While Search Engine Optimization tactics evolve over the years, the good old basic tactics remain valid. That means keyword research, search-friendly URLs, Title tags, Meta descriptions, headers, great content, images with Alt tags, optimized videos and linking. As Google and other search engines continue to tweak their algorithms to benefit users, wholesalers must think about satisfying the needs of their users as well as search engine robots. This article will review traditional SEO tactics that can be used to create great pages for top rankings.
Keyword Research: Keyword research is the foundation of SEO. Even though search algorithms are highly sophisticated and complex, you basically get found by your keywords. For an explanation of the value of keyword research see the SEO Moz Beginnerâ€™s Guide to Keyword Research.
Search Friendly URLs: While URLs are not a huge ranking factor, search-friendly URLs are important because they provide a good user experience as well as information for search robots. Put relevant keywords in your URLs as this provides anchor text when people use your URLs to link to your pages.
Title Tags: The title tag is the main text that describes an online document. It is the single most important on-page SEO element and appears in three key places: the top of a browser, search engine results pages, and on external websites as link anchor text. Best practice is to use no more than 70 characters in the Title and to use strategic keywords.
Meta Description Tags: The Meta description tag draws readers to a website from the SERPs; thus, it is very important for gaining user click-through from search results. As a short paragraph describing the content on the page, the description tag should be compelling, contain strategic keywords and contain between 150 and 160 characters.
Headers: Headers are handy for scanning content and they provide clues search engines. Use keywords in your headers wherever possible.
Content: All copywriting gurus say to write great content, but what does that mean? Write accurate, descriptive and compelling text about your products. Use the thesaurus in your word processing program for synonyms to keep from being repetitive. Have your keyword list handy for use whenever itâ€™s relevant. Use tools like ubersuggest to get ideas for improving your content. Use keywords in the beginning, middle and end several times throughout the page. The old adage is to write for the user first and search engines second, but keep both in mind when creating content.
Images: A picture is worth a thousand words and can be used to good advantage by wholesalers. Thereâ€™s even a possibility that the image and its associated Alt text can help boost your rankings. However, use relevant images and accurate, descriptive Alt text.
Videos: Videos have been displaying in search results since Universal Search; yet, many wholesalers donâ€™t use them. Featuring videos on your web pages can help you upsell, drive traffic and make your site sticky. Make sure your videos are relevant and optimized.
Inbound Links: Authoritative inbound links are links that can help your site become a subject matter expert in your niche. Google rewards authoritative links in its algorithm. An example of an authoritative link for a wholesale jeweler might be a link to its site from The Fashion Jewelry Accessories Trade Association. Outbound links to pages of interest to your readers are also helpful. For instance, a wholesaler might want to link to pages with basic information about drop shipping or other topics of interest to its target market. Lastly, itâ€™s good practice to link your inner pages to each other for relevant content throughout the site. It takes time and skills to gain authoritative links. For a primer on linking basics, we refer you to the SEO Moz Beginnerâ€™s Guide on Linking.
Sitemap: Create a sitemap of all the pages in your site to reveal the link structure so search robots can find all relevant pages of your site for crawling.
Site Validation: Last, but not least, youâ€™ll want to ensure your pages are indexable and links can be followed with the free W3C Markup Validation Service.
In conclusion, SEO basics never go out of style. These tactics will help you create rich web pages that get good rankings. You can combine the above tips on SEO with usability, marketing and psychology principles to create pages that will do exceptionally well in 2012. Just remember to satisfy users and search engines at the same time while implementing the elements above.