Why It’s Important to Optimize Website SEO
In the early days of blogging and building small websites, most people had little idea of how important SEO (Search Engine Optimization) was. The success of getting a website or page ranked high in Google, Yahoo, Bing or any of the other search engines lies with a webmaster’s knowledge of SEO. So, let’s look a bit deeper into it and how we can leverage it effectively.
I built my sites and expected them to run free as it were, and get ranked on the first page of Google within a week or two of publishing an article – but how naive I was.
After spending years writing loads of content on platforms like EzineArticles, Squidoo (now no longer) and Hubpages, without ever thinking about promoting it, I sat down to research the effective value of SEO. I have found a ton of useful information and advice and want to share it with you.
What Is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
A few basic pointers
SEO is about making improvements, both on and off your website, so you can gain more exposure in search engine results. This extra exposure will lead to an increase in visitors finding you for the right reason and going to your website, thus increasing the flow of traffic.
We want the right sort of traffic (i.e. targeted visitors), rather than the wrong sort of traffic, which has no interest in our niche; this is wasted traffic and useless to your campaign.
What are the search engines looking for?
They just want to find and understand all the content available on the internet. Then, they want to deliver it to you in a relevant and knowledgeable way.
The search engines look at all the keywords in all the pages on all the websites to try to extract those most relevant to your search term.
Therefore, if we typed ‘New York hotels‘ into a Google (or any other) search engine, we expect a result to show us many hotels in New York. We don’t want to see a list of hotels from anywhere else – just New York, and we certainly aren’t interested in say, New York hostels or New York hamsters!
A complex algorithm is used to correlate and rank the relevant information gained from websites, such as, how your content is written and how many links to other websites you have. Then the results from millions of sites are organized and will appear in what Google thinks is the relevant ranking order to the search term applied.
Has your website got authority? In other words, is the content to be trusted as good quality and useful. The way the search engines determine the authority of sites is to see how many backlinks they have, each link acts like a vote of trust or does it?
It must be remembered that not all backlinks are viewed as equal, it depends on where they come from. If the link emanates from a relevant industry blog with a related type of content, it will rank higher than say, from a young irrelevant blog that has nothing in common with the website.
Links to Important Sign-ups
- Create a new Google Account
You will need a Google Account to access all your stuff like Gmail and photos. Don’t forget to set up a Google+ account too.
- Google Analytics
Improve your site and increase marketing ROI. Attract more traffic and turn more visitors into customers.
- Google Webmaster Tools
It’s free to improve your site’s visibility in Google search results. Diagnose problems, discover links and query traffic.
- Bing Webmaster Tools
Using Bing data and tools to drive visitors to your website.
Good SEO Practices – Get Used To Them!
Within a few days of putting in a little ‘good practice SEO‘ on one of my main websites, I was pleased to see how my rankings had improved. But, it doesn’t stop there. It’s not a one-stop-shop, quick fix method of rising the Google rankings, you have to keep working at it.
Every time you get ready to publish an article, or upload an image or video, don’t forget about optimizing it or them for the web. It will come naturally after a while, and there are tools and plugins that will help you to perform better-practice search engine optimization.
There is always more that can be done, but I want to show you where to start. It is the small details that make the difference – and I’ve come across some excellent programs that will help.
Where To Begin
7 Important Strategies for SEO
It’s never too late to start!
If you have any websites or blogs that are floundering with a lack of traffic, then it’s not too late to do something about it. What your site/s need is a good health check to see where any problems may lurk.
Before you start, you need to know for what you are optimizing.
Here’s a list of some things you may not already have done correctly or adequately so far:
The list is not exhaustive
#1. Planning Website Content
Writing high quality, unique content for your site is the primary goal. After all, what is the point of having a website that is full of poorly written stuff that may not be of interest? None, of course.
So, once you have decided on your niche and thought about why you are creating this site in the first place, it’s time to write useful and interesting copy. Once written, you need to know how and where to promote it. There are many ways below, so let’s start with one of the most important one – keywords.
Keyword research is vital to ascertain the right keywords required for your web page. It’s no use using a keyword that’s nonspecific, as the search engines will return tens of millions of results rather than hundreds or thousands, enabling your page to rank higher.
The more specific you are in implementing relevant keywords, the more likely you’ll get higher rankings in the search results. Undertaking keyword research is a great place to start your SEO.
Here are a few places offering keyword research tools:
#3. Link Building Strategies
Building links, both internal and external, is the next most important strategy. Without links from other sources, no one will find your website.
Internal links are created within your web pages themselves, linking topics and information between your pages. However, external links hold a lot of power when it comes to SEO, the more relevant links you have from related or similar websites, the better.
DO NOT just find any unrelated blogs or forums and leave messages with your links in, this will work against you.
Article marketing is an excellent way of creating good links as you can write as many relevant articles as you like, and post them into article directories. When writing an article, the link to your site is added to the resource box at the end of the article. If you enjoy writing, this is a good way of making backlinks.
#4. Image Descriptions
Spiders are only able to search text, but cannot find text within images, this is why it’s important to associate the images with text by creating a descriptive meaning relevant to that picture. This is done using the alt attribute.
Adding the “ALT” tag inside the ‘IMG’ tag will allow you to include a keyword-rich description for each image on your website.
<img alt=”how to lose weight” src=”http://yoursite.com/howtoloseweight.jpg”>This is an excellent way to lose weight…
The visible text around your images is also valuable for SEO purposes, and by adding captions as well as descriptive text to all the images makes for the best SEO practice.
#5. Adding a Sitemap
Creating a sitemap is vital to enable your site to be indexed by the search engines. Google can only find your pages if it knows where to find them. So, by submitting a sitemap file to all the search engines, you are informing them of your presence, giving their crawlers necessary information about your whereabouts on the big wide web.
Web crawlers normally discover pages from links within a site as well as from other sites. Sitemaps append this data and, therefore, speed up the indexing of pages on your website.
Often implementing a sitemap can dramatically improve the time that it takes for search engines, such as Google, Yahoo or Bing, to include your site in search results. A complete sitemap can help search engines find any pages that they would have missed.
#6. Effectiveness of SEO
As keywords are the backbone to the effectiveness of SEO, being able to monitor them, as well as other data, is another important part of understanding SEO.
Google Analytics offers webmasters the chance not only to see what keywords are being used to find their website, but also the sites from where they originated.
Once in Google Analytics, there is a wealth of relevant data to be analyzed, such as, how long did people spend on the page and how many pages did they visit. It is advisable to set goals for your site, as without a goal, how can you tell how well you’re performing?
Setting up goals in Google Analytics is straight forward enough, and in time monitoring the results will help you fine-tune your campaign.
N.B. If you don’t rank for a keyword, no one is going to find you.
So, there won’t be any data stored in Google Analytics. It will only show you which keywords have ranked and been clicked on. Don’t miss opportunities.
It is a good idea to link your Google Webmaster Tools account to your Google Analytics account. Once completed you can view all data under Search Engine Optimization.
#7. Local Search
It’s fairly likely that most of the time you enter a search query into Google that you are looking for something locally, say like a local doctor. Google is getting smarter at realizing this, and will return results in a comprehensive order detailing all local doctors with map markers attached. On clicking these you can see the location on the Google map on that same page.
If you want your pages to rank in local search results and you don’t have a Google+ account, then now is the time to set one up.
N.B. Optimize your site with business details:
Ensure you have distinct pages for each product or service you offer with your business name, address, phone number and relevant keywords on them.
Concentrate on creating, maintaining and growing your Google+ local page, and building quality citations around the web. Also, focus on producing high-quality content on your website; these are the main ingredients to achieving local search success.
The Art of SEO
This book covers every element of SEO starting off with how search engines do their:
It explains how they work and goes into great depth to show you how to implement all the elements of SEO.
Best Practices and Practices To Avoid are explained in user-friendly detail. You will learn about Keyword Research with several tips and references to valuable Keyword tools websites. This chapter on its own is worth the price of the book!
Excellent suggestions are made for optimizing SEO with social media websites like Google+, Facebook, and Twitter. It’s loaded with helpful information, references and recommendations to, and opinions on, more tools and info online.
Want to succeed online?
Then this book is a MUST HAVE.
SEO Training For Affiliate Marketers
Becoming competent at understanding the complete SEO process is not straight forward. If you are new to affiliate marketing, I can recommend one of the most thorough learning courses for affiliates online. It is Wealthy Affiliate University (aka WA).
To get an all round overview of WA, as well as skilled advice on internet marketing, this is one of the best places to begin. It’s run by two very successful and knowledgeable marketers, Kyle and Carson who are both only too happy to help aspiring marketers with their array of questions. They have developed and refined this coaching program, and ultimately tailored it to suit the needs of all those who are ‘hungry to make money online‘.
Once you become a member of WA, you’ll have access to everything from building and hosting websites to using a fantastic keyword tool, their stand alone Jaaxy Keyword Tool.
Just try it out here…
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