There is a lot about SEO that will always remain a mystery. Even for the most advanced SEO experts, a portion of what makes search engines tick will always be an educated guess. That’s because search engines like Google will never reveal the exact minutiae of how their algorithms work. But have no fear: there is still a lot you can do to improve your site’s overall SEO game. In fact, there are three easy SEO tactics you could implement right now.
1. Always Use Alt Text
If you know one thing about SEO, it’s probably that keywords within your website help search engine “spiders” find and index your pages for others to discover. And while this is true, your site’s copy isn’t the only way to sprinkle those choice keywords throughout.
For every image on your website, there is a piece of code known as the “alt text.” This code helps a browser or email client describe what image is being shown should it fail to load. For example, the alt text for the image below might be “responsive mobile web design layout.”
But the alt text is also quite useful if you’re working to attract hunters of specific keywords to your website. Say, for example, you’re a full-service marketing agency always on the lookout for its next great client. If your site features images with those keywords as alt text, it could help a potential client locate your site. It can be a lengthy process if you’ve got a particularly deep website. But if not, you could more than likely knock out all your alt text in an afternoon.
2. Don’t Forget Your Metadata
When building out new pages or posts on your website, it’s crucial that you provide search engines with the right information to display your content properly. Without that “metadata,” your site pages may end up looking incorrect or unprofessional in search results. Without getting too far into the weeds, you typically need coding ability to set those parameters, depending on your website’s CMS. If you’re using a site built on WordPress, for example, there are a number of plugins that help you set metadata quite easily.
We recommend looking into Yoast, which is one of the most highly-rated SEO plugins. It allows you to customize your post titles, meta descriptions and featured images. It also allows you to plug in the keyword(s) you’re basing your posts on and will actually “score” you on how well you’re optimizing for those terms.
QUICK TIP: Yoast’s “Premium” features help you customize how your posts look when they’re shared on Facebook and Twitter. These platforms provide a useful way of building site traffic (and, thus, credibility) for your website—so it’s important your content looks its best.
3. Secure Your Site
Have you ever wondered about the difference between a website starting with “https” versus “http”? That “s” stands for secure, which means the website has what’s referred to as an SSL Certificate. In addition to that little extra character on a web address, you can also tell whether a website is secure or not through a small lock icon in the top left of your browser bar.
For a long time, websites tended to only purchase an SSL certificate when they offered e-commerce or other transactions involving sensitive material like passwords or payment information. But in recent years, Google has begun prioritizing websites that offer secure browsing experiences over those that do not. Consequently, if your site does not have an SSL certificate, you could be getting penalized on the search results page.
Many common web hosts (like GoDaddy, for example) offer a managed SSL Certificate service, meaning you don’t have to get into the nitty gritty of all that goes into implementing that change. If you want to manage that transition on your own, more power to you — but whatever options you’ve got through your hosting company might be worth any added costs.
Note that you might not need to prioritize this step if your other marketing efforts already have you placing favorably in organic search results. We know just how important it is to prioritize your time and tactics, so keep that in mind when thinking about undergoing this change.
So there you have it: 3 easy SEO tactics you could implement today. Once completed, these three mini projects will help strengthen your structural SEO and begin to improve your organic search results. But remember: SEO is a long game, so you won’t notice an immediate bump. But as you continue to refine your site and add more keyword-targeted content, you’ll no doubt notice a long-term overall trend towards higher results on search results pages.