Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all efforts you do to increase popularity of your website or blog in the view of internet search engines. SEO has changed or evolved over the last few years. Even if you only look at Google’s Panda and Penguin algorithm updates, it’s scary. SEO is no longer just about link-building because a shift in focus to actually having quality content that is helpful to the reader. SEO is not just about keywords or content or getting people to your site. It’s about keeping people engaged, letting them know you are the trusted expert in your industry and converting them into customers.
- IMPROVE USER ENGAGEMENT & MAKE IT SIMPLE
SEO is not just about search engines any longer. It’s about users and how they view and engage with your content. You need to keep users stay on your website and interested in what your site has to offer. You need to make your site user-friendly and flows intuitively. Convert your users with clear content and clear calls-to-action then you will see a better conversion rate.
- FIND BALANCE: KEYWORDS, LINK BUILDING & CONTENT GENERATION
Links are crucial to the success and authority of your business, but it is the quality and not the quantity of your links that is most important. The question remains as to who will actually be directed to and read your website page or blog. SEO involves determining your target audience, an in-depth analysis of your traffic sources and why your top posts are performing well. The trick is to add assorted yet relevant links from reliable and recognized sources to a blog or post with exceptional content.
- UNDERSTAND KEYS TO KEYWORDS
To increase rank of your content, you need to satisfy the ideal SEO equation. It should:
a. Include keywords that are most likely to show up in a user-generated search. Also, include your keyword in your url. These suggestions will remarkably improve your chances of coming up in search.
b. Keep the keyword stuffing to a minimum and, don’t make it obvious where it looks like you just wanted your page to rank rather than offer some valuable advice.
c. Include different keywords that keep your same ranking expectation in mind.
d. Use synonyms of keywords- this is crucial to understanding the needs of your readers, clients and potential customers.
e. Remember that whoever clicked on your post had some expectations of receiving valuable feedback so don’t ruin what should be a good experience.
- OPTIMIZE A WEBSITE FOR MOBILE SEARCH WITH RESPONSIVE DESIGN
With smartphones getting less expensive, more and more people are using them to search the web. Google’s study noted that smartphone users are using their phones to make buying related searches- “55% of conversions (store visit, phone call, purchase) happen within the hour”. What does Google think about responsive web design? “Google recommends webmasters follow the industry best practice of using responsive web design, namely serving the same HTML for all devices and using only CSS media queries to decide the rendering on each device”.
- AVOID REDIRECT LINKS FROM SITES YOU OWN & MICROSITES
These days, search engines are very savvy, smart and meticulous. You cannot expect to a search engine to actually think that 50 links you have to yourself count for anything more than one link. It is not true that linking back to your own site or another site that you own will help your cause. Just continue to add more content to your primary website and do your internal linking there, and you will be well on your way to increased traffic.
- KNOW GOOGLE CAN RECOGNIZE A “BAD SITE” OR “SPAMMY LINKS”
Your rankings can drop drastically when Google discovers bad links and will arrange its search engine to seriously lower the rankings for almost all your website content.
- DEFINE WHAT RANKING MEANS
Studies have indicated that ranking high (especially in the top 3) mean more traffic to your site. However, the introduction and implementation of rich text/snippets and Google Authorship tags combined with a fresh bunch of users who are searching for distinguishably relevant information, have decreased the importance of a site’s pure placement ranking in a search engine. Click behavior has been revolutionized because of smarter search engines and users who know what they want. You no longer need to rank 1st position anymore to realize success.
- KEEP YOUR HOME OR LANDING PAGES SIMPLE
The best place to be is where users that come to your site are neither overwhelmed by abundance of information nor are they disappointed with too little data and too much simplicity. The content of your home page should:
• Clarify who you are and what you do
• Clearly state your location and the areas/industries you service
• Identify the value proposition of your offerings
Your home page and landing pages are not just about targeted keywords and sometimes useless on-page components- it’s about testing and figuring out what things will stand out the most to your potential customers and followers.
- MAKE YOUR WEBSITE LOCAL
It takes considerable effort to make your website local. This is because you have to determine what your business wants to actually define as local. A few things to remember that search engines can determine where they are located. If you are a geo-targeted company, definitely include your city, state and county or region. Any on-page references, reviews, title tags and social media outlets (especially Google+ Local) should also include all your location information.
- CONNECT YOUR SEO AND SOCIAL MEDIA
Search and social media are connected in a countless number of ways now- something that we have anticipated for years. Look at Google+ and Google’s author rank profiles. They both represent the intersection of harmonious, authoritative and relevant content which will, together, determine the direction (hopefully, it’s a good direction) of your overall social search practices.
- INTERACT WITH IT BUT DON’T HAND THE PROJECT OVER
Like most projects, various teams with various levels and types of expertise are required for a venture to be successful. SEO is no different. Every project requires joint efforts though so partner with your IT team, your content writers and your SEO specialists to get the best results possible.
SEO has to be done right. With so many assumptions, rumors and information sources, make sure you are headed in the right direction and successful in sorting through mountains of details, that may or may not be outdated. SEO is an investment and you need to make sure that investment generates profit and return.
Re-written by: Helfia Nil Chalis
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