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Why your SEO is probably already outdated and what to do about it
What is SEO?First, let’s start with the definition of SEO according to Google Ads (https://ads.google.com/home/resources/seo-vs-ppc/):
“SEO, or search engine optimization, is the practice of including content on your site that has the potential to improve your site’s visibility to search engines and their users. In other words, SEO can help your site show up more often in relevant searches.”
Like most things in life, the answers are fairly straightforward, but take some work to implement. We will cover both best practices and long term strategies based on two of the most prominent search engines for creating content that can easily be found and shared.
Make your URLs descriptive and succinct.Think of URLs like the names of file folders on your computer desktop. Let’s say you create a folder on your desktop named “fundraiser.” Within this folder, you create another folder named “5K_run_and_walk” and then within that folder you create a word document “5k_sponsors.odt” (we use LibreOffice at Causworks which ends in ‘.odt’ instead of ‘.doc’). You just created an easy, descriptive way to find the 5k sponsor information next time. URLs work the same way as organizing documents in folders. In fact, take a look at the top of your documents window and notice that your computer lays out the paths to your documents like that of a website URL – we call these path directories. And when we add this path on web pages, they are called “breadcrumbs.” Neat!
Just like file names, use words that describe the content in each web page with the least amount of words as possible. Unnecessary characters or random numbers are not helpful to the reader or Google for that matter.
Less is more
Only add pages to your website that matter. That means keeping the number of web pages you have on your site down and really making an effort to limit any duplication in your content even within the same webpage. In fact, there is really no recommended word count aside from what makes the most sense for keeping your content relevant and good quality.
If possible, use descriptive “alt” text
Depending on the CMS technology you use to update your website, if it is possible, always add “alt” (alternative) text to your images. Alt texts allows screen readers the ability to pick up the description in each photo. Make sure the description provides enough information to understand the image on the screen.
Add your organization on Google Maps
Make sure to setup your organization on Google Maps and add information to the profile such as the website, hours and phone number. Google Maps is a great way for constituents to find you especially if they are searching for services in the area. This is a great way for people to discover your site.
Page Load Times
This may not be something you have control over but definitely something worth paying attention to as website load times can affect your SEO and the amount of traffic you keep on your website. A person browsing the site that immediately leaves becomes part of your websites “bounce rate” percentage which search engines like Bing and Google see as an indicator of bad user experience. A well known fact that 3 seconds is the average amount of time a web visitor will wait for their page to load. Want to check out the speed of your website? Check out our nifty speed tester widget on our homepage.
Now that we have covered some easy fixes, lets talk about long term SEO strategies.
Create Good Content
There is really nothing better than having good content that is easy-to-read, unique, clearly organized and captivating to your audience. Engaging your web visitors with consistently engaging content not only
keeps visitors on your site, but it also develops trust and eventually lends to sharing of your content via social media and other websites.
When your content is shared through other reputable services, search engines love this because reputable sites tend to reference other reputable sites. This goes both ways of course so if you are a reputable site, the sites you list benefit from being reference on your site.
For this reason, we highly recommend a blog or any place content can be curated and easily organized on your website. Of course, not every organization has the resources for daily or weekly blog articles so at the very least, make sure your content is high quality, is relevant to your organization’s goals and of course, kept up-to-date.