Search engine optimization (SEO) can be quite a complicated machine. Not only that, but it is one that is constantly evolving and that has tons of moving parts. Thankfully, even if you do not have a large budget to outsource SEO services to someone else, there are a few basic principles that you can stick to in order to at least capture the low-hanging fruit when it comes to SEO and in turn to drive some traffic to your website.
As with most important things, the first step in creating a successful strategy is to create a plan- namely to set goals on what you would like to achieve. Remember to keep them SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-based) though as dreams are not the same as goals! From there, it will be much easier to see results as you aim for your defined goals.
When it comes to implementation, it is important to stay focused on current strategies and not the past. Things like an over-emphasis on keywords are really a thing of the past and may even harm you in today’s climate. Keyphrases or long-tail terms are really a better way to think about things as those are what people are searching for. They also often appear a lot more naturally in content and sound better to visitors too. It is important not to focus on these too much too and to keep content are genuine and real as possible, but keeping keyphrases in the back of your mind certainly won’t hurt.
As you develop your content, always keep the end user in mind and you will already place yourself a couple of steps ahead of the game when it comes to doing well with Google and other search engines. Aside from killer content, do your research on everything relevant to your website as possible. This includes keyphrases that people are actually searching for and competition analysis. Incorporate this into your SMART goals and subsequently into your plans to achieve those goals and you will realize some synergies in your strategy.
In addition to on-site changes, it is important to stay on Google’s good side and to provide it with certain information that may help you. Keeping profiles on relevant Google websites (such as Hangouts and if you are a local business filling out local listing details and claiming your business) as well as notable social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter is important as Google derives a lot of information from these sources and growingly is placing more emphasis on them in generating search results.
Once you have a solid social network presence built around a site that has strong content and has some sort of online presence via backlinks (tread lightly and keep the links believable and relevant to avoid getting dinged), it is time to do some research on your competitors and to really see what is working in your niche and what isn’t. From there, see how you can incorporate these ideas into your website strategy in order to improve SEO and drive rankings higher.
If you follow the information in this post, you will have a solid foundation on which to build your search engine strategy. Good luck!
If you have any questions in regards to the SEO optimization for your website please contact us for a free consultation.
Image credit: Robert Churchill