Keep Up with Changes in SEO
Site Confusion = Bad Results
Organic Search Engine Optimization Matters
Google is the most widely used search engine. They made some big changes just a few years ago and they have continued to add more changes since then. Other search engines are following suit. Content and form is not irrelevant. However, requirements have changed and if you want to grow your online business or simply get more views, pay attention to these easy to understand guidelines.
With all of the hype about pay-per-click ads and other forms of paid advertising, you might think that organic SEO is a thing of the past, but that is not the case. It is true that paid marketing can help, but the best way to boost your site's visibility is to combine optimized content with marketing.
Prepare to Write for SEO
Quality Writing is Essential
As a freelance content writer, I have seen numerous changes. When I first began, my clients were more crazy about keywords than quality. Today, we would call that stuffing. Content was usually very short and clients would ask for rewrites, which they would place on other pages. While these were usually put through Copyscape, search engines have caught on to that and are making it more difficult to utilize that strategy. I was asked to provide numerous links and clients would even ask me to spam in the comment sections of other websites. I refused the comment spam, but complied with the rest of the guidelines. Why? It worked for search engine listings and drew more views. Things are different now and it is a good change!
- Written content must match your title, description, and summary. Make sure the two fit together. For example, if you promise a list of ways to sell a home, don't fill your posts and articles with pushy advertising and links to the materials that fulfill that promise.
- Keywords are important, but too many of them is seen as keyword stuffing -- a big no-no as far as search engines are concerned. Use related phrasing and keep to the subject. Put the keywords where they belong and make sure they make sense.
- Grammar, spelling, and organization matter, too. If you are not particularly good with any of those, consider hiring someone to write it for you. A word of warning: Don't trust your articles to low quality writers in an effort to save money. The old adage that you get what you pay for applies to your website as much as anything else.
- Give some consideration to your links. Link to other quality pages, but do not overuse them. Affiliate links that are scattered throughout your page could identify your pages as spam. This not only list you lower in search engine results or gets ignored altogether, it also irritates your readers. Your plan is to sell or convince your readers to click on ads, not drive them away.
- Provide a double helping. Written content should be at least 500 words and it is even better to put in 800 to more than 1,000 words. If you don't have enough information to make it longer without sacrificing quality, it is even more important to add extra media to your page.
- Don't copy articles and posts from other sites or even from other sites you own. If you must add an article belonging to someone else, provide that notification at the top of the page and offer a link. Original work is appreciated as part of your organic optimization.
Before you start throwing in meta tags or using tagging apps provided on blog sites, be certain your tags match with the type of content rather than the keywords. For instance, a review of types of products should be tagged as a product review. Tags are not as necessary as they used to be, so if you are unsure of the tag you should use, don't be afraid to leave them out. Above all, remember that tags are not your keywords!
Search engines appreciate media that is verifiable as directly related to your topic. Media includes video, photos, slideshows, graphs, charts, and interactivity. Too much of it can ruin an otherwise good site, but if you don't use any extra media, your listings may be affected as well.
- If you want to add your own video, make sure it is titled and described correctly. The same applies to embedded videos from other websites, such as YouTube.
- Always, always, always match the video subject to your page's topic. If you write about training a dog, a video on breeding them would not match up.
- If you are linking to videos, make sure the link as well as titles from that site correlate and add to the subject.
- One video is best, especially when you are adding from other sites. The rule of linking applies here as well. Too many links are not appreciated as good optimization.
Side note: Visitors like video, but you want to keep their attention. Keep them short and to the point. Above all, make sure they are as interesting as they are informative!
- Add at least one photo near the top of your page and if you are providing a lot of written content, a couple more won't hurt.
- Name your photos with descriptive titles
- Search engines like photos, but they must add relevance to your topic. Add captions as they are needed. Your captions should describe the area on your page and the subject of the photos.
Charts and Graphs
If your subject calls for it, add one or two of these. The same rules apply to these as the photos.
If you are adding a slideshow, be careful to add a short description for each photo or graphic you add.
- A short quiz or survey allows readers to offer their opinions on your topic. For SEO purposes, the title, description, and questions need to match the description and content of your page.
- Give your readers the chance to comment. Plenty of ongoing comments shows search engines that viewers are interested.
SEO in 2016
Woman Searches for Content on her Mobile Phone
Technical Changes in Optimization
None of the above changes will matter if your pages are not viewable. It stands to reason that if your site's programming makes it impossible for all viewers, search engine crawlers won't be able to read it properly, either.
If you are a web developer, you already know about programming sites to correspond to various browsers. It is also likely that you know about programming for mobile devices. However, many online business owners and bloggers know nothing about programming, let alone providing a way for different browsers to interact with it. This is where you need a good content management system, or CMS such as Wordpress. Alternatively, you can hire a developer to do the work for you. Depending on the programming needed, even a good CMS may not provide everything you need. Too much interactive content slows load time. This is a problem for both search crawlers and visitors.
Test your site on different browsers and mobile devices. When your components work well with all of these, you have a technically optimized site!
Update for Continuous SEO
Update your pages. I have to admit that I have been guilty of neglecting my own work and am busy fixing that issue! Good SEO requires updates. A good example might be a page that tells viewers about new trends. Well, if you don't update your page, the trends you talked about won't matter. Search engines look for updated content. If you last updated in 2012, similar pages that have changed in 2015 will be favored above yours. I fully expect to update this hub in 2016!
References and Related Topics
- 12 Best Search Engine Optimization Tips - On-Page SE...
SEO is becoming very competitive and with every Google update it becomes more confusing as to which SEO technique works. Find out 12 best search engine optimization tips for 2014 and Beyond.
- What Is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Implementing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques to to rank higher in Google, Yahoo, and Bing search engine results is not nearly as complicated as many people believe. Learn about SEO.
- Google SEO Tutorial for Beginners | How To SEO A Website Step By Step (2015)