January 31, 2014

SEO School 101: How To Get Started Optimizing Your Web Content

contentstrategyIf you’re faimiliar with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) then chances are, you’ve heard ‘Content is King’ only a little too often.

And, there’s a good reason for this.

Google loves unique and fresh content and rewards websites who take out the time and effort to publish useful content on a regular basis by higher rankings than those who don’t.

However, if you want to get the most out of your content generation efforts, following some best-practises on making your new content more SEO friendly will help increase it’s impact.

Let’s take a closer look at some of these….

1. Start with branded search terms

Before you get started take a minute to Google your own website or brand name and see where you come up. If your domain name has been around for a few weeks, chances are you’re already on page 1 for this query. However, if your business has a less than unique name, this may not be the case.

Whilst the majority of your SEO efforts will be redirected towards attracting traffic via non-branded searches (so, people who aren’t familiar with your brand already), you should be on top for your own brand name.

2. Generate a list of high value search terms

Next carry out some research to find out what keyword terms you should be using to increase the ranking of your website. Try to think of your website from the perspective of a web searcher, what terms would you be using to look for your own site? Start using these words when you write your web content to increase the chances of only attracting the highest level of traffic likely to convert. Google keyword planner is a great tool to use during your keyword selection phase.

Although some strategic keywords are intuitive, use Google’s keyword planning tool to narrow down recommended keywords phrases. You will be surprised at some of the most popular phrasing people use when searching for products and services.

Be careful though, and do not sacrifice the quality of your content for keywords. Make sure that your content is still engaging and readable, else you’ll seriously limit the chances of your content reaching the daylight of page 1.

3. Link Backlink To Your Own Content

A very basic SEO strategy that still works is back linking to content located within your own site. This will help boost traffic to unique pages.The best way to do is to link back to your archived content in your new content and use SEO friendly anchor text to hold the hyperlink. This assures that the link is relevant to the current page.

Similarly to when you write SEO content, back linking needs to be done sparingly if you do not want to come across as spam. Try to carefully plan your link map so that relevant pages are connected.

4. Include A Site Map

It is also a good idea to include an easy-to-navigate site map that links all of the major pages on your website together. Ideally the fewer links needed to navigate the website the better.

5. Include SEO-friendly URLs

Another simple strategy that can have a big impact on the SEO visibility of your web content is the URL. Try to customize your content URLs to include relevant keywords. An example of this would be: www.seo101.com/seotips/optimizing Or www.seotips.com/How-To-Get-started-optimizing.

By modifying your URLs you can help increase the visibility of each page for the search engines. It also makes people more likely to click your links because they know exactly what your content is about.

6. Stay Away From Flash Pages

Pages that were designed with Flash used to be popular, but they often stunted a webpages SEO effectiveness because Flash based webpages cannot link individually and Flash content is readible by Google and other search engines. If you must include Flash on your page do it in on a single page. If in doubt, just steer clear- because text content is much more effective for improving your page ranking.

7. Include Image Descriptions

Not only do the Google crawlers search your webpage for text, they also look at the images. You can help enhance the visibility of your website by writing short descriptions for your images that include target keywords. Remember to use alt-text as descriptions for your images.

8.  Include Blog Content

One way to keep your website content fresh and up to date is by including a blog on your webpage that is frequently update with relevant material.

9. Participate On Social Media Platforms

Along with a blog it is a good idea to establish a presence on relevant social media websites. You can include keywords in your profile as well as in the content that you post (Learn more on optimising Facebook pages). When others share this content as well those keywords help bump up your search engine ranking.

Finally, a fantastic way to direct more traffic to your own website is by creating affiliate relationships with other websites. Link sharing allows your website to take advantage of the SEO strategies implemented on your affiliated websites as well. It is also a great way to help promote your content.

PS. If you’ve already got a good handle on your content generation and it’s SEO, checkout our comprehensive ebook on marketing your content!