Search engine optimization (SEO) can often seem complex and difficult. With so many different experts and tips it’s often difficult to know where to begin. In reality, yes, some aspects of SEO are very complicated and based on deep insights from analytics and other sources. But quite a bit of SEO comes down to thinking logically about how your web site is set up, experimenting wisely, and keeping on top of both site maintenance and the latest trends. Here are three tips that you can implement right now to get your site more optimized for natural search:
● Get your URLs in order. The first rule of SEO is: make your site accessible to humans. The goal of Google, Bing, and other search engines is to deliver the most relevant content for the user’s search at the top of the search results. One of the attributes that the search engines use as a ranking factor is your URL. A good URL format will describe the topic of the page and therefor have the key search terms right in the URL. Additionally, Google prefers that canonical URLs are in place (go here for the ups and downs of canonical URLs). It’s also important to avoid trying to stuff keywords or add duplicate keywords in your URL, so www.domain.com/womens-slippers-ruby-slippers is not a good choice. Sites built on Amazon Webstore have these considerations built in. Product detail pages have the product name in the URL by default, for example, and canonical URLs are taken care of behind the scenes for product and browse pages.
● Link to your best selling products from your home page, for example you can add a section on your home page that links to these product pages using the product name as the link anchor text. Links from higher-level pages are crawled more frequently and allow you to distribute the link equity (“link juice”) of your hope page to your most important products. If you sell relatively few items, you may want to consider putting links to all of them on your home page, but only if it doesn’t make the site difficult for your customers to use. Whatever you do, focus on linking to these on these hot products from your strongest pages.
● Build links to your website by thinking outside the box for link placement. Perhaps you could pitch a story related to your company to a local paper, a trade magazine, or a business journal. Maybe there’s a blog out there that is interested in a product you carry. Hit all the angles—every inbound link from reputable outside sources, especially a well-known one, is good for your SEO. Just be sure to keep your inbound links natural, don’t engage in link exchange networks or respond to requests from people you do not know for reciprocal link exchanges. The goal of the search engines is to return the most relevant content, and by participating on the websites and social networks related to your business or industry you will have no trouble obtaining relevant links that are good for both users and ultimately improve your natural search rank.
Bonus tip: Look into ranking for phrases including the color of the product you’re selling. A lot of people search for “black iphone 5” or “red gucci belt”. While we don’t necessarily recommend having different pages for the different colors, considering the effects of color words in search terms is definitely advisable.
In the end, the best advice for anyone interested in improving their natural search rankings and optimizing for search is the simplest: Make your users love your site.