Custom Website (Advanced): Improve Your Visibility With Search Engines
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is all about upping the visibility of your website on search engines in order to increase the traffic it gets. It involves lots of complex algorithms that we won’t attempt to explain here. However, we can give you a few basic tips to help increase the amount of visitors your site and TaxDome portal do receive once they go live.
- Start With Titles
- Develop Your Content
- Write a Meta Description
- Use Keywords
- Use Static URLs
- Use ALT Attributes for All of Your Images
- Getting Links to Your Site
- Use Social Media
- Pay Attention to Mobile
- Create Useful 404 Pages
Start With Titles
Search engines typically give high priority to the titles of websites and pages. Titles are what mostly show up in browser tabs and search results. This means that it’s important to choose ones that can be easily processed by search bots. Every page should have its own title. Try to keep them short, catchy, and original enough to attract the attention of the people you are targeting.
Develop Your Content
Content is the most important part of your website, so it's important to keep in mind the following:
- Make sure it’s well-written and polished. Consider investing in a professional writer and/or editor to up your content game. The more refined the website, the more traffic it will receive.
- Regularly update essential content, and don’t forget to trim whatever becomes outdated.
- Use a simple navigation system to make content easily findable.
- Keep it easy to read. On the Internet, people tend to scan rather than read long blocks of text. Elements such as headlines, subheads, bullet lists, and bold help readability.
- Use original language (don’t plagiarize!). If the same content appears on multiple unique URLs, it is not welcomed by search engines and can cause a serious drop in your website’s rankings.
Write a Meta Description
A meta description is a concise, human-readable summary of each page’s content. When writing your meta descriptions, observe these three golden rules:
- Keep it short (no more than 150 characters).
- Focus on the client.
- Repeat the main message over and over.
Keywords are words and phrases that a person uses to find online content. As a website owner, you can use keywords to connect with potential clients looking for your services. To be effective, keywords should be well-researched, carefully chosen, and judiciously used.
- It’s helpful to make a keywords list.
- You can add keywords into your title and description in a clear, natural way that makes sense to humans.
- Include a location in your keywords. For instance, if you offer bookkeeping services and are based in San Francisco, it’s good to use phrases like, “bookkeeping in San Francisco.”
- Keywords work well in headlines, subheadings, and boldfaced text of links. For example, the phrase “click here” is rarely used to take you to a linked page, because it provides absolutely no additional information about it.
Use Static URLs
There are two types of URLs—static and dynamic:
- A static URL looks like this:
- A dynamic one looks like this:
While search engines can easily understand both kinds of URLs, your users might have a hard time remembering dynamic ones. So you always want to choose a static URL address instead of a dynamic one!
It’s also good practice to include one primary keyword in a page URL. But avoid underscores (e.g., best_tax_practices) because Google will read the parts divided with them as one word (e.g., besttaxpractices). Use hyphens instead (e.g., best-tax-practices)
Use ALT Attributes for All Your Images
Search engines don’t read images; they read the ALT text instead. So you want to use keywords as an ALT attribute to help engine crawlers better understand the meaning of an image and what it represents. And users will get even more info if you place keywords in the text surrounding your images and make it bold.
Getting Links to Your Site
Links are the currency of the Internet. When people link to your site, you get new visitors. But don’t invest in sponsored ones. Spammy or highly promotional articles with a backlink to your website won’t bring you much traffic—nor will these lend credibility in browsers’ eyes.
It’s better to focus on offering visitors real value. When you share your knowledge, insights, easy-to-implement tips, and free tools, you’ll receive links from grateful users. The best way to get them is to create content that people would love to link to.
Use Social Media
Millions are active on social media every day. Why not take advantage? Nothing to lose but all to gain. Having a brand presence on social media can increase traffic to your website and build your business’s reputation in general.
Pay Attention to Mobile
People spend a ton of time online on their phones, so it will only benefit you to make sure your website looks great on a mobile device. Your site should automatically scale to fit different-sized screens—and look beautiful when it does. You want to provide a good experience to mobile users too. And with a mobile-friendly website, you can reach more customers faster.
Create Useful 404 Pages
The 404 page is what users land on when they’re looking for a page that actually doesn’t exist on your site. To improve user experience, create a custom 404 page using these simple tips:
- In a friendly way, inform visitors that the page they’re looking can’t be found.
- Include links to your site’s home page and most popular pages..
- Provide a way for users to report a broken link.