What is SEO or Search Engine Optimization?
Search engine optimization or SEO, is the term that refers to the process you do to improve your website’s visibility in the search engines. Search engine optimization techniques focus on increasing the organic traffic that you receive based on your ranking within the search engines. In general, the higher ranked on the search results page, and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users.
SEO is an extremely effective way of generating new business to a site. It is a continuous process and a way of thinking about how search engines see your website and how users use search engines to find your website.
Five Easy and High Impact Ways to Boost Search Ranking
Search engines typically associated with value and popularity. The more popular a page or domain, the more valuable the information contained must be. Makes sense right? Think of a page view as a “vote.” If someone views a page it must be a sign that there is something of value there.
Authority has two categories: Page authority and Domain authority. Page authority pertains to given page, such as a blog post. Domain authority refers to the site overall.
To boost your sites authority, get more views, Google+ “+1s”, Facebook likes, comments, and shares.
Google believes that if a site or page has been linked to by another website or page, then it must be high quality. Think about it in real world terms…if a well respected person endorses a certain candidate, people often perceive that candidate as strong. If a friend recommends their doctor to you, you would probably believe the doctor is good.
Links are like endorsements on the web. When someone writes a blog post and links to another site for a certain topic, it’s an indication that the linked to site is of value.
Guest posting is a great way to build links. Reach out to blogs in your space and offer to write a guest post. Link back to your domain or a page (ie blog post) contextually within the post, and/or in your bio section of the blog.
Press is another good one, though more challenging, way to get linked to. If you are a startup or have accomplished something big, some blogs might be interested in writing about you. Most media companies have an email address or form for submitting news.
A final way to get more backlinks is to simply create awesome content that people want to link to. I believe this is a highly sustainable SEO strategy, and content marketing strategy in general, as Google’s search algorithm gets better it will continue to show better and better content in the results, ultimately rewarding the best content creators.
Keyword relevancy is another factor used to determine what results to show for a search. For example, if you search for “sports scores,” a blog post titled “sports scores” is probably going to be closer to what you want than one title “sport stores.”
Do some keyword research to determine what people are searching for as it pertains to your niche. Google Keyword Planner is a great free tool for doing keyword research.
Here are some things to look for when evaluating keywords:
If a large number of people are searching a given keyword, that’s an indication there is demand for relevant sites. Google Keyword Planner measures and displays this as “Avg. monthly searches.”
Does the keyword indicate buying intention? For example, “buy [product]”, “hire a [profession]” or “[product] [size/specification]” is probably more likely to be from someone with the intent to buy. A search like “[product]” is probably from someone who is more in the research or casual browsing phase. “How to [activity]” shows more intent to learn how to do that activity than “[activity].” So if you’re selling a book, or course, that could be a great term to target.
Little or no competition can actually be a bad sign. It probably means that there’s little money to be made in those keywords. Or else another marketer would probably be targeting them. Too much competition means it may be harder for you to rank for those terms.
Google Keyword Planner displays the relative competitiveness of the term in the “competition” column. In addition, the “suggested bid” column shows how much people are willing to pay for those clicks. It’s likely the more someone is willing the pay the more they’re making back in return.
Do some qualitative research to see how strong your competition is. For example, if you search the keyword and multiple big name blogs come up, such as the Wall Street Journal, etc., it may be hard to compete with them. Conversely, if your search returns some small niche blogs, you may have a chance at achieving a higher ranking than them.
Use relevant, high volume, low competition keywords in your headlines, meta descriptions, title, etc., to optimize your site. When getting linked to from another site, use the relevant keyword as the anchor text. Pick a domain that matches your keyword if possible.
A site’s actual domain name also has an effect on search rankings. Having an exact match, .com domain name will provide a boost. For example, “sportgear.com” will rank higher than “sporttees.com” when someone searches “sport gear”, all else being equal.
.com, .net, and .org domains rank higher than other domain endings. Country relevant domain endings, such as .us, will rank higher for searches made in that given country.
Domains with numbers are penalized. Longer domains also rank lower than shorter domains.