When you run a small to mid-sized business, getting top results in search engines such as Google is critical to being successful. After all, people who want to work with you need to be able to find your business website on the Internet.
For tips and observations, I personally recommend that you take a look at the recent SearchMetrics 2014 ranking factors report, which points outs that:
- Quality content
- Key phrases are important in theTitles, H1, description and body copy.
- The quantity and especially the quality of backlinks remains important.
No surprises here. This is the stuff that smart SEO writers have always been advocating. Sure, it’s important to use an active voice, write intriguing headlines, include links, use meta tags, etc. But there are other important SEO considerations, as well.
“Keyword” research is important…but now, so is LSI
Contrary to popular opinion, you should continue to do some keyword research. Keep in mind, though, that a keyword search looks for a specific word that is either there or isn’t. There is no middle ground or gray area. A piece of content is evaluated solely on keywords and phrases, especially headlines and phrases that are keyword rich.
That said — the focus now is leaning more and more to LSI, otherwise known as semantic searching. This involves using more synonyms and related words in your web content than simply one word or phrase repeated again and again. LSI can be used in conjunction with a regular keyword search, or in place of one, with good results.
Length doesn’t matter as much as you think
SEO gurus used to think that long content came out better in searches. However, sometimes a short article or post will still generate a lot of shares or comments, which does affect placement. According to representative John Mueller, Google doesn’t count words on a page to determine ranking; in a comment thread, he cited the fact that Google also searches 140-character Twitter posts.
The key is to make sure your SEO content is unique and compelling, and that’s the long and short of it.
Link up with stronger links
Entrepreneur, in a quote from the book Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Website, said, “To get high search engine rankings, you should be providing quality inbound links to related, quality page contents… Use the competition in your niche to figure out which links are high-quality and where they link to and from. Studying the competition will help you get a higher ranking faster, and you won’t be doing it blindly.” (Entrepreneur delivers more tips on how to do this.)
Add new content to social bookmarking sites
Basically, social bookmarking sites allow users to post their favorite websites, using tags (or keywords) to categorize and organize them. Then, other users can take these bookmarks and add them to their own collection or share them with even more users. Some of the most popular social bookmarking sites are:
And, be sure to add social sharing buttons (for Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest) to your content, blog and site to make it really easy for people to share.
Stop spending a lot of time on image tags
Some sources keep telling you that descriptions and ALT tags for your images are important to ranking. But the simple truth is that image tags do not greatly affect ranking. They may make it easier for users to get your images to appear in Google results. But according to the Open Algorithm Project, this often recommended SEO copywriting tip doesn’t dramatically lead to a better listing of your web page or site.
Keep checking your ranking… algorithms change
Being at or near the top doesn’t mean you’ll stay there. That’s because the “engine” for searching is constantly evolving. For example, Google changes their algorithm 500-600 times per year. And, as Google spokesman, Matt Cutts, explains in this video, the results are always in flux.
But there is the one thing about search engine results and SEO that will never change: Well-written, original, informative content will always be rewarded and in the long run, perform best in searches.
It boils down to quality content
According to the tips and infographic from Bit Rebels, “In the end though, it boils down to the content you share, the keywords you use, and the way you promote your content…Stay true to your passion, good content always draws visitors…”
It’s not sexy, but according to Heather Lloyd-Martin, “Writing…without at least an inkling of solid SEO writing knowledge can hurt you. It’s cool if you want to write your own content. Just know that someone will need to add some SEO sizzle when you’re done.” And the bottom line is that getting more traffic is what’s really sexy, right?
For that kind of real SEO sizzle, talk to the experts at Solamar.