SEO boils down to three things: good content, links, and site design. So in today’s newsletter I’d like to give a few pointers on each of these topics.
Good Content. Once upon a time key phrases could be placed into the copy of a Web page a certain number of times and good search engine rankings were achieved. Now, the landscape has changed as search engines have placed more emphasis on links. To a search engine, what other websites say about a Web page and which exact pages they ultimately link to are the truest means of determining a page's relevance to specific key phrases. That said, today’s SEO copywriting is more often than not what can be referred to as "linkbaiting."
One linkbaiting technique that works well is the resource list. For example, top-ten lists are often linked to because they signify a resource from which many can benefit. However, linkbaiting for the sake of linkbaiting is not always beneficial. Lists need to remain topical to the subject matter of your website and include relevant key phrases, otherwise the SEO objective is lost. You wouldn't post a blog about the top-ten NFL teams on a page about knitting, for instance.
Links. Beyond developing link-attracting content, there are a few additional tricks of the trade to building links. One relatively easy low-cost method is to guest-author blog posts or articles on other sites. Another, slightly more costly technique is to sponsor events. And some very common ways to acquire links include: directory submissions, issuing press releases that include links to your site, and creating profile pages on social media and networking sites (ones that are not redirected or no-followed).
Site Design. There are literally thousands of on-site, on-page elements that can be tweaked for SEO purposes, but I want to tell you about one of the most important - Title Tags. Not only do they weigh heavily in search algorithms, but they are also used in the titles of search results. This means that title tags can effect click-through rates and be helpful with branding, in addition to SEO. So what do you put in the title tag? The most common SEO advice is to use a key phrase followed by your company name. So for example, say you were Frank’s Jewelers and on your page you sold diamond earrings. Your title tag could look something like this:
Diamond Earrings – Frank’s Jewelers, Inc.
So remember, SEO boils down to three main topics: good content, links, and site design. The deeper you dig into each of these categories the more it will help your search engine rankings. The three listed here should help you get started.
John Fitzsimmons (@Fitz on Twitter)
Search Marketing Manager