How do I optimize SEO for my website?

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How do I optimize SEO for my website? Over the past few years, Google has released several updates to their algorithm, of which Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird were the biggest. Those updates set augmented rules on how owners should structure their sites, build incoming links and use anchor text for outgoing links.Despite the updates, however, on-page SEO hasnt really changed all that much.Every on-page SEO task is really for the users benefit.Google wants the user to be happy, when they visit your web page. And, the only way that Google will know that your site users are satisfied is when theyre engaged. How long do they spend reading your content?Here are the essential things to pay attention to if you want to optimize SEO for you site:1. Site SpeedRecent research found that 47% of your target audience expects your website to load in under two seconds. Whats more, slightly more than half of all U.S. online shoppers wont buy from a site if it loads slowly.It makes sense. After all, dont we all hate to wait? And, the instant-gratification of the web has only made us more impatient.So, it makes sense that Google cares about page load time. From the Webmasters Central Blog:

Back in 2010, Matt Cuttsannouncedthat site speed will carry less weight than other key ranking factors, such as relevance, authority links and so on. Thats no longer quite as accurate. Nowadays, speed is essential.Recent studiesshow thata delay of a single second in page response time can yield a 7% reduction in conversions.

So, in case it wasnt already clear,site speed absolutely affects rankings, as asserted in thisinfographic

You could usePingdoms speed test toolto check your current page load time. But, you can and should take it a step further, by identifying your competitors and comparing their site speed with yours. You can do this by using the tools plug the two URLs into the boxes and click the Go button:Next, see the result:2. Essential Tag FundamentalsDo you take meta tags seriously? Although the effect of tags has changed significantly over the past several years, its still a good practice to pay attention to them.

In on-page SEO, the major types of meta tags that you should pay attention to are:1). Title tagsdefine the title of your web page or document. Theyre mostly used to display preview snippets of your web pages. When youre writing your title tag, it should be short, clear and descriptive.The ideal length is 50 60 characters.If your title tags exceed 60 characters, Google wil only show the first 60. Your entry in the results will look something like this:

You can useMozs preview toolto preview how your title tags will appear in the search engine.

The above title text will show up in Google results this way:

2). Meta description:According toSurvey Monkey,43.2% of people click on a given result, based on the meta description alone.This is how a meta description usually appears in the organic search listings:

The meta description is what search engines use to gauge what topic youre writing about and the exact audience that they should send to that page. So, make it descriptive and short no more than 160 characters.There is no need to stuff keywords in your meta description (which would work against you anyway). 160 characters is just not enough space for stuffing. Instead, use synonyms or latent semantic indexing (LSI) of your main keyword.For example, if your main keywords in the headline are generate website traffic, here are LSI keywords that you can use: get site visitors drive free traffic attract site visitors attract website visitorsYou can often find other related keywords beneath your search results. Those are also variations that you can use in your description:

If youre a WordPress user, then writing your meta description is easy. InstallAll-in-One SEO Pack, then set up the title tag and the meta description all at once. See the corresponding result on this screenshot:

3. Creating Content That Drives Search TrafficAccording to aHubSpot content marketing reportfrom 2014, nearly three-fourths of consumers prefer to research companies and businesses through articles, instead of annoying advertisements.Content is the backbone of a thriving business. Youve probably heard the saying, content is king. But, there is way more to successful content marketing than just content.You have to publish the kind of content that drives traffic and grows your business.Youll also notice that when you start creating in-depth content, youll see a corresponding increase in traffic from long-tail searches.

These days, your customers are smarter than you think. You have to be willing to listen to and learn from them their search for solutions motivates them to ask certain questions. Those questions can tell you exactly what they want most from you.Content that drives traffic Is practical, useful and valuable Is interesting to read Is in-depth and well-written Is written with the user in mind Solves a problem Is easy to share Is optimized for a high-volume keywordContent creates a line of communication between you and your customer. Effective communication will increase customer retention by 88% and will boost brand awareness by 87%.

No one should build a site for search engines.We build sites for people. After all, search spiders wont write a comment, subscribe to your list or buy your product. Only your users can do that.

On-page SEO consists of those activities that directly affect the content, pages and architecture of the site in other words, all of the internal factors that make a site useful for the visitor.Avoid thin content:Your content may be high-quality, in terms of the information that you share, but if you want to give your blog a boost in the SERPs, youve also got to increase your content length.No more 300- or 500-word posts, unless youre also using an infographic on the same page. Instead, write in-depth articles of 2000 words or more, because recent stats by SerpIQ found that content length affects rankings.

98% of the articles that I publish on this blog contain around 5,000 words. And, by being consistent with the creation of in-depth content that offers a lot of value, Ive significantly improved my search rankings for several keywords. For example, I rank #3 for a highly targeted keyword, blog traffic. See for yourself:

For the keyword data driven post, my listing is at the top:

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