August 31, 2015
There is so much to learn about SEO, but sometimes the best way to start is by mastering the simplest things. You can find hundreds, even thousands, of SEO tips and tricks to apply, but these next several tips are the ones you can apply right away for maximum impact. You don’t need to attend training or follow the latest Google update to get a hold of the following easy SEO tips.
1. Use Anchor Text
We all make the mistake of using “click here” or “more…” as anchor texts. Although users can understand them perfectly, they are not the best anchors to use when you want to improve your site’s SEO performance.
Instead of using generic words like “click here,” try to add a more meaningful set of phrases based on the keywords you are targeting. “More about on-site SEO,” for instance, is much more effective than “click here to read more.”
2. Search Engine Friendly Permalinks
Sometimes, using variables and strings in URLs is inevitable. They are indeed useful for forwarding information to the receiving page. However, try to keep your URLs as search engine friendly as possible.
If you use a CMS to manage your content, there are plenty of plugins and tools that will help you modify your URL to be more SEO-friendly. Instead of yourdomain.com/?p=11&string=about-SEO, you can have yourdomain.com/SEO-101/about-SEO. The changes are done automatically, so you will not lose traffic or have broken links all over your site.
When you do need to use strings and variables, try to keep them readable. Crawlers will sometimes access those URLs and still try to grab keywords from them, so having readable URLs really help.
3. Use Category Title and Description
Until very recently, I used the standard sitename.com/title-of-the-article permalink structure across all of my sites. It was an expert from a renowned SEO Montreal company who told me to add a category title to my URLs.
As soon as I changed my permalink structure to sitename.com/category/title-of-the-article, I saw a nice boost in overall SEO performance. Search engine traffic went up by almost 40%. So what does adding category title change?
For starters, crawlers can now identify the general topic of each article by scanning the URL of the article itself. This allows me to reach more users who are not searching for a specific topic. To enhance the effect even further, you can also add a short category description to the Category pages as well as the Meta tags.
4. Sub-Directories instead of Sub-Domains
I know sub-domains are much cooler. Shop.sitename.com appears more professional compared to sitename.com/shop. However, sub-directories are actually more effective SEO-wise.
The main reason why sub-directories are much, MUCH more effective than sub-domains is because sub-domains are often treated as different domains by both crawlers and search engine algorithms. Sub-directories, on the other hand, are very effective in boosting your site’s overall SEO performance.
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