“What’s your SEO goal?” is a prompt to get this on your radar.
Read on for my summary of essential SEO knowledge.
You and I have one main thing we want from SEO:
#1 high quality traffic from search engines.
Whenever you engage in an online search you are looking for a solution.
You use a machine that engages an algorithm that makes decisions and looks for patterns.
Optimisation is then an ongoing process.
The kind where you tweak and test various solutions and methods to ensure your site is quickly and easily found by search engines.
So what can SEO do for you and your website?
In essence it can be, when used well, part of the arsenal of tools used to market your website.
Successful SEO strategies are a combined group of actions across the areas below.
Factors impacting your SEO journey
A number of things come into play each time a search is undertaken. What follows are the common factors which have impact on searches.
Query types effect SERP (Search Engine Results Pages)
Each time a search query is entered into an engine an algorithm is engaged to deduce and predict what it is that you are looking for. The results come as SERP/Search Engine Results Pages.
Address / physical locale effects SERP
Your physical location is known by the search engine generally when you make a search query.
So for example perhaps you put in a search for the best breakfast café in your area. The search engine will provide answers close to where you are as a result.
Authorship effects SERP
Backlinks play a large role in establishing authorship.
For example by creating and marketing content you can begin to amplify the impact of whatever you are creating.
Link authority effects SERP
The quality of links effects search results and ranking. This means that domain and page authority that you link to, or link to your own content have an impact on the search result.
Social signals effects SERP
Search results are based on yours and your friend’s behaviours.
So for example your online profiles will have an impact on search results especially if you happen to have a public profile.
Previous behaviours including whether you have clicked a search result before will have an impact also.
Is the value of SEO diminishing?
I have read and heard much recently about SEO and the belief in its diminishing value according to some pundits.
I agree on one hand that some former strategies including keyword stuffing, article directory distribution and black hat techniques et al are no longer valid nor acceptable methods of SEO practice.
However having said this, I think that SEO is becoming a much more refined and subtle activity than ever before.
For anyone even having an inkling of thinking to game the system, don’t.
Trying to game search engines is such BS that it will only add to the swift demise of your business and anything you are trying to achieve.
Search Engine Optimisation provides a good return on investment. The proviso to this is it needs to be thought of as a long-term on-going activity, never a one off.
Keep in mind the 80/20 rule comes into play with SEO. This means that 80 percent of the results come from 20 percent of the activity.
What I am sharing with you here is what I have learned are the keys to understanding SEO well.
Anyone can get started in SEO but it is something that takes trial and error to learn and then master.
The spectrum of opportunities is continuously evolving.
Key in SEO
Content is everything in terms of SEO and not just for its monetary value.
Rather than financial return content’s value may lay in its ability to entertain, educate and humour among others.
In the end, it’s a contextual thing.
And in this attention deficit disordered world context means everything.
What does this mean for you then?
It’s about tailored content. I think this is where working smart comes in.
You don’t need to create different content for the different platforms you appear on but have your content appear natively and innovatively wherever it shows up.
This may mean a little more upfront leg work.
As an example, this could be creating a variety of images for deploying on various social media platforms rather than using the same pictures everywhere your content is posted.
It also means formatting your content appropriately for the platform on which it is posted.
This could mean shortening a longer article on your website into a synopsis of the main ideas for social media platforms like Medium for example.
You might also create slides from existing content, as appropriate, for sites like SlideShare.
Currency of the internet
Unique content can be seen as digital assets.
Content is inclusive of the following:
- Music files
Unique material ranging from videos, written blog posts through to slides and podcasts are an evergreen source of renewable fuel to drive traffic for your site.
This fuel ( I think of it as a kind of juice too) will drive ongoing traffic to your blog over and over again for content that is refined and well marketed.
The value is exponential when you consider that as archived material these can be read, seen or heard again by someone for the first time long after initial publication.
The result from such assets:
It’s possible to rank high in search with SEO providing opportunity for greater traffic.
New video and mobile marketing technology also creates new opportunities in terms of search engine marketing.
Things that you can work on include site meta data, how well it functions and how fast it loads.
This is of course subject to the limits of your content management system.
Your authority is increased with credible backlinks and authorship.
Content you create/produce will hopefully be of a quality that makes your audience like, share or comment.
As you optimise, test and tweak keep top of mind your end user experience.
New visitors will be assessing your trustworthiness, its interest value, and whether it meets their needs.
Other technical matters include bounce rates, length of time on the site and ease of navigation.
Rules of thumb for starting well with SEO
Research your niche keywords using free tools like Google Adwords Keyword Tool or paid services like Wordtracker, KeywordSpy and Hit Tail.
Most paid services have trial offers so you can road test the product and see if they suit your needs.
Create optimised content meaning anything unique and valuable to the user on your site.
You can use plugins which improve SEO values in your posts.
Click here on my affiliate link to check out what I use.
Market your content by exposing it on different platforms, and ensure it’s tailored for that space too.
One size does not fit all in the content marketing world.
Analyse your results then rinse and repeat goes without saying but I will anyway.
Use tools like Google Analytics especially the tracking features to see what content is performing well.
Then begin again with what you have learned.
Always remember SEO is an ongoing process.
Undertake SEO activity as much as you can as often as you can.
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