Let's talk about what we can do to catch the eyes of our internet visitors today. We all make an effort to bring good and useful content to the internet. We spend hours, maybe days, researching, writing, collecting information, taking great pictures, etc. After all that work, we expect people to find about us and become a loyal reader of our blog. If we run an online businesses, we invest that time on good products, good services, and effective communication with our customers. And, obviously, we need to figure out how to better promote our shops.

However, without basic knowledge of SEO, it is quite difficult to drive traffic to your blog, website or online shop.

SEO stands of Searching Engine Optimization. You can optimize your blog/website/shop so it will become easier for people to find it through search engines, like Google. Some of those words may sound too complicated, but SEO can be easy. Too good to be true? Then here you have a few tips on how to optimize your online content.

Practical tips on how to improve your website ranking

1. Choose good titles for your blog posts, website pages, or products
It's important to be unique. But it is also important to be direct, simple and eye-catching.

2. Use the "Search description" on Blogger, or "Post summary" on Wordpress
That short description is what is used for Google under the link address of a website on a search result, for example. It is also what can be sent to your subscribers via feed.

3. Tag!
Keywords are essential. I can't emphasize this enough. But it's not any keyword. It is important that you use the best tags for your content. In order to find out what those are, use tools like GoogleAdWords, Google Trends, or Wordtracker.

Remember, however, that vague, broad terms won't help you. It's good to have a good balance with more specific terms. If you use keyword like "cake", that will get you nowhere. The broader the term, the bigger is the competition. You can't hope for your blog, or website to be one of the first results that a searching engine will display if you use broad terms.

Don't choose keywords randomly either. The best thing to do is to think of a good "keyword" phrase that will dictate the whole content of your page. Make sure to write your article, or product description around that keyword phrase, and use it in the body text. Adapt the content to the main idea.

4. Go for descriptive permalinks
Instead of numbers or a random arrangement of letters, choose descriptive permalinks like ".com/orange-chocolate-flourless-cake-for-kids-party". Do your best to formulate a specific, yet fun and creative title, and use it on the permalink.

5. Make sure your blog, page, or product has a good description (tagline, subtitle)
The tagline, the first paragraph (or the first 200 words), and subtitles are the parts of a text that most (99%?) readers look at first. That's probably what will make them decide whether or not they'll stay on the website and read all the rest of the page's content - and maybe even stay longer and visit other pages. Give a good first impression.

6. I'll say it again: use subtitles
If you can divide your text, or product description by using subtitles, chances are that you'll end up using more keywords, in a more natural way. If I'm writing on Paris, and my text covers a variety of subtopics, it's probable that I'll write on its best hotels, typical food, historical locations... Each one of those subtopics may be exactly what someone is looking for on the internet.

7. Make clever use of links
If you add links to your text, any search engine will tend to trust that you produce good content. A text with links to other pages (or other websites) has higher changes of getting better positions on search results than a plain text. If you use links, the message you send is that you did your research, you're trying to establish good grounds on which you build your content, you understand that internet is all about creating connections.

By using links, you can:
  • create a connection with better ranked websites: this helps increasing your website's reputation;
  • unite both your keyword phrase and links: clever mix! Don't just use "click to know more", "read more";
  • keep your visitor for a longer time, but linking to other pages of your own website.

8. Use images
Images don't just give a more appealing look to your context, but they also serve as good traffic generators. Now here's the trick: both the caption and the file name must include your page's keyword. It's also highly recommended to fill out the "alt" and "title" attributes of an image (that is, if you have access to an html editor).

9. Great content takes you half the way
Be original = be yourself. Don't copy, but learn. You'll also want to be careful with grammar and how well the text flows. Never let your content look like you were in a hurry, or like you have no idea what you're talking about.

Some further tips:
  • create content that solves a problem: what solution do you have to offer to your readers or customers? Is it a 10-minute dinner? A new way of wearing that old scarf? A product that will make house tasks easier to be done?
  • quality is better than quantity: good content is better than lots of images and links.
  • get to know some myths about SEO, and work hard to be relevant.

10. Social network is your friend
Put your content out there, let people know about it, and spread the word! Make sure to learn which works best for you, by experimenting new ways of promoting. Also, keep an eye on what the best hours are for using social networks.

11. Just keep doing it, just keep doing it... But don't overdo!
You usually don't need more than 2, 3 images, for example. Keyword stuffing is a no-no. Don't use huge images that will take forever to load. Too much information doesn't help to build a website's reputation: it kills it. Keep everything clean, organized and focused.

12. Do you have any other tip?
Please, share it with us on the comments section! There's always something new to learn =]