Search engine optimization is a great strategy for driving traffic to your website but SEO techniques can blow up in your face if you don’t know how to use them correctly. These tips will improve your page rank while preserving your site’s good standing with the search engines.
Create Great Content and A Great User Experience
First and foremost, remember that ranking on the first page isn’t going to do you much good if you aren’t serving your website visitors as Rand Fishkin of MOZ points out in this informative video. So start by producing useful and engaging content and ensuring that the whole website experience is as good as it can possibly be. That includes ensuring that your pages load fast (this is especially important for mobile sites) that your site is free of malware and broken links and that you offer secure browsing. Your visitors will thank you and since all of these factors are part of Google’s ranking algorithm it will also aid your SEO efforts
Get Your Content Indexed
When you’re creating a new website or blog you need to make sure the search engines know about it so they can crawl your content. The easiest way of doing this is to create a sitemap and submit it to Google Webmaster Tools. If you’re using video on your site make sure to also submit a video sitemap. Then make sure you have Google Analytics installed on the site and submit your website URL IN WMT using the Submit URL option. Finally, ping the search engines using a service like Pingler or Pingomatic.
One of the ways search engine spiders find new content is by following links. So if you want the search engines to find and index your content quickly a fast way of doing this is to post status updates to all your social profiles including a link back to your content and to bookmark it on Delicious and StumbleUpon. If you want to take it one step further you could also consider building some off-site links by blog commenting, submitting guest articles to other blogs in your niche or using an online press release service. For blogs you should also create a RSS feed using Feedburner and submit to blog directories such as Technorati.
Don’t forget to check from time to time that your site is being indexed by performing this search in Google: site:yourwebsite.com. If you don’t see any results check that you haven’t accidentally blocked the search engine spiders or no-indexed your pages and then log into Webmaster Tools to see if your site has been subject to a manual ranking penalty.
Pay Attention To On-Page Optimization
The search engine spiders won’t be able to index all of your content and match them to relevant searches unless you tell them what your content is about. So be sure to include your keywords in your site title and description and all of your page titles, URLs, meta descriptions and image alt tags as well as the body of your content.
The key here is to incorporate your keywords in a natural way that makes it easy for the search engines to pick out your focus keyword. Make sure you include the focus keyword near the beginning of your title tag and in the first and last paragraphs of text and use lots of different variations of your keyword throughout the post. Use H2 and H3 headings, bold, italic and underlined text to highlight important keywords and phrases and embed relevant rich multimedia content such as images, infographics, audio and video.
Aim for posts around 600 to 700 words in length. If you’re targeting highly competitive keywords you may need to increase this.
The other aspect of on-page optimisation you need to pay attention to is your internal linking structure. Link out from every post to other related pages and posts on your site using keyword rich anchor text. Be careful not to over-optimize your content by using the same keyword too often. Instead, try to use lots of variation to make it look more natural.
Finally link out to other authoritative and trusted websites (for example, Wikipedia) and blogs in your niche from your posts. This will make your content more credible and helpful for your readers and also help the search engines understand what your content is about.
To market your website more effectively your website, think about using the services of a London company like WOW Consulting that specializes in search engine optimization (SEO). SEO tactics are the most effective method to make your website to rank highly in search engine results. You will find a number of firms offering SEO services on the Internet, and can seek out the best deal.
Build High Quality Backlinks and Social Signals
Having plenty of social signals and good quality backlinks from authoritative and relevant sites in your niche is the key to building trust and authority in the eyes of the search engines, both essential if you want to rank for highly competitive keywords.
Here are just a few ways you can build strong social signals and quality backlinks:
- Writing great, shareworthy content and promoting it widely via social media, social bookmarking and web 2.0 properties
- Submitting articles to high quality article directories
- Guest blogging for other authoritative sites in your niche
- Commenting on do-follow forums and blogs
When building backlinks your aim should be to achieve a natural link profile that includes a mix of follow and no-follow links, a balance of links to your home page and your inner pages and good variation in anchor text including a lot of branded keywords as well as non-branded keywords. At all costs avoid spammy links and link exchange schemes. They will have you relegated to the nether regions of search engine results or have your site de-indexed faster than you can say Panda or Penguin!
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