5 Tips to Help You SEO like a Pro
Are you having trouble drawing internet traffic to your web content? Good SEO skills can help you rank high in search engine listings! Give these a try!
Once upon a time keyword-cramming may have been the yellow brick road to the top of search engine results, but not anymore. With today’s new search algorithms (most notably Google’s Panda Algorithm), quality and relevance are what count. Trying to fill your written work with keywords like in the days of old will get your content labeled as “spam” and sent off to page fifty-seven, somewhere in the heart of nobody caring.
Learning today’s SEO techniques can help you improve you page rank and stand apart from all the others who haven’t gotten with the program yet. These five tips have helped me drastically in improving the traffic flow to my work! Try them and see what they can do for you!
1. Don’t go crazy with the keywords!
Don’t get me wrong! Keywords are important! But the amount of keywords you’re using can make or break your chances of ever been found on search engine results.
To get a good idea of how many keywords you should be using, pick out your top two or three keywords. Now, your best keywords shouldn’t make up more than 2-3% of your entire word count. If you’re writing a shorter piece, I’d even say that 3% might be too much.
Your secondary keywords and any others (basically any of the ones that aren’t your best two or three) should be used even more sparingly.
Search engines like Google want to see that you’re using relevant keywords…but not that you’re using them over, and over, and over again. If Google thinks you’re just spamming popular keywords, it’ll bury your work deep where it won’t see the light of day!
Need help finding good keywords?
- Sign up for Google AdWords!
Google AdWords and its keyword search feature are excellent when looking for the best keywords for your topic! With it, you can search for popular keywords, view their search stats, and find their average CPM potential! Give it a try!
2. Use relevant keywords.
What exactly are relevant keywords? How can you know if you’ve picked good ones? Picture this scenario:
You are designing a website for a new dieting program. To do a survey, you’ve found a hundred people and lined them up. Now, you’re going to ask each one of them, one by one, “When I say ‘diet’, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?” So…what will they say?
Well, there will be a few common answers that almost everyone thinks of—things like weight loss, fitness, food, and exercise. Then you’ll encounter the minority opinions. Perhaps some people were confused about your intended meaning of “diet” or applied it in another context. These people might respond with “soda”, “New Year’s resolutions”, or “fads”.
Lastly, there are the oddball opinions that don’t even represent a minority—like that one guy who thinks of Sniffles, his pet rabbit when he hears the word “diet”.
The internet is pretty much the same way. If there’s something that people want to find, the majority of searchers will use the same few keywords—those that are most relevant.
Less-common search keywords aren’t bad to include, but don’t use them as frequently. Also, you’ll want to bring some clarity to these keywords so people don’t misinterpret them. Try including them in a phrase of keywords instead of putting them in by themselves. This will clarify the context in which they’re being used.
Lastly, avoid using keywords that have little or nothing to do with your topic. Sometimes we use certain words too frequently without thinking. These words won’t help anyone find your work. They may even confuse search engines as they try to categorize your work.
3. Don’t go overboard with links.
One thing that can help you increase your page rank is to include relevant links to other quality sites. A few of these can help, but including too many is just like keyword-cramming…don’t’ do it.
Make sure you’re linking to quality sources. Your sources should be reputable, and it’s best if they receive decent traffic (or at least are sites people have heard of). For example, if you’re linking to a site on medical advice, it’s best to choose a site with a good reputation and public familiarity over some small family medicine blog that nobody’s heard of.
It’s best when linking to put the link in text. For example, if you’re talking about muffins, and linking to a site about muffins, make “muffins” the in-text link. This is always better than adding corny sentences like “For more information, click here”. “Click” and “here” should never be part of your link. Search engines don’t like it. Don’t do it!
4. Don’t add “fluff” to fill space.
Make sure your content is actually content…not just you jabbering to fill some space. Don’t try to stretch your information or be needlessly redundant. Readers should feel like your content was worth their time to read. Don’t leave them feeling like their time was wasted.
Quality content will always perform better online than long, “fluffy” articles that contain little meaningful information. Make sure your information is clear and to the point. Eliminate any unneeded wordiness.
5. Edit your work.
Before you publish anything for put it up for display, make sure you’ve thoroughly reviewed it. Bad grammar, poor spelling, improper usage, and clumsy mistakes speak poorly of your skills as a writer. If you want to draw positive attention to yourself as a writer, put your best foot (or rather, your best words) forward!
Quality, thoroughly edited work is far more likely to draw in a reader audience…and it lends you credibility. People will have a hard time taking you seriously as a writer if they have to wade through all your mistakes.
Here are some things you can be on the lookout for as you’re editing your writing:
- Proper spelling and grammar
- Proper punctuation
- Proper word usage
- Factual accuracy and attention to detail
- Proper citation of your sources (if needed)
- Choppiness, awkward tone or wording
One thing that I do is read my work out loud. Sometimes we don’t realize how choppy or suspiciously like a car salesman’s pitch our writing is until we read it out loud. Another good thing to watch out for is your tone. Try to make your writing sound either neutral or friendly. It’s a major turnoff to readers if your writing sounds hostile or rant-ish!
Want to share your writing with the world?
- Signup For HubPages!
HubPages is a great place to get started as a freelance writer. Here, you'll have to opportunity to "test the waters", hone your craft, and share your content with users from around the globe!
Try it out!
When I first started out as a freelance writer, I didn’t have a clue about SEO. I struggled because nobody ever found my work. I was lucky if I’d get a dozen views in a week! Using these simple tricks has helped me put my work on the map! Currently, I’m getting well over a hundred views a week and climbing!
There isn't a magic solution to jumping to the number one spot of search engine results. It's going to take time and effort, but these strategies do work! Give them a try to see what they can do for you!
All the best,