8 SEO Tricks to Give Your Economic Development Website a BoostApril 17, 2015
Within the past five years, Google has changed the meaning of SEO – search engine optimization – with major updates that have significantly changed the way websites rank. And with Google’s latest major algorithm update (aka Mobliegeddon) just one week away, it’s vital that your economic development website is prepared and optimized to stay relevant. With small modifications, your site will see a noticeable impact in organic search results.
Below are eight SEO tips that will help you take your website to the next level in rankings.
- Go Mobile: This is a no-brainer. Not sure if your site will survive Mobilegeddon? Take advantage of Google’s helpful tools, including Google’s mobile-friendly test and reporting on your mobile usability, to see if your site is up to standard.
- Gain Insight into Your Page Speed: We all loathe waiting for a web page to load, and so do search engines like Google. Google has always rewarded sites that download quickly, and it remains a ranking factor for both desktop and mobile sites. With Google’s PageSpeed Insights, you can gain insight on how to make a page load faster and optimize content with their specific suggestions.
- Do Your Keyword Research: Conducting keyword research is a fundamental component in SEO success. In order to obtain search engine visibility, economic development organizations must use relevant words and phrases that its target audience is typing into search queries. There are plenty of keyword research tools out there, but our favorite is Google Keyword Planner, a free and easy-to-use tool that helps you estimate how keywords will perform.
- Optimize Title Tags: A title tag is an accurate and concise description of a page’s content. They show up in search engine results and often show up in a browser’s tab. Title tags need to have relevant keywords (with your most important keywords first), a unique structure (to avoid duplicate content), and should contain 64 characters or less.
- Include a Unique Description for Each Page: Each page of your site should include a meta description, which provides an explanation of the content’s page. While meta descriptions are no longer used for search engine rankings, it is still important to include at least one keyword to allow people searching to get a clear understanding of what each page is about. In addition to using keywords, meta descriptions should include compelling calls-to-action that a user will want to click. The optimal length of a meta description is less than 155 characteristics.
- Don’t Forget About Images: Although it may seem that images can’t be optimized because they don’t contain text, there are ways to optimize them for search on the backend of your CMS. By adding keywords and describing the image within the alternative text (or ALT tag) field, you provide search engines with a way to index your image. Every image on your site should have an ALT tag and should contain five words or less.
- Create Quality, Information-Rich Content: Thanks to Google’s Panda update, websites containing valuable, fresh and easy-to-find content rank higher than those that have poor-quality, outdated content. In addition, it’s important to not only be useful, but to direct users to where to go next by using calls-to-action that are clear and easy-to-find. Always remember that if you’re useful, they will come.
- Avoid Keyword Stuffing: One way that marketers used to get ahead in the ranking game was by “keyword stuffing.” Not anymore. Create content that reads naturally and includes keywords that are relevant to the subject of your page.
While there are many other SEO tricks in the books, these tips should give you a solid foundation. If your economic development website is user-friendly, optimized and relevant, you’ll have no problem ranking in organic search.