especially when the queries originate from mobile devices.

Since the number of people who access the Web via mobile devices only looks to increase over the coming years, it’s a necessity for you to make your website as mobile-friendly as possible to preserve your overall position in the search engines.

To do this, you can either develop a separate mobile-friendly version of your site, or you can build a responsive site using a popular content management system such as WordPress or Drupal; these applications will automatically resize and reposition your page elements to accommodate viewing on a mobile device. Failure to follow through on this vital point may mean that your site will be replaced in the search results by sites that have already made these adjustments.

3. Build links using shareable PDF files.

Write an informative report, a how-to guide or possibly a list of useful industry-related resources and create a PDF file out of it. Make sure that you include at least a couple of internal links within your PDF document, and be sure to sprinkle relevant keywords and keyphrases throughout the text. If possible, include the keywords that you want to rank for in the title of the document, but do your best not to make it sound forced or spammy. Fill out the meta data for the PDF document (this can be done if you’re using the full version of Adobe Reader), including the title, author, subject and keywords.

Now upload the document to the root folder for your website (the less folders the search engine spiders have to crawl through to get to your document, the better), and then be sure to link to your PDF document from one of your popular or high-authority pages. Once you’ve done this preliminary work, begin sharing this document by uploading it to the following PDF directory sites:

  • Scribd.com
  • EbookJungle.com
  • DocStoc.com
  • SlideShare.com
  • Calameo.com
  • Ebook88.com
  • Note: There are dozens of other sites like these; just do a quick Google search for “PDF directories” to find more.

Sharing your PDF document on high-pagerank PDF directories all over the Web will help improve your search ranking due to two main factors: (1) The backlinks that are embedded in your document, and (2) The high possibility that other sites will link to your PDF document as a valuable resource. Just be sure that your content is helpful and unique, and others will be more than willing to share it!

4. Build links using infographics.

Similar to PDF files, infographics are some of the most shared and shareable documents on the Web. The great thing about infographics is that they can present important information in a visually interesting manner. Take some time to create (or hire someone else to create) a highly informative industry-related infographic, and then share it on the following infographic directory websites:

  • Visual.ly
  • InfographicsShowcase.com
  • InfographicsArchive.com
  • LoveInfographics.com
  • OnlyInfographic.com
  • As with PDF directories, there are several more infographic directories that you can find via a Google search.

Most infographic directories (including the ones listed above) will allow you to include a link back to your website as the source. This will provide you with outstanding link building opportunities, as your infographics begin to get shared all across the Web. One more thing: Don’t forget to share your infographics on Pinterest!

It’s common knowledge that the world of SEO is in a constant state of flux. While no one can predict the future, you can rely upon the tried-and-true SEO techniques listed above to help boost your authority in the search engines. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, just take one small step at a time, and be

committed to the process. The effects of your efforts will be seen soon enough.

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