SEO, Search Engine Optimization, seems to be quite easily tossed around these days. Unfortunately, regardless of the frequent use of this term, many business professionals still don’t know exactly what it means and involves. In order to devise a successful SEO strategy, there are a number of points that need to be taken into consideration.
Building Your Website
If you want your company’s website to rank well, you need a website! Of course, there are also a number of rules and guidelines that you need to adhere to if you hope to rank well with search engines and win over your target audience. Quality is of vital importance so be sure to invest as much time as you possibly can in your company website.
Remember to ask your web designer/developer about a CMS that’s SEO friendly. Not all Content Management Systems are made equal, and you should make sure that the option you select will help your SEO efforts rather than hurt them.
Important Points for Any Website
There are several aspects that will require your attention. For this reason, it’s important to split them up and deal with each one on an individual level.
Sitemap: Include a site map to make it easier for those search bots to crawl and index your site. Large sites might need more than one sitemap page, and each page should have less than 100 links.
SEO friendly URLs: Use keywords in your URLs as often as possible but don’t overdo it. In other words, use hyphens in various URLs but don’t make the URL too long by including more than two hyphens. Remember that underscores are NOT treated as spaces whereas hyphens are, and this can make all the difference.
Load Time: If any pages on your website take too long to load, you need to address them immediately. Slow load times chase potential customers away so eliminate anything that causes this kind of problem. In many cases, large images, graphics, plugins, videos and music players are the biggest culprits.
Meta Data: Take note of on-page SEO and the important role of the title of each page. The title needs to be relevant, and you should target the right keywords. Your description might not help you rank, but it will usually appear below the listing which will encourage users to visit your site. Just make sure that each page has its own, unique meta title, and description!
Image optimization: SEO is not just for text! It’s for all the content on your website, including images! Don’t neglect their powerful potential.
Links: You should link both internally and externally. Include links from one page to another page within your site as well as other relevant sites from time to time. Allow others to link to your website but make sure that they are relevant and will not be seen as spam.
The content on your website is the most valuable asset of all. Content comes in a wide variety of forms including text, video, audio, and images. Generating content in the beginning might seem easy. However, as you fill your blog with regular posts, you will most likely find it more and more challenging to think of new ideas.
The first step that you need to take when planning your content strategy is to devise a kind of schedule. Plan to alternate between different types of media in order to attract different groups within your larger target audience.
Next, you will need to establish a reasonable and manageable schedule. In other words, you should not commit to uploading content more regularly than you are able to.
You will then need to “stock up” on some content and have a bit of a “reserve” on standby ready to be published. As you create more content, you can add it to your “stock” so that you never run out of content to upload.
If you ever feel like you don’t have any ideas, you can run a search on Google and use their Auto-Fill tool to help identify topics that you may not yet have covered.
Remember to only publish original content and, if you ever quote another source, you should quote them and give them credit. Keep your readers in mind when you write and make sure that your content is easy to follow and understand as well as relevant and up to date.
Don’t forget about press releases but take care not to use them too often. You should save press releases for newsworthy stories.
You might have heard about all sorts of updates like Panda and Penguin that come into effect and websites around the world come crashing down as a result. Google is constantly working on improving the user experience, and this means getting rid of anything that might remotely be seen as spam. Major updates occur every few months while smaller changes occur more frequently, and it’s essential that you stay on top of these changes.
Remember that Google does attract the large majority of your website’s traffic but it’s also not the only search engine out there. If, for whatever reason, your site is negatively affected by an algorithm update, can you survive? If you prepare in advance by setting up newsletters and email correspondence, you can hang on to valued clients even if your rankings aren’t where they should be.
Search for Keywords
Google isn’t as forthcoming with keywords as it once was, but this does not mean that keyword data is completely beyond reach. There are ways in which you can gather keyword ideas thanks to the Google AdWords Keyword Planner and other third party tools like Moz and Majestic can help you measure other aspects like domain authority, page authority, and help you determine how well the article is optimized for a specific keyword.
Never underestimate the amazing power of social media and sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+. When using social media, remember not to spam your followers with relentless updates. Because these sites already have high rankings, your content will rank higher due to the site’s ranking. When you upload content to social media sites, they are indexed immediately while content added to your website could take some time to be indexed.
YouTube and Vine are also popular social media platforms, and they allow the use of video which is an extremely powerful form of marketing. Videos can also be tagged and optimized for SEO purposes, and they often rank even better than other forms of content.
Forums and Communities
Another great place for building authority, boosting SEO and reaching out to your target audience is by using online discussion forums and communities. In many cases, if your content goes viral on a site like Reddit, you can enjoy speedier site indexing as a result.
Monitor and Manage
Before you allow your website to go live, you should make sure that you have a monitoring system in place. You will need to monitor analytical data to make sure where you are succeeding and where you can make improvements. Check for broken links as well as spammy links on a regular basis and resolve these problems urgently.
You have two choices in terms of mobile optimization. You can design a website solely for mobile and have it run separately from the desktop version. Alternatively, you can use a responsive web design which means that you will have a single website to run and maintain which will prove easier and often better in terms of SEO (according to Google).
Update Your Website
You need to keep your website current and up to date at all times. This goes for your site as well as your blog(s) and any online profiles you have. Don’t let any of your profiles become stagnant.
At Gilmedia, we understand the importance of SEO and how much it can impact your business. Contact our expert team to ensure your website is as optimized as it should be.