This Blog Is Written By The Content Authority

Navigation
CATEGORY: Content Management

SEO Trends

Keeping Up with SEO Trends


The word trend can be used in a variety of manners, but in today’s high tech world, it is used in its simplest form of what is happening in the world, or what is popular in SEO trends. Items that are trending on the internet or social media outlets tend to give others an idea of what everyone is talking about, thereby keeping individuals in the know, at a glance. Trending stocks let buyers know which portfolios are on the rise, or which industries in the market to pay attention to for opportunities in increased revenue. However, trends are not always on the up. There are specialized markets that trend downward, when opportunities or practicality no longer applies. In media, marketing, public relations and all points in between, practices trend downward when they are no longer successful ways of communicating, or cease in supplying an effective marketing effort to the masses. Online marketing is no different, as popular and dynamic trends seem to change quarterly, if not sooner. The same is true for search engine optimization trends, or SEO trends. Keeping up with the masses, insuring that your SEO practices are the best of the best, can be an ongoing battle; one that can be combated with research, and overall knowledge of what is happening in the industry.

What’s Hot in SEO Trends

Picture of hot seo trends

Hot SEO Trends

Keeping up with trends in SEO can be just as time consuming as keeping up with fashion trends. As soon as you think something’s in, it finds itself heading right out of the back door. Here are a few of the always reliable mainstays that companies woefully abandon for hotter fly by night ideas, along with the latest and greatest trends in SEO. Unlike its fashion counter-part, these trends should get us all through the fall and winter months, without incident.

Content, Content, Content!

Whether you are writing new, updating existing or refreshing old information, content is a key component in the search engine optimization world. Blog with reckless abandon daily, to keep you site’s information available to the web spiders that are looking for exactly that: New content. Invite a guest blogger, and allow them to bring their credentials along, so back linking – or incoming links to your website – are increased, allowing more people to find your site through a search. Be sure to allow comments on your blog, so others can interact with your site, and its content. Blogging has transformed the internet from what was once regarded by mass media outlets as individuals spouting through their keyboards from their mother’s basements, to a legitimate means of communication employed by Fortune 500 companies, and almost every major news outlet. Take advantage of the turning tide in communication, and incorporate a blog into your website, if you have not done so already.

Keywords, Keywords, Keywords!

While a lot of things change, some things remain, and keyword initiatives are those that will always be important. Unless individuals start using osmosis to search for items on the web, keywords will always be at the top of the trends in SEO. Be sure to regularly research keywords that are trending in your industry, and apply them to your content. Keep in mind that your target audience may be comprised of individuals whose dialect and directives may contrast with your verbiage or vernacular. Research the trends geographically, so you are not alienating a portion of your prospective clients just by simply calling your product something different than they are used to referring to it. Although you cannot please all of the people, all of the time, it is worth mixing up iterations of copy to make sure you can engulf the majority of their searches, and get them to your page.

Social Networking

Does it work? That was long the million dollar question when industries started trying to shorten the distance between social networking and search engine optimization. The truth has finally set itself free in SEO trends, and the answer is yes: Social Networking begets search engine optimization. Imagine how many times a day you hear or see the phrases: “Like us on Facebook” or “Follow us on Twitter.” The internet lives by the same rule as any other popularity contest dictates, the more people “like” you, “follow” you, comment on your blog, leave feedback on your website, or review your products, the more search engines reflect your popularity, increasing your rank on search engine results pages. Should your company intertwine itself enough in each of those capacities, it very well could be the next trending topic, so do not sell yourself short in the social networking arena. If you have not already created an account for each of the popular social media outlets, do. Be sure to update them daily to help increase your SEO.

Linking Up

Providing links from your website to other authoritative websites helps search engines recognize the legitimacy of your website, thereby strengthening your search engine optimization. Allow identifiably consistent websites, with like information and industry status to link to your website, and provide a link back to theirs in kind. This will help get your website noticed through different marketing channels, allowing for more exposure in your industry, and a higher ranking on the search engine results pages.

The Web Keeps Getting Smarter: Adjust Accordingly

Although search engines only recognize words, making keywords and content incredibly important in SEO trends, applications, or simply “Apps” can also seek out videos, podcasts, maps and other non-text related information. Apps are available through Smart Phones around the world, and are a large part of how individuals solicit information from the web, even more concisely, in a more controlled, specialized atmosphere than through a web search. Will your site, or company information appear as a result of app usage? Smarten up your website to include an application that users can download, or that will work within an app such as “Where” or “Yellow Pages” to keep a tighter hold on your prospective customers, while getting them to your site for more information, once their initial, short-term need is met. Be sure to include descriptive copy on your site that can be grabbed by these applications, such as your complete contact information with an accompanying map.

Although it would be impossible to employ all of the web’s marketing tactics successfully, in one fail swoop, it is possible to keep up with technology, while monitoring what works in your industry. The hottest trends in SEO are typically a variation of previous trends, but knowing which ones work is the key. Trial and error is not the enemy, so do not beat yourself up if one practice does not work for your company. All industries differ in jargon, marketing expectations, and target audiences. The important thing is to know your industry, and who you are marketing to, to effectively optimize your efforts, especially when it comes to search engine results. Keeping your finger on the pulse of all things related to your company, and its target market, will help keep your content up to date, significant to those who are searching for it, and your keyword usage specific to its users. Each of these practices helps tighten and strengthen your SEO, allowing you to implement your own SEO trends for others to follow. SEO trends are one of the last segments where it is still possible to lead, while following.

SEO for Mobile Devices

Implementing SEO for Mobile Devices Mobilizes e-Business Success!


SEO for mobile searching has become a very hot virtual business commodity. Google’s recent announcement that mobile search rates are quickly surpassing stationary-based queries by leaps and bounds has significantly fueled the fires of popularity.

Mobile more common among consumers

Another major research study showed that roughly 60 percent of consumers located their desired brands via mobile searches. A whopping 49 percent of these mobile searchers made subsequent purchases within the six months immediately preceding the study. As numbers never lie, these figures contain an undeniable fact that virtual marketers cannot afford to ignore: Optimizing SEO for mobile devices is not optional.

Untapped Potential

Mobile searches have expanded 30-fold in the past three years. Incredibly, however, most web-based business sites are inaccessible by smart phones, ipods, and other electronic devices. Ignorance of the unlimited mobile marketplace potential is the probable cause.

What Is SEO for Mobile App Advertising?

Mobile applications (“apps”) include all interactive technologies capable of affecting active user engagement via mobile devices. Although this basic definition encompasses many high-tech tools and enhancements, the huge array of mobile applications may be reduced to four categories.

Which Mobile App Is the Most Apt?

Picture of SEO for Mobile Device Apps

Mobile Device Apps

Identifying the best mobile app for your business is the first step in formulating an effective marketing strategy of SEO for mobile devices. Making this determination is mandatory to realistically assess a particular app’s probable effectiveness. The following in-depth discussion of the four fundamental mobile app types greatly assists this analysis:

Branded utility

This type of mobile application may be regarded as an extension of preexisting brand presentations. As such, branded utility formats usually offer the best overall business results. Mobile banking is a prime example.

Branded utilities like online banking software offer users convenient access to a necessary financial service while simultaneously promoting a bank’s brand. Practicality and brand promotion is the powerful combination that accounts for the phenomenal marketing success of branded utility mobile apps.

Content-based

Mobile apps that are based upon highly-coveted or proprietary content fall within this category. Content-based marketing allows merchants to devise and deliver commodities that would be impossible without mobile application availability.

Online sites operated by major sports brands that offer live sporting event coverage and up-to-the-minute stats is a common example. Fans may partake of the action in real-time from anywhere.

Entertainment-based

Marketers without popular proprietary content often use entertainment-based mobile apps to spread the word. The main drawback of this approach is a limited lifespan of mobile app utility. This is due to the rapid fade of public interest after an event or specific campaign concludes.

Breaking into the upper echelons of entertainment-based marketing is difficult unless your business already owns a gaming or entertainment brand. Current market saturation renders this mobile marketing approach remunerative for very few virtual businesses.

Straight utility

As the term implies, straight utility apps offer practical solutions to ordinary incidents of life. Examples include loan payment calculators, business directories, and other useful tools.

At present, software firms have a virtual monopoly within the straight utility mobile apps market. Unless your firm is involved in software development, victorious infiltration of the straight utility mobile app virtual territory will be hard-won.

Practicality and affinity

These two concepts are the keys to straight utility-based online marketing success. In addition to serving some useful purpose, straight utility apps must be relevant to your company’s specific offerings. For instance, a food service vendor might incorporate interactive calorie counters into its site to help mobile customers calculate the exact nutritional content of fast food meals or popular menu items.

Caution is highly advised

A well-devised marketing strategy that includes SEO for mobile devices can give your e-business a formidable competitive edge. Carefully consider whether mobile apps have sufficient relevance and financial feasibility for your overall commercial objectives. Do not be taken in by the emotional and aesthetic appeal of many popular mobile apps. Test the waters with thorough market research before taking the plunge. If you ultimately conclude that mobile apps are a good fit for your business, you may confidently proceed to dive into the deep end of e-commerce success!

Optimizing Photos

Boost Your Content by Optimizing Photos

 

If you want to get the most out of your SEO efforts, you might want to give a little extra attention to the images on your site. Rather than leave your images strictly as visual interest pieces on your website, taking the time optimizing photos with the appropriate keywords can add a significant boost to your readership. More and more internet users are turning to image search engines as a way to cut through the clutter of online content; optimizing your images for search is a great way to get your share of this increased traffic.

There are a number of different ways that you can optimize your images for search engine crawlers. The most common way is to give all visual content on your site accurate descriptive titles. Think of the keywords that an online searcher would use to find your content and image; then work those keywords into your descriptive title. If you are able to create your own meta tags, then try to work complimentary keywords into your <alt> tags for maximum impact.

If you include video on your website this is another opportunity to put your search engine optimization talents to work. By adding descriptive titles to your videos, you not only increase the chances of your videos being found but of converting viewers into content readers. (Do not forget to start your comments section off with an optimized comment also). This is a prime opportunity to increase your click through rate as readers stay on your site longer and navigate their way to various aspects of your website. An engaged reader is a reader that is likely to return. The more rewarding they find your site the better the chances are that they will return again and again. If you deliver information that they not only find useful but engaging too, the chances of them returning greatly increase as well as increasing the odds they will share your information. Shareable information is key to an increased readership.

Optimizing Photos and Podcasts

Picture of optimizing photos

Optimize Podcasts Too!

Podcasts are another opportunity to optimize your website for searchable keywords. More and more websites are including both podcasts and vodcasts on site as a way of communicating with their audience so it only makes sense to add as many descriptive keywords as possible to make these added extras more searchable. Whether you post an audio only podcast on your website or you add video to your podcast, make the most of your efforts by optimizing them in order to find an even larger audience.

Descriptive titles are not the only way to optimize your images for search. Another terrific way to make the most of your digital images is to tag your photos. Tagging is not strictly just for friends on Facebook. With the abundance of image tagging resources available online (i.e. www.stippleit.com), you can now tag everything from places and landmarks to recipe ingredients or auto part components. While it may take a little longer to optimize your images this way, the likelihood of seeing greater conversion numbers is well worth the effort. Rather than have a reader simply view your image online it only makes sense to tag that image with as much descriptive text as possible. Not only does this tagging make your images easier to find for search engine crawlers but it also significantly increases the chances that your viewers will engage more readily with your content.

Optimizing Photos Worth the Effort

Optimizing images can initially seem like a great deal of effort but with practice and persistence it will soon become second nature. You would not consider adding a post to your website or blog without adding a title; that same automatic response will soon apply to any visual data you add to your site. Take the time to make the effort; the results will speak for themselves.

Top 10 Errors of Link Building

Proper Link Building Takes Business Platforms To New Plateaus!

 

Adequate link building is vital to long-term virtual business success. Much like baking cakes, building links requires a recipe of sorts. It is imperative to include the appropriate quantity of each required ingredient. The omission or disproportionate inclusion of any given element renders the entire recipe ineffective.

This basic rule of competent cake creation applies equally to commercial marketing campaigns. To avoid winding up like inept bakers with a bunch of unsaleable bread, web-based entrepreneurs must abstain from the cardinal link building sins listed below.

Common Errors in Link Building

1. Building links to bad sites.

Linking into inferior sites of ill repute is fatal for online marketers. Incoming backlinks equate to external site endorsements. Thus, building links from illegal or unethical shyster sites drags your own search engine rankings down.

2. Neither a buyer, barterer, or seller be

Paid backlinks are highly tempting and very high-risk. Buying backlinks can seriously backfire by getting your site banned from all search engines.

3. Non-follow backlink usage

Good one-way follow links are few and far between. Settling for their non-performing non-following fellows is not only a costly error but a major time waster as well.

4. PR pays

Building links to a bunch of sites with pathetic pageranks (“PR”) is pointless. Put your time to much better use by building links to a handful of high PR sites – rather than a lot of low-PR platforms. For best link building results, select sites with PR values of four or higher.

5. Irrelevant material is immaterial

Building links to sites with little relevance to your own is useless. While other site operators will not object one whit, they are a total waste for you. Highly productive backlinks originate from sites within your same or similar market niche. For instance, online dating service operators would obviously want to omit political site backlinks. Whereas, link building via teen-oriented sites is appropriate, as that age group has great interest in social interaction. Teen sites are also more likely to touch upon dating-related topics.

6. Use solid anchor text

Picture of link building

Anchor Text Link Building

On-page anchor text plays a crucial role in online marketing success. An ideal approach includes article keywords within anchor texts of key hyperlinks. Avoid low-value generic terms like “click below.”

7. Spamming for backlinks

Backlink spamming is inefficient and causes search engines to banish business sites. Posting curt, superfluous comments on any blog bearing the remotest resemblance to your own is time-consuming and takes you nowhere fast.

8. Going for a single keyword

Internet surfers do not use identical terms to find specific items. Do you offer tennis shoes, sneakers, or gym shoes at your virtual store? Many consumers use similar product labels interchangeably; each term has a different meaning for others. Insufficient keyword diversity defeats the whole point of internet marketing.

9. Honing Too Hard on the Homepage

Most visitors initially arrive at a site‘s homepage. Do not let all incoming backlinks lead to landing pages, however. Develop high quality backlinks to other product-specific sub pages. Prospective customers save time by not having to look all over your landing page to learn more about your wares.

10. All links are not created equal

In the context of link building, discretion is definitely advised. Mere backlink availability is insufficient. You must also maintain good value for both you and prospective customers. Be discerning; two good links are far better than twenty bad ones.

Penny “Wise” = Pound Foolish – High Quality Linkbuilding

Link building yields little or no immediate income. Accordingly, online business owners often wonder whether it is worth their time and energy. The answer is a resounding “Yes.” High-quality backlinks are a precious commodity of unquestionable value.

In the link building realm – like elsewhere in life – everything that glitters is not gold. You would not invite just anyone into your home; exercise equal discretion when building links to lead others into your business platform. An ideal blend of prudence and progression builds bridges into virgin territories of virtual business success!

TCA Copywriting

TCA Copywriting: Notes from the Other Side of the Desk

Generally, the TCA copywriting projects I work on keep me behind the pen. Frankly, it’s where I’m in my element. Figuring out the best course of action, delving into the psyche of a client’s target market, and constructing smart, crisp copy all form part of a thrilling adventure that also happens to pay the bills.

Although fleshing out ideas in an effort to squeeze every drop of profit out of a product or service is an exciting challenge, it’s refreshing to tackle a project from a different angle. Recently, I had the opportunity to work with a dynamic team of writers, providing guidance and feedback when necessary.

Creating a Cohesive Writing Team

Establishing a cohesive team isn’t rocket science, it’s management 101. If you’ve ever lead a group, you know the importance of working towards a common goal. It’s about creating an effective team that works like a well-oiled copywriting machine.

Working with freelancers sprinkled across the globe sounds more daunting than it really is. Yes, time zones do pose a dreadful problem, especially when you’re facing a deadline crisis at 3.a.m. Sometimes, you just have to take a hit for the team, grab extra caffeine, and get to work. After all, it’s not only for the good of the project, but also for the good of the group. Show you are willing to go the extra mile and it’s likely your team will follow.

Although interaction depends on the project, you should respond to any communication within a reasonable amount of time. When you’re addressing questions or concerns, share the information with everyone. It saves time and unnecessary frustration in the end. The last thing you want is several emails asking the same thing.

Be friendly and consistent because no one likes a mean boss. If you’re approachable, you’ll find there are fewer hiccups.

We’re All Just Human

Let’s face it, the sting of criticism burns, and it burns badly. You’ll be hard-pressed to find writers who enjoy having their copy ripped to shreds. However, feedback is still a valuable tool that will inevitably help your team improve the quality of their work.

Evaluate sales copy constructively while keeping in mind you have a client to please. Supply feedback in increments to help reduce a writer’s feeling of overwhelm. You’ll find your team less resistant to changes you suggest, which allows both the writing and editing processes to flow smoothly.

Compromise and Take a Risk

Picture of TCA Copywriting Tips

Introduction to TCA Copywriting

Every now and then, you’ll question whether a piece of copy is suitable for a client’s project. If you’re certain the style of writing simply won’t fly, then don’t let it pass your desk. However, on the rare occasion your gut instinct tells you to take a chance, pitch it to the client as an option. Both you and the client may be pleasantly surprised. If not, then you can easily fix the problem with a fresh draft of copy.

Keep in mind copywriters have instincts too, so you won’t always see eye to eye. No one ever said compromise was easy, but sometimes it’s necessary. It’s your call, but consider sharing the copy with your client, even if it’s only to gain valuable feedback.

Don’t Let the Talent Get Away

There’s no doubt you’ll face a smorgasbord of writing styles when working with a group of talented wordsmiths. Despite the fact you may need to implement some sense of uniformity with regards to style, there’s a good chance you’ll find a few gems among the mix. These writers have a pure knack for selling.

If you happen to find such a gem, then encourage the individual to see the project through to its conclusion. Depending on the nature of the project, writers will drop out or join your team at various stages. Keep as many of them on-board as possible, as long it’s not to the detriment of the final product.

Whether you’re a project manager or writer, we’re interested to hear about your challenges and triumphs working with a group. Share your team’s stories in the comment section below. We’ll also gladly answer any questions you have about TCA copywriting and our other content services.

Organic Traffic

Organic Tips For Search Engines

Organic traffic refers to the users who come to a website through a search engine’s main listings, rather than through ads, links from other sites or by typing in a URL. Organic traffic can come from any search engine: type any term into Google and you’ll like see results split into three sections, ads on the right, ads at the top and organic results. The organic results can be found in the middle of the page, below any paid ads that appear in a shaded box at the top.

Organic traffic comes from these results and, in the vast majority of cases, is the main source of visitors, although ads and social media links are also valuable sources of traffics.

Buying AdWords can be hugely beneficial for sites as you can get targeted traffic easily and, if your pockets are deep enough, you can appear top of the ads for almost any keyword. However, more users click on organic results, so it’s best to appear here as well as.

Unlike paid ads, there’s no direct cost linked to organic rankings, although for many words and phrases, companies who appear at the top pay for SEO agencies to get them there. To get sites to rank well organically with seo, many factors need to be considered, such as backlinks, on page copy and content relevancy.

How to Increase Traffic

picture of search organic traffic logo

Organic Traffic Techniques

There are two main ways to increase organic traffic: to focus on a few main keywords and boost them to the top of the rankings or to spread the net across many phrases and get them all to rank well. The majority of users go to the first result on a search page, so it’s beneficial to be top and focusing on this can pay huge dividends. On the flip side, it’s much easier to get to the top for less competitive, although often less searched for, terms.

Organic results need to match what’s on the site: if you want to rank for iPhones, you need to have content relevant to this product. Of course, there’s no point trying to rank for this term if you don’t sell iPhones, as all traffic to your site will be short-lived as users look for a site better suited to their needs.

The point of any site is to get traffic – whether it’s to share information, grow a membership or to sell a product. Traffic needs to be relevant to your services if this is to be of any use, so making sure your usability is of a high standard is as important as getting people to your site in the first place.

How Search Determine Relevancy

The algorithms that dictate the way search engines display their results change regularly, so it’s important to stay up to date with SEO trends, making sure your search marketing strategies are ongoing and constantly changing. Some site owners and agencies tend to stick with one main SEO technique – such as article marketing or building an external blog to constantly link to a site’s homepage – but by putting all your eggs in one basket you could see all your efforts gone to waste with one Google update.

Likewise, it’s sensible not to rely wholly on Google for your traffic. Although this could easily be a huge pull for you, having other sources of traffic such as video sharing sites, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and links on relevant sites, all have a huge effect on the number of visitors to your site.

Organic traffic is important to many sites – vital in some cases – and it’s a way to get high numbers of users to your site for little or no money. However, there are other ways to get people to your site, which shouldn’t be ignored.

Alexa Rank

Learn about Alexa Rank

Alexa Rank is often talked about in the SEO circles but its value is widely debated. Alexa is often mentioned in the same breath as PageRank, but as the latter has obvious connections with the world’s most popular search engine, it’s often the one that’s favoured as people try to increase their site’s rankings.

Alexa, owned by internet giant Amazon, has been around for a long time ranking websites and their various features. Site members install a toolbar to their browser which sends data back to Alexa HQ about viewing habits and the types of sites visited. Alexa then notes which pages are popular, which are related and which are going through a topical surge. Based on user activity, a site gets a rank: at the moment Google, Facebook and YouTube top the leaderboard.

In return, the user is offered all this information as well as ratings of each site in the database as well as the opportunity to see past versions of the site they’re visiting as well as looking at the search terms users put in Google to find the site.

The problem with this, is that it’s not fully representative of the web’s user base – indeed, Alexa acknowledges a leaning towards Chinese sites because of the toolbar’s popularity in the Orient – with many marketing, SEO and webmaster tools getting ranked highly. With a relatively small user base it’s possible to see huge swings in ratings with only a minor change in weekly or monthly traffic. However, in these circles Alexa rank can be influential and can help you network, guest post and advertise in relevant and popular places.

Alexa Rank Tips

If you want to increase your Alexa rank, there are a few simple ways to do this.

  1. Although seen as ‘gaming’ the system, installing the toolbar and setting your own blog or site as your homepage means you’ll add a few extra visits. If you have a few employees, get them all to do the same to boost your rank slightly. This leaves the door open to full scale spamming and abuse of the system, which is one of the main points opponents attacks.
  2. Create link bait for webmasters and affiliates. These are two of the biggest groups of users, so if you target them you’re likely to increase your visits, and your ranking. If you don’t have an affiliate scheme, adding one is sure to get people visiting (and may even increase your sales) or if you have one in place give it a revamp, add a promotion or set up a competition where leading affiliates get a prize.
  3. Although the toolbar is the main way Alexa tracks data, it’s not the only way. Adding the Alexa widget to your site is another way for users to register their visit to your site. Add a link to download the Alexa toolbar near this and if people install the toolbar they’ll return to your site automatically which counts as a vote for you.

Once you have an Alexa rank to be proud of, you can start to use it to your advantage. Mention it on your advertising page and you can afford to up your fees a little bit. Use it to show others that you’re popular, successful or, if nothing else, you’ve been around a while and that you’re dependable and trustworthy. With that in your armoury you may be surprised at the doors that open for you as a webmaster. Be warned, though, that not everyone puts much faith in the system, despite its age and reputation in some quarters, and if you brag too loudly about your ranking it may put some people of you and your site permanently.

SEO Website

Constructing an SEO Website

One of the most important considerations when creating an online entity for your business is to create an SEO website with all the basics in place. Having a properly organised link structure, unique and well written content with a collection of backlinks from high quality sites will have a huge effect on your site’s popularity in the search engines.

When you’re first implementing SEO techniques on your site, it’s useful to place a few AdSense ads to get a bit of coverage for your pages. AdSense won’t have any direct effect on your SEO, but it does place your name and site on the top page of the SERPs. Once your SEO kicks in and you’re ranking naturally, you can begin to remove the ads as you’ll be receiving hits through your organic listings.

Natural Rankings

To appear in the natural SERPs, you need to make sure your site matches Google’s algorithm wishes. There’s no quick fix for this and you must be prepared to wait, sometimes months, to see effective results. If you try to gain results too quickly your site will see a spike in results which is normally due to a breach of Google’s rules. This will trigger off alerts and could lead to sandboxing or a ban from the major search engines.

To make sure you’re onside with all regulations, make sure you read through Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide to see the definite dos and don’ts of promoting your site.

Proper Linking

On area where many webmasters fall foul is through excessive or spammy backlinking. To increase the popularity of your site you need to have links – or votes – from other, preferably related, sites. So long as the content you’re linking to on your site is unique and interesting, you’ll attract both search engine spiders and visitors. Some people, however, try to build their link count in a sneaky and unethical way – whether it’s with link farm directories, worthless re-spun articles or by leaving spam comments on blog posts. Luckily search engines, as well as blogging platforms, are getting better at discarding these link types. Make sure everything you put online, on your site and others, is of value to the community and worth people visiting – whether that’s informative, educational or (actually) entertaining.

What you’re linking to is also important. Make sure your content is a draw to visitors and gives them something of value. Having well-written copy is vital and getting someone inhouse who isn’t a natural wordsmith or, worse still, a cheap freelance option who may not have an adequate handle of the English language. It is possible to get free web content, but this is widely advised against, because it’s often poorly written and duplicate content, something that Google really doesn’t like.

Quality and Orignal Content is Key

As well as having well written, original content, it’s important to keep your site updated regularly. The most popular ways to do this include having a company blog or an industry news page. Be sure to write well on topics that will be of interest to visitors, and make sure you’re not overly promotional. On each page, make sure you have accurate title tags, keyword boosting headers and appropriate alt tags on all pictures, as image searches can be a huge source of traffic.

Make Sense

Make sure all your pages are laid out with a logical hierarchy and search engine friendly URLs. Not only does this add keywords to your web addresses to show spiders what’s where, it also adds to usability as visitors can backtrack through URLs to get to relevant sections on your site.

Setting up an SEO website to please both users and search engines is a relatively easy task and there’s no need, like some webmasters feel there is, to ignore one to please the other.

SEO Guide

Free SEO Guide

Getting into search engine optimisation can be a tricky task as you wade through all the blogs, SEO guides, SEO guide and other instructional articles available online. Knowing what’s what can take a while, but there are certain terms that everyone with a website should know.

To start off, you’ll need to know what SEO (search engine optimisation) entails. This is the process of trying to raise the profile of a website, by increasing its traffic through increased rankings on search engines, particularly Google. SEO is comprised of many ongoing tasks, often small in nature, but each contributing to an overall success. Many of these are detailed below.

learn seo in this guideKeyword Research

learn seo guide

SEO Guide

Your initial research should be used to discover your keywords and phrases. These are the terms that relate to your site that are most likely to draw in visitors to your site. The ideal mix is a term that gets high search volume but doesn’t have many sites competing for the search engine rankings. With small or new sites, you may want to consider long tail keywords – phrases that are longer but a lot more specific to searchers who may look to make an immediate purchase of goods or services from your site. It’s generally easier to rank well in the SERPs (search engine results pages) for long tail phrases. These keywords are important to use in your site’s copy and as anchor text in links, although keyword density (the practise of repeating keywords a certain number of times in copy) is archaic, having the keywords in the right areas is more important.

learn seo in this guideUsing Google Analytics

Finding out who comes to your site can be done using an analytics package such as Google Analytics which can show important metrics such as conversion rate (the percentage of visitors that make purchases) and the bounce rate (the percentage of visitors who immediately leave your site). This information can be used to find out problem areas on your site, such as a certain page or product that doesn’t lead to a sale, and could do with rewording or a redesign.

learn seo in this guidePagerank Does it Matter?

PageRank is often used as a judgement of how successful and popular a website is, ranging from 0 to 10 (best). This is a Google-specific ranking based on aspects such as age, backlinks and site quality. PageRank is often used as an indicator to those practising SEO as to whether a site is worth gaining a backlink from. The ranking system gets its name from Google supremo Larry Page and can be seen on every site by downloading a suitable toolbar.

learn seo in this guideImportance of Backlinks

Backlinks are one of the most important aspects of SEO. Originally, search engines used to count one link as one vote for a site so the more backlinks your site had, the more popular it was seen as. This led to link farms and Google started to attribute value to links, depending on anchor text and how trustworthy the linking site is. Link farms became popular with those who use black hat SEO techniques and quickly lost their worth. Black hat SEO regards dubious practises and if often associated with people trying to trick Google, rather than playing to its guidelines like white hat SEO followers.

learn seo in this guideLink Exchanges

Reciprocal links (or exchanging links) is the practise of webmasters linking to each other’s sites, but, like link farms and directories, this too has become less worthwhile in the algorithm in recent times. The algorithm is an unknown formula used by Google and other search engines to judge the value of sites, although various educated guesses have been made, no one outside the Mountain View headquarters knows the specific details.

Passing through editorial value was seen as a sign of trust and led to a boom in article directories, although these have recently lost a lot of power due to the panda update. Yahoo Site Explorer is one of the most popular tools for keeping track of backlinks.

learn seo in this guideInternal Linking

Internal linking is also a vital part of your link strategy, although set slightly apart from your backlinks. This practise involves creating anchor-text-rich links between pages on your site, showing search engine spiders the important terms on your pages and helps them to find all your pages, as well as keeping them travelling on your site for as long a time as possible. Make sure to use good keywords as your anchor texts rather than phrases such as ‘Click here’ or ‘Read more’. It’s also important to have header tags (h1, h2, up to h6) in your content. The most important words or phrases should be in the h1 with supporting keywords shown in the later headers.

learn seo in this guideOutbound Links

An outbound link is common in blogs and news articles, linking to relevant sites on similar topics. This again shows Google which topics your site deems as important and if you’re linking to respected sites this can be seen as a positive indication, although can also boost the backlinks and SEO value of competing sites.

learn seo in this guideGist of Meta Data and Tags

Meta Tags can relate to three main elements: title, description and keywords. The title is an important area to tell users and search engines about your content and these should change for each page of your site. There are many different thoughts to best practise although one of the most popular is to split each page into three sections: Page Specific Information | Category Information | Branding. There is a limit to characters that will be shown in search results – for a long time thought to be 70 – but this is changing all the time.

The description can be useful for keywords and often, although not always, is the snippet shown on SERPs. Meta keywords have ceased to be useful for a long time on Google, although may still hold importance on smaller search engines, and having no keywords may be seen as a negative indicator.

There are many other phrases that you’ll come across in your SEO life, but knowing the basics in this SEO guide will help set you on the right path. Once you start to set all the pieces together