SEO techniques are essential to getting your business website noticed in search results. The higher you rank, the more likely potential customers are to see you. Using a few simple techniques, you can optimize your website and begin to see better search rankings.

1. Research Keywords

You always want to know what keywords people are using to find your site. The search terms you optimized for when first building your web presence may no longer be the best ones for driving traffic. Staying on top of what phrases are and aren’t working is essential to your SEO strategy.

2. Don’t Overdo

Putting as many keywords as possible into a page is known as “keyword stuffing,” and search engines don’t like it. In fact, a keyword density that’s too high can do more harm than good to your search rankings. For good SEO, balance is key.

3. Make the Most of Titles

Create relevant titles for all pages on your site. A title should include important keywords for that page as well as your business or brand name. The first 65-75 characters of a title will show up as the anchor text for your pages in search results, so make sure that the keywords you use match up to the content of the pages.

4. Add Descriptions

Every page on your site should have a short but informative meta description tag. What you put there will show up underneath the page title in search results. Also be sure to use keyword-rich ALT text on all images. Images alone can’t be indexed by search robots, so the ALT attribute adds a description of what’s there, allowing it to be “seen” as part of the page.

5. Keep URLs Simple

Just like you don’t want to stuff your pages full of too many keywords, you don’t want to create cumbersome filenames in an attempt to boost SEO. Short URLs are easier for people to remember. For example, if you have a page of bright red widgets for sale, try “http://www.widgets.com/red-widgets” instead of “http://www.widgets.com/brightredwidgetsforsalefrombusinessname”. The first URL includes relevant keywords and says all that customers and search engines need to know.

6. Strive for Easy Navigation
The easier it is for people to get around your site, the easier it will be for search engines. Intuitive navigation structure allows search robots to crawl and index every page on your site without missing anything important. Plus, a good user experience is seen as a sign of good quality, which can have a positive impact on rankings.

7. Create Quick-Loading Pages
Neither visitors nor search engines look kindly on pages that take too long to load. Visitors to your business site are often looking for something specific, and they’re not going to want to wait around for a bulky, graphics-intensive page to pop up. Similarly, search engines can crawl your site much faster if your pages are designed to deliver a seamless user experience.

8. Build a Network of Quality Backlinks
Search engines notice if there are a large number of popular sites linking to yours. When reputable sites link to your content, search engines interpret it as a signal that your site is in the same league. Fresh links in blog posts and articles are even better, since they keep your site visible and show that your content is still relevant. The more trusted sites that link to you, the better your chances of seeing higher search rankings.

9. Clean Up Bad Links
Links from sites with poor content or bad reputations have a negative impact on your SEO efforts and can drag your site down in search rankings. Locate these links and get rid of them if at all possible.

10. Link Internally
Content you posted months or even years ago may be relevant to content you’re creating now. Linking to it on new pages or blog posts shows that relevance to both visitors and search engines and helps you build a network of links within your site that search robots will use when indexing.

11. Update Anchor Text
Gone are the days when “click here” was standard link text. The anchor text used for your site’s backlinks and internal links should incorporate keywords from the pages they lead to. Current SEO knowledge dictates that, the more quality links a page has for specific keywords, the better the chances it will rank high for that phrase.

12. Offer High-Quality Content
Fresh content keeps search engines interested in your site, but creating content for content’s sake or making new pages solely in an attempt to rank for more keywords damages the integrity of your site. Focus on giving your visitors interesting, informative content that’s relevant to what they’re looking for when they search your target keywords.

13. Be an Active Blogger
The best way to create new, high-quality content for your site is to blog regularly. Use the same keyword strategies in your posts as you do on your site to catch the eye of crawling search robots. Helpful, informative blog posts may generate links from other blog or news websites, thereby further improving SEO.

14. Engage in Social Media
Being active on social media gives you a way to communicate directly with your customers as well as the opportunity to boost the visibility of your brand. Incorporate keywords into your social media updates so that your profiles appear in search results. Keep all of your business information up to date to ensure that both customers and search engines know where you are. Links shared by others via social media may also have a positive impact on SEO.

15. Focus on People
Search engines don’t read content the way people do. Everything on your site should be written with visitors in mind. Keywords are important, but if people feel like your site is constructed solely for SEO purposes, they’ll click away long before making a purchase. Write so that your content flows naturally and keywords will become an organic part of your content.