For a long time now, SEO has been one of those buzzwords that every marketing executive throws around. Everyone wants their websites to be completely SEO’d, but how many people really understand what that actually means and how to get there?
SEO is short for “Search Engine Optimization.” In a nutshell, SEO plays a big role in how high any individual web page will be ranked on Google’s search engines. By making sure your website fulfills certain criteria set out by Google, your search rankings will continue to improve.
Search Engine Optimization is a huge topic, so we’ll just touch on the four big “C”s of SEO.
The first step of any SEO effort is to collect relevant keywords. Ideally, every page of your website should have a “keyword.” This is the central focus of your page and it should be interspersed in the page title, the headers, the writing, and anything else on the page.
It’s important to research which keywords are a good choice. Setting a keyword to “Blogging” will have you competing against a ton of other different companies for the first page of Google’s search rankings. Try and find a keyword that isn’t too popular, but still conveys the message you want to send.
One of the most important parts of SEO is making sure that every single page is consistent with its keyword. If you have a page about talking about the benefits of tomato soup, make sure tomato soup is the central focus of the ENTIRE page.
Let’s be honest, your site should have high quality content anyway! For maximum SEO, make sure your pages are long enough, well written, and easy to read. A good length is 300-400 words per article.
Make sure to use plenty of images and videos (as long as they’re relevant) in your posts to mix things up. In addition to the quality of the site itself, Google will track how long people stay on your page, so give people a reason to keep reading.
Keep the clutter to a minimum! While it is tempting to shoehorn your keyword into every single sentence, your writing will become stilted and stiff. Mention the keyword every now and then, but make it sound natural. Another big no-no is having excessive advertisements. Keep them tasteful and unobtrusive to avoid being penalized by Google.
One of the biggest determinants of SEO is having a lot of popular, reliable sites consistently link back to you. Use your connections and your contacts to spread your website across different networks for maximum effect.
However, be very careful not to over rely on using shady guest-bloggers. With the new changes to Google algorithms, businesses have to select their guest-bloggers very carefully. According to Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Webspam team:
“So stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy. In general I wouldn’t recommend accepting a guest blog post unless you are willing to vouch for someone personally or know them well. Likewise, I wouldn’t recommend relying on guest posting, guest blogging sites, or guest blogging SEO as a linkbuilding strategy.”
However, don’t let SEO be the be-all and end-all objective of your site. Not even the best SEO can salvage a poorly-written website that no one wants to read.
Are you interested in getting your website up to proper SEO standards but just don’t have the time or expertise? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll find a solution for your business.