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Cleanly lay out the framework and design for your website
It's easy for HTML to become messy, especially with all of the stuff you don't see on a page. Said simply, if it’s tough for a human to navigate, it’s probably going to be tough for a search engine to crawl. And the search engine will have far less patience than any human being! Even if you’re going to be building a site with dozens (if not hundreds) of pages, start with logical first steps. The simpler you can make it, the easier it'll be to navigate for users and search engines.
Name all the pages with descriptive, keyword-rich URLs
HTML allows you to manually change the URL of any of your pages. Take advantage of this opportunity to create pages that make sense for both the reader and search engines. For instance, if a page is devoted to swimming trunks, make sure the words “swimming trunks” are part of the URL. This might sound like common sense, but there are lots of URLs out there that use nonsensical characters, words, and more that harm a page's organic SEO.
Utilize the <head> tag
It serves a function, even if site visitors aren't fully aware of it. Name your <head> tag descriptively and use relevant keywords! Remember that it’s followed in HTML code by the <title> tag too! Using these tags in tandem are some of the most basic SEO principles, but they're also some of the most powerful.
Add relevant meta descriptions
Meta descriptions may not have a huge direct impact on SEO, but they can help your customers know what's on a page. In truth, they aren’t going to boost your site’s page ranking on major search engines alone, but they're excellent complements to other SEO strategies. Go for long-tail keywords and keyphrases to attract conversion-ready traffic, and target locations based on geography, if needed. With the meta description, it’s currently a good idea to use fewer than 160 characters.
Write unique, keyword-rich content
Naturally adding keywords and keyphrases to body text send positive signals to search engines and let readers know that they're in the right place. The general rule of thumb is to use keywords a few times throughout the text, sometimes around 1-2 percent of the total text on a page. This means if you have a page with 100 words, about 1-2 of them should be keywords.
However, the best rule to follow for keywords is to research which ones will work best for your business. Utilize high-traffic terms and words that are relevant to your site, and you'll send huge relevancy signals to both Google and your readers.
Link to internal and external pages
Linking to pages internally shows Google that a page is connected to the rest of your website. In addition, it also lets readers click to other helpful portions on your site to supplement their readings. This approach to SEO shows search engines and readers that you understand what else people could be looking for, and you can increase traffic to other pages on your site.
External links show search engines and your readers that your information comes from trustworthy, authoritative, and reliable sources. While you may pass link equity to them from your site, external links to .gov and .edu sources are a great way to show that you only trust the best, so a reader can trust you.
Add alt tags to all your images and videos
Tagging images and video is essential to having your page rank. These titles essentially tell the search engines what the graphic element is about. For example, if you have a picture of a chocolate-dipped strawberry, make sure to add the words “chocolate” and “strawberry” to your tags. Keep them quick and concise as well. Search engines may not eat chocolate-covered fruit, but they can help the people who do find your site!
Keep testing to make sure your pages load quickly
Have a slow-loading website or webpage? Not only is it going to discourage visitors, but your code might contain some kind of an error that’s slowing down the search engines. On the other hand, the problem might lie in the size of your fonts. Test, test, and test some more until your website loads quickly.
So What Happens Now?
At this point, you may be wondering how to continue to increase your search engine optimization on your HTML site. At the risk of repeating what’s already been suggested, it’s a good bet to continue to tweak your content, head, title, tags, description, etc. Don’t make adjustments every week; that’s too often to determine if you’re making your page ranks better or worse. At the same time, don’t wait for years to update your copy!
If you don’t have the time to implement a marketing strategy for your website, WebFX can do it for you! Our team of experienced, knowledgeable, and passionate Internet marketing experts have worked with online sources to grow businesses in all kinds of industries from ecommerce to construction and beyond. We’ll tailor an SEO strategy to your business’s specific needs and implement it ourselves so you can stick to doing what you do best — running your business.