Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of getting traffic to your website by ensuring that it can be found in search engines for words and phrases relevant to the sites offering. It is essentially a set of techniques that help your website rank higher in search engine results therefore allowing your website to be more visible to people searching for your brand, product, or service. This process on going and your ranking will change overtime so buckle up and prepare for the ride.
Today, when someone is surfing the internet for information they are likely doing so with one of these three intents: transactional search, navigational search, or information search. As Moz explains in their eBook The Beginners Guide to SEO, an individual preforming a transactional search may be looking to identify a local business, purchase something online, or complete a task. When preforming a navigational search they often have a predefined intent to visit a specific website or destination. Informational searches are simply those in which an individual is researching information or looking for quick answers. By crafting high-quality content with relevant images and multimedia, you will increase your chances of matching the goals of your target searchers. In addition to that, there are three simple steps that can boost your position in search results:
- Create content that uses words and phrases used by those who search for your brand, company or product
- Build links to your pages to show they are important
- Produce fresh content on a regular basis
- Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
Generating high-quality content alone will not make you visible in search engine results. In order to perform better in search engine listings you need to be sure that you most important content is in HTML text format. The format of you content is important because incorrect formatting makes it harder for search engines to determine its relevancy. Also make sure to pay attention to the length of your title and keep it under 75 characters to ensure that none gets cut off. Another element of successful search optimization is keywords. Keywords are one of the core ingredients that search engines use to help provide the right pages and rank them. MOZ explains that “one of the best ways to optimize a page’s rankings is to ensure that the keywords you want to rank for are prominently used in titles, and the core content.” Keyword research is one of the most important activities in the search marketing field. The creation of the right keywords can have a big impact on the success of your website. As you are conducting your initial keyword research you want to be sure that your are testing out the various search engines and see what results are displayed for different search terms. You also what to check out your competitors sites and see how they are performing. In addition to that you also might want to check out the language that your target visitors are using. That can help you attract not just any visitor, but the right visitors. Here is a checklist that might help as you conduct your research:
Search Engine Land provides a “Giant List Of Keyword Tools,” you can check them out here. Keyword development is not as easy as you might think, it actually requires a significant amount of effort to select the best keywords that in turn will improve your websites search engine ranking. After you have identified your core list of terms you can then take advantage of modifiers to help expand your list with different variations and combinations of your main list. The tools above can also help with this task. Once you attract the right visitor you then want to optimize the user experience and perceived quality of your website.
Search engines use more than just keywords and links to determine the value offered by a website. They also look into the linking networks and engagement metrics. The more links that connect to your website from outside sources as well as high levels of user engagement will signal to search engines that your site is of high-quality. This is where link building comes in.
Link building is basically the process of getting other websites to provide links that direct traffic to a page on your own website. Therefore the more high quality websites with links that point to your site that greater your chances of ranking high in search results. Link building can help you develop relationships with key players in your industry and improve the authenticity and reputation of your company. The best kind of links are those that: link to your homepage, link to high-quality content (i.e. eBooks), contain your brand or company name and keywords you are targeting. There is a lot that goes into the development of a link building strategy, in this blog I have merely skimmed the top.
Much of what I have learned about SEO and link building came from Seattle-based software company called Moz, founded by Rand Fishkin and Gillian Muessig in 2004. They sell inbound marketing and marketing analytics software subscriptions. Their top performance landed them on Inc.’s 500 back in 2010 and currently rank #18 in the Seattle Metro Area. They also have proven to be a great company to work for so check them out.
As you can see throughout my blog I have provided links to those websites that I have found to hold great high quality content (link building in the works).