SEO is a complicated business, you think you’ve got it cracked and then Google and the other search engines come up with yet another update to affect how they index your page. Here are a few helpful hints to get you started on the right track, and should stay relevant for quite a while. Meanwhile keep up to date by researching regularly.
SEO to do list
Do keep title headings descriptions relevant to your content
Search engines do not take kindly to people trying to pull the wool over their eyes. Use keywords that are relevant to what you’ve written. Work out before hand what keywords are important to you and include them in the heading and title. On the other hand you could go for something entertaining or wacky in your title, remember you want people to click your link and share your shizzle.
Do make your content as good as you can
Essentially, it all boils down to your mother’s favourite saying; it’s quality, not quantity that counts. In June 2011, Google launched Google Panda, a new form of interpreting and realising ranking systems. The main point of this was to use people’s ratings of websites to influence its algorithms – those with quality, easy to navigate content get a higher ranking. As a result of this, don’t assume that a blog full of links and keywords will rank you higher than a site that is carefully crafted to engage the end user. Spend time really ensuring that what you are writing is relevant to the people you want to reach. Encourage your readers to share, make it interesting, different or entertaining. Spelling and grammar are also important.
Do make friends with people higher in the rankings and those with mass followings
So, if you wanted to buy a new phone, and your best friend told you all about theirs and showed you how good it was, you’d be very likely to take notice of what they are saying, right? This is very much the same for search engines. If the person at the top of the results page links to your site, you are given credibility by search engines based on the status of your new-found friend. This is a much better approach than link-stuffing sites with links to your page, as this will lead to you being left out of results.
This is easy to say but harder to implement – it’s about using your networking skills in a proactive manner to make other people want to link to you. The more people you make friends with and value what you have to say, the higher and higher up the SEO ladder you will see yourself climb.
A good ways to get noticed by those influencers:
- Follow them on Twitter and Google+
- See what makes them tick, what they like to share, who they read etc
- Write content that you think will tickle their fancy
- Share their stuff on all of your social networks
- Write about them then tell them you’ve written about them
Do stay current through training
The world of SEO optimisation is ever changing, and it’s important to stay on top of trends and developments in the way that search engines deal with their rankings. Whilst there are a number of ways to do this, an easy way is sign up for a training course. Not only will this give you a richer understanding of what you need to be successful in this area, but it also gives you an opportunity to talk face-to-face with someone who knows their stuff. Make sure you book with a reputable company. At Silicon Beach Training we talk seo day and night, so keep out courses constantly updated.
SEO Don’t Do List
Don’t lose focus of your target audience
Sometimes, when considering the end statistical results, it’s easy to forget about whom it is you’re actually writing the site for. You need to consider the people that you want to visit your site, and what will make them want to stay there. If you are a local business that sell shoes, there is no point in having a blog that details the intricate art of cobbling, even if it does mention the name of your business and the word ‘shoes’ a million times. Think about the types of things your target audience would be interested in.
Write articles on the importance of a trusty pair of black heels, or the best way to match your shoes to accessories for the occasion (and a perfect opportunity to rub shoulders with local fashion stores and drop a link in – clever eh?). It’s all about connecting with your audience. Approach consumers through your website in the same way as if you were approaching them in person. The consumer loves to feel special, and by really honing in on relative interests, you’ll make them feel that way.
Don’t assume that Social Media will do the work for you
Everyone’s talking, all the time, everywhere: whether it is on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, or whatever the flavour of the week may be at the time. “That’s great!” I hear you say. “All I need to do is to set up a Facebook account and Twitter and link it to my site and I’ll be trending in no time”. WRONG. Social Media is hard work. You may reap the rewards of what you sow, but it takes a lot of time and effort to embed your message into these channels. You need to proactively use any source possible to promote your message. Hold competitions for people that ‘like’ your page on Facebook. Look at current trends and if they are relevant, tweet about it and link it to you. The more time you put into building your social media presence, the more visibility your site will get and the more things will click into place.
What does it all mean?
Overall, the message is that with the movement of search engines toward rewarding content quality based on human-like interpretation, the best way to implement good seo practices is by looking cohesively at your website and content as a whole, and marry the two principles together. Use the basic SEO principles to lay down a structure of your content, and then use your market knowledge to really give your content a unique selling point. Think of it like a recipe; use the recipe to get the basics in place, and then add your own secret ingredient to give it that je ne sais quoi. It’s that extra attention and effort that will not only get you noticed by search engines, but also make your consumers keep coming back for more.