SEO has been the talk of the town since the first “real” search engines arrived. Each year, people say that SEO is dead but the truth is that SEO never dies. It goes to hell and then re-spawns, or maybe it’s just Google updating their search algorithms to avoid exploitation of their search engine. Fact is that most search engines are constantly changing their priorities when it comes to organic traffic, but there are a few things that haven’t changed, such as quality content and quality link building.
When talking about SEO, you have to take SEM into consideration. Now let’s get the terms right:
SEO = Search Engine Optimization
How to get ranked better in search engines using SEO.
SEM = Search Engine Marketing
How to get your pages to look better in search engines.
Some people might say that SEM isn’t worth anything, but try Google searching some of your personal interests and see what you end up clicking on. You will see slight differences in the appearance of websites, and most likely you click those URLS that stand out with a good topic in the URL and a good description. It’s been said over and over again. Websites that look good in the search engine results are much more likely going to get that famous click. Good SEM makes your content stand out in search engines and makes it a lot easier for people to pick your website.
Before going any further you should know what your keywords are. Your keywords are words or sentences that make sense within your niche (and of course they should be related to what people are searching for). If you write about cats you shouldn’t use keywords related to the dog niche (ohhh!! Really?).
Three pillar SEO construction
Three pillar SEO construction is as follows and our prediction is that this will not change in the near future.
3. Social Media
Content is king – there’s no doubt about this statement being 100% true. Good content will of course keep your visitors staying on your website longer, thus increasing their engagement either by commenting, clicking affiliate links, signing up for a newsletter or whatever you want your visitors to do. Unique quality content is the keyword here, don’t ever think of copy+pasting articles from other websites. Write meaningful articles and be consistent. Keep your website fresh and up-to-date with at least one article per week.
Having other websites/blogs linking to your page can be a goldmine when it comes to SEO. But be careful: stay away from all sorts of blackhat methods such as creating a huge amount of links from “worthless” pages without content. The most easy way to build links is by using your Social Media profiles, but what you really want are links from colleagues or other authors who work within the same niche as you. Although commenting on blogs doesn’t give you that much “link juice,” it is still a good way to get your links out there (especially if your engagement is unique and personal). One link on wikipedia is much better than 1000 links from “fake” websites. Quality over quantity.
Social Media is a good way to share your links and get a better page rank, but what is more important is that you get your followers/friends to engage directly on your content. Even more than that, having them to share your content (if they like what they read – content is king).
A great way to get your link out there is by joining Facebook groups related to your subject, but be wise and don’t spam your links 24/7 as this will get your FB account temporarily banned or deleted. Post your links when you feel for it or post them when they’ve just been released (this can be automated if you have your own Facebook page).
Keep in mind that Social Media is much more than just Facebook. Pinterest, tumblr., Twitter, Reddit, Google+ and LinkedIn are also good when it comes to link building (and link sharing) in fact it’s easier and less time consuming than Facebook.
The so called SEO experts out there might say that the three pillar SEO construction is far from enough when it comes to doing professional SEO. Well, they might be right, but without the above mentioned SEO objectives (Content, Links and Social Media) the rest is pretty close to useless.
Here’s what you should do when you master the three pillar SEO construction:
Mobile optimization is no longer optional. It’s no secret that traffic from smartphones and tablets is increasing. Start by using a responsive web design to ensure everybody can get easy access to your website no matter what device they use for surfing the net.
Good URLs for your posts. Keep them readable and include keywords. This is also good for SEM as your links will stand out compared to others not making the effort to create readable URLs.
Page speed. Optimize your website so that it loads quickly. This is important when taking into consideration that more and more people use wireless devices such as tablets and smartphones (often running on a 3G or 4G network).
Optimize Meta Description to make your website content look good in search engines.
Focus on the topic when working with keywords. Use the same keywords in both title and in the content, but don’t stuff your website with keywords just to get a higher ranking. Repeating the same phrases and keywords again and again can make your article/blog unreadable and as a result of that you will lose a lot of visitors because your – ehhh – content sucks.
SEO friendly names for all your images. DSC091209837.JPG should be renamed to what-is-seo.jpg. If people search for pictures using Google you will have a better chance getting a top rank if you rename your pictures related to the content of your website (or keywords).
What should you look for when analyzing your traffic?
Bounce rate – How many people actually stay on your website. A high Bounce Rate might indicate that people don’t like your content and therefore they leave your webpage within a few seconds.
Click Through Rate or CTR (as it is called) is defined as how many users click on your website compared to amount of searches. The higher CTR the better. There’s a difference between PPC CTR and Organic SEO CTR
When building a new website/blog you should include Google Analytics. This can help you analyze your traffic and also give you a hint about what content is the most popular on your website. Furthermore Google Analytics also provides you with Bounce Rate and Click Through Rate data. Don’t get scared by the looks of Google Analytics or the amount of data it provides.
SEO is not rocket science, but you can waste a lot of time analyzing and implementing both keywords and link building. Also keep in mind there’s no such thing as a magic SEO strategy that works 100% correct with each website/niche, for each website you build you need to build a new SEO strategy. You need to analyze traffic on the keywords you use for each website. Think: “What are your competitors doing to get such a high rank?”
How to execute your SEO receipe
When you’ve selected your niche, set up your blog/website and
1. Choose your keywords (Use Google Analytics)
2. Write the article (Minimum 500 words)
3. Implement the keywords (Make it readable)
4. Design your article so that it looks good in Search Engines (You want to look exclusive)
6. Post the article
7. Share the article
The only thing you need now is to enjoy people visiting your website or blog. Remember to keep your website updated at least once per month, but in reality you should blog once or twice per week. Search engines love fresh quality content.
Enter the world of SEO
When working with SEO as a professional you need to follow the rules set up by search engines (mostly Google). Each quarter, minor (or major) updates will occur. This is mainly done to maintain the system, but also to stay ahead of “new” SEO blackhat methods and punish those who try to work their way around “The Google Law”.
We could write so much more about SEO and it’s impact on organic traffic, but the truth is that SEO is hands on work. You need to test and keep testing what works for you (and your website).
When talking about SEO in 2014, it’s impossible to avoid the fact that Google is still the most used search engine out there. In fact they set the standard for search engines on the internet; whether this is good or bad is a neverending discussion. We recommend that you start creating Google+ account right away as it can only become beneficial for your SEO strategy. Sharing links on G+ must have some sort of priority within the Google search algorithm along with using the right keywords on your posts (and hashtags).
Only thing left for you is to make your own studies and keep it related to the topic/niche that you work with. Studying without a purpose can easily become boring and useless. Keep yourself up-to-date with the latest trends within the world of SEO (and SEM).
PS. This article was written without any keyword/phrases – those were added afterwards to match the content.
PPS. This article was written while in Spain.
Below you will find some usefull links for your journey into the world of SEO.