The world of online marketing sees us fighting to get noticed by search engines and ultimately ranked on Page 1 of Searches. When it comes to search, there is no bigger influence than Google.
That means you need to stay abreast of any Google updates which tend to occur regularly and when they do it can mean the goalposts move for all of us. One thing we know about what Google wants currently is - it favours quality content and a strong social presence over webpages stuffed with keywords and dubious backlinks.
That said, keywords are still relevant and genuine backlinks do tend to gravitate towards websites that provide great content and are popular. At the end of the day, the higher you rank on major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, the more traffic you'll get to your website.
1. SEO Your Webpages
SEO or search engine optimisation isn’t as simple as ticking boxes. Instead, it’s an ever-evolving concept that you need to stay up-to-date with.
Start by being transparent and providing factual information regarding your business like physical address, verifiable contact details and fully descriptive pages outlining your products and services. This adds to your credibility and is something that search engines reward.
Avoid stuffing fluff words into your page titles as it gives little value to your reputation. Your meta description should sound professional and must be free of unnecessary clutter. It should include your desired keywords in the first two sentences and should not exceed 160 characters.
2. Post Relevant content
While some people are still busy thinking about keyword density and other outdated SEO technicalities, Google is carefully checking the relevance, importance, credibility and social influence of your content. A strong social media presence and interactive customer base is a strong signal to Google and the other search engines. That’s why the number of likes your Facebook posts receive and retweets that your Twitter updates get really does matters.
Don’t write with a focus on keywords. You’ll end up with articles that are stuffed with keywords – that’s the old method of getting Google’s attention, great content is the new way. Heavily keyword stuffed webpages can even be penalised by search engines as they aren’t realistic. In a worst case scenario, Google may tag your website as spam, which will harm its ranking no end. So keep your keywords to a minimum and instead focus on providing useful information that people want to read. After all, that’s why they are viewing your website in the first place right?
3. Connect the dots with link building
There are two types of link building that are crucial in a successful Google search rank – interlinks and backlinks. Interlinks are essentially links that you attach to keywords in your website to direct audiences to your other webpages. They may link to a source you’re referencing, or to another article you’ve written, or guide a visitor to a particular product or service.
Backlinks, on the other hand, are when other websites link back to you – hence the name backlinks. However, backlinks are slowly falling out of favour because they were heavily abused by unscrupulous individuals in the past. Hundreds of random links would be placed all over the internet to boost a site’s reputation. Google picked up on this and penalised websites heavily. These sites then spent a lot of time and money removing these ingenuous backlinks and trying to build their reputations once more.
So how do you get backlinks? Well, you can’t simply ask a fellow webmaster to feature a backlink on his business page to drive traffic to yours. Well, I suppose you could, but it’s not very professional and is likely to be met with protest. The best way is to create webpages so rich in great information that people naturally want to link to.
- Ensure your website is kept up-to-date & provide full contact details
- Post regular content that is engaging, relevant to your audience and original
- Send strong social signals to search engines by encouraging interaction with your posts
- Build a strong network of legitimate backlinks
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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