Is Your Web Content SEO Efficient?
If you are writing or creating content online, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) should be a priority. If you want more visitors, more readers or more traffic in general, SEO will help. It will allow your website to be placed higher on a search engine results page and will help keep your rankings high.
Without being proficient in SEO, your content will go nowhere. You need to learn how to get your webpages onto the screens of the masses and know where to put your links to remain credible. You should also know what people to contact to help promote your site. SEO not only helps get your webpage views but it also helps build your credibility in your field of choice. The more people who link to your page or comment show support for your voice.
Below are a few things to consider as you journey around your webpage and review your content to make sure it is polished and ready for consumption. With new websites being added daily, you need to create interesting, creative, new content and you need to use these tips in order to have your webpage stand out among the rest.
This kind of SEO is specific to content and making sure it can be found easily. Examples include metadata, clean URLs and keywords. You also want to make sure your overall webpage or content is appealing. Your webpage should allow viewers to easily find the content they were looking for as well as the design be easily understood.
You can’t have the map of your website be a never ending loop where the user sits on your page longer but never returns because of the frustration your lack of organization caused.
Off-Page SEO helps your site as whole and helps build credibility and recognition of your content. Building Off-Page SEO includes building relationships with people in your certain area of expertise including influencers, monitoring when your content is mentioned and guest posting on other quality blogs. You want to make sure that beyond your webpage people still enjoy your content and your name is being talked up and if an issue arises about your content, you respond to keep your reputation untarnished.
Social media can also help create interactions with other influencers or content writers to notice your content. You will want to promote larger, more interesting pieces to keep your viewers excited but you don’t want to spam your feed with every new article or little change on your webpage.
Keywords Are Key
To start, you have to be aware what key words you use throughout your content. Imagine what you would type into a Google search bar to find your website and be specific. Keeping these key words in mind, start to sprinkle them throughout your website, then the search engine is more likely to pick up your content.
Search engines give more emphasis to your web page’s title and major headings so be especially critical when creating these stand out phrases. Be specific and know what your demographic would be looking for.
If you can’t figure out where to begin with what words to use, you can also begin by looking up what other people use to search your website. You can use Google Analytics to help learn more about your viewers and what keywords you should be using.
Next, you may need to research industry terms or synonyms for key words for your webpage. You may be tempted to use commonly misspelled words in your content to gain more viewers but then your webpage may not seem as quality as other websites and may decrease your reliability and professionalism.
Keeping the Competition in Mind
You may also want to take a look at your online competition. Search for your content in a web engine and see what the top websites use as their key words. Let this give you ideas but don’t take this as the exact road map for success. Just keep these keywords in mind as you work on your webpage
Make sure not to generalize your content. Try to be as specific to your webpage as possible. Using the keyword ‘dog’ may be general and grab more searchers but it also has much more competition than if you were to name a specific breed.
Meta Tags – Behind the Scenes Helper for your SEO
Meta tags are found in the code of your webpage. The tags are part of your written content to help search engines better find your page. If you have seen tags on a blog post, meta tags are very similar in that they both help categorize the content but you will only see the meta tags if you look at the code. The only non-code related meta tag is the title tag. The title tag is one of the most important tags. The title tag will be located at the top of the browser and you will want to make sure it’s simple and clear to the user with what your content is about.
Steer Clear of Black Hat SEO Techniques
Called ‘Black Hat SEO’, these techniques may create traffic at a faster rate but they also may negatively impact your site in the long run. Examples of these techniques are buying links, spamming the comments or hiding links. You may get penalized by Google and you may also lose viewers who see these tactics as unsavory or tacky.
When Google changed their search algorithms, this helped sort out certain websites that received ‘Panda’ or ‘Penguin’ penalties that can lower your webpage’s ranking in search results. Google also, recently, went through what they are calling a Possum update.
The Possum update made a few changes to their algorithm which both helped and hurt webpages. Location of viewers became more important in regards to ranking with this update and the location of certain business also became more important.
A Panda Penalty will be a penalty that will be evident if your traffic decreases greatly. This penalty is put in place when you have duplicate or many low-quality pages. But you are able to recover from a Panda Penalty if you make corrections.
A Penguin Penalty is if your links are paid links, unnatural in context or spammy. With the Google update, the Penguin Penalty only decreases the specific page where the link is rather than the entire webpage. You are also able to overcome the penalty quicker because the algorithm is live as you make the changes.
SEO is Words Only
Search engines aren’t able to detect pictures and search for those with the keywords so you may want to try out SEO-browser.com so you can see how your website would rate without the added design and picture content. Then you can see what words you are using to help direct traffic to your site and if you should add more or delete certain content.
Be wary of adding too many keywords in your content, too. If you “keyword stuff” your content, you may also lower your ranking because search engines look to find quality content that would help users.
Links Are Key to Building Rank
Links are also a key to driving users to your site. If someone posts a link on their website to your site, that can drive traffic to your site, It will also help rank your webpage higher in search engines.
Links impact your ranking in search engines more than any other factor. You want other webpages to link to your page but even more important than that, you want quality pages to link back to your page. To determine the quality of another page, you have to look at the authority of the site and of the page, relevance of the site compared to your page, whether the link is embedded in the article or is just included in the foot note and if the link is placed naturally, just to name a few.
How to Build Links
Although search engines may not be able to pick up images, having people link out from an image can help you greatly. If you post a graph, an infographic or a chart, viewers may use it on their site and then your link spreads.
Lists can also help spread your link. You can list anything related to your site like tips, themes, etc. These lists allow the readers to stay active in your content and want to link out to it because it’s useful information but in a much more palatable portion than a long article.
Clean URLs are URLs that look, well, clean. There are little to no symbols like ‘=’ or ‘?q’. The URLs are easier to understand so that if you looked at the link you would understand what article the link would lead you to. Having clean URLs can also allow your content to be easier found. Not all algorithms are as equipped to pick up the question marks or other symbols in the URL.
Search Engine Results Pages (SERP)
The placement on the results page of search engines determines how many people will find your site in an organic search. Each user will each a get a unique SERP based on their location, recent searches and social settings. There will be paid ads on the SERP but organic searches will be the vast majority. This is where everything discussed falls into place. Your keywords, links, location and many other variables come together to help raise your webpage or article higher on the results page.
The title of your content as well as your URL are usually visible in the search engine description of your site. The cleaner and more specific your brief explanation and URL are, the easier it will be for the user to understand what they will receive if they choose your webpage. You want to rank high on search engine searches but you also want to have viewers choose your site.
Google, Yahoo! And Microsoft all have free webmaster tools that help you better understand how people can reach your site and also see how the robots that apply the algorithms sift through your website’s information to categorize your content. This may not directly rise your rank on a SERP but it will help you find issues that you may not have recognized and then you can correct it to create a better path to your site.
Everyone has a cell phone in their hand. Your content and webpages need to be mobile-friendly so everyone can view it regardless of the device they are on. Google itself is focusing on mobile. They actually have helped launch the Accelerated Mobile pages (AMP). Make sure to brush up on your HTML when working to create your mobile page. You can even find help online to create your site so it’s able to have the AMP stamp of approval.
When you are able to create a webpage that is viewable on mobile devices, you will want to make sure that search engines can recognize your URL. You will want to make sure your URL’s Doc Type Definition (DTD) is in either XHTML Mobile or Compact HTML format. Then your page will be included on the mobile search index.
Quality Before Quantity
Ultimately, choose quality over quantity any time you want a higher rank or more views. Even if you are able to get past the Google algorithms, which is extremely unlikely, and you aren’t penalized, your viewers will still be more attracted to quality work. If you are going to put energy into your content, you want viewers to appreciate the quality of your work without you having to spam your own webpage with comments and fake links. Your viewers will be happy and your ranks will rise.
Also, keep content at the center of what you are doing. People will want to come to a site that has the information they want and will return to the site if they know quality content will continue to be published on your site. Even if you are the first website on a SERP, no one will come back if the content is not quality.
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Chief Content Officer
Annie has 20 years of experience as an editor and content creator and manager. With work in television and written media, she has dedicated her past 10 years to learning the ropes of online content creation, from writing to editing, from SEO to content management.
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