Search Engine Optimization – SEO
As a beginner marketer, if you do nothing else during your marketing efforts, pay attention to your SEO. SEO is the Gas that drives a Search Engine. Do you want your website to appear on the first page of the Search Engine results? You need to optimize your SEO. That means optimizing on your websites, videos files, audio files, blogs – everything. Here are some Easy SEO Tips that may improve your Search Engine Ranking.
What is SEO – Search Engine Optimization helps you to improve your Search Engine Ranking. It is a way of adding commonly used words and phrases to your website titles, descriptions, pages and posts, videos etc, that will make it easier for Search Engines – like Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask.com – to find and display a link to your site when someone does a search using those key words. It also means gaining links, shares, embeds, likes and other social interactions that effect the Search Engine ranking formulas.
I am not an expert so I highly recommend that you take a course. There are plenty out there. The one that I found most helpful was on Lynda.com. But here are some nuggets that I gleaned from my own experiences and from the courses that I took.
First some Jargon busters
Keywords and Phrases – These are words that people type into a Search Engine search window in order to find the content they are looking for.
Clicks per month – The number of times in a month that people search a specific phrase or keyword.
Ranking – When you search a word or phrase in a Search Engine, the pages it returns list all the different sites it has Ranked from most relevant to you to least relevant to you. You want a High Ranking in order to be displayed closest to the top of the page. SEO helps you improve your Search Engine Ranking.
1) Research your best Keywords – how would your audience find you if they were looking? Do a simple Google search and you will see the most commonly used phrases listed right in the search window. Narrow down the one or two phrases or words that most closely describe your content and that will lead a searcher to YOU.
2) Use a site like Google Analytics to determine three things about your favourite Keywords
* Relevance – to your content. The more specific you can make your phrase, the better – but the downside could be less clicks per month.
* Volume – how many clicks per month does this phrase generate – downside of high clicks per month is that you will be competing against a lot of other websites using the same phrases.
* Competition – how many other websites are using the same phrases? Sometimes going with multiple low volume phrases that will rank you high in the search pages, will end up equalling one High Volume phrase that would burry you in the rankings. If no one ever gets to see your site link because it is on page 10,000 in the rankings, a High Volume click per month phrase doesn’t do you any good.
3) Ensure that your keywords and phrases appear in your Title, Description and Tags. But make sure that you are writing your content for humans, not the search engine trackers. We’ve all seen websites out there that stuff their phrases and keywords into their site description (dog, dogs, barking dog, running barking dog, etc) Guess what? The search engines are too smart for this. Don’t do it, it won’t improve your ranking and the search engines may flag your site and drop you to the bottom of the rankings.
4) Link all your sites together and make it easy for people to navigate from one to the other – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube etc. If you have links leading people to Like, follow and share, your search engine rankings will improve.
5) Make it easy for people to interact, leave comments and share. The more shares, likes, comments, embeds and other interactions, the higher your ranking on a search engine.
6) Link your content to other sites with similar content genres – You can quote them, maybe they will quote you – more links mean higher ratings.
7) Post new content OFTEN – the more active your website, the higher your ranking.
For a WordPress website, a beginner easy-to-use SEO plugin is called “All in One SEO Pack”. Installed, it will help you to generate your SEO metadata. You may also want to try “SEO by Yoast” though this is a much more advanced product and you almost need a separate course to understand it, but it works beautifully.
AND NOW – BE PATIENT
SEO is not an exact science and anyone who tells you different is selling a bridge in NY. It is a constantly evolving research and tweaking process. Take your time, and if something doesn’t work, it is easy to be fluid and adjust your plan.
BEWARE of sites who promise to drive traffic to your website for a fee to drive your website up in the Search Engine Rankings. You will end up with a spike in your traffic that rapidly drops off – this is a red flag to search engines and they will drop your ranking. It would only work if you could continue to pay per click for fake traffic and defeats the purpose of actually attracting social interaction with your readers.
Good Luck with your efforts. Leave a comment, ask a question and if this was helpful, please share it with your friends!
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