Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, has always been a challenging undertaking for webmasters and content managers alike. There are technical considerations along with general content generation and publishing concerns. Both black-hat and white-hat strategies have varying levels of success and underlying ethical concerns have been presented over the last 15 years. However, there is and never has been one magic bullet. The best way to develop a SEO strategy is to think holistically.
The metaphor that I always have used with clients is that their site should be like a houseplant, keep it in sunlight with good tagging and page descriptions, water it on a regular basis with new content and occasionally repot it with an aesthetic or structural refresh.
These seven tips are a great way to start a SEO strategy for any size site, personal or enterprise, and should be the foundation for any more complex implementations in the future.
Create great, shareable Content
The best key for unlocking your site’s SEO potential is to create great content. Nothing can supersede this in terms of overall site optimization. Experts recommend at least 3 posts a week which should contain a mixture of text, images and video. The more this content is shared the better your rankings will get.
Play to your niche
It is quite likely that your site has a specific user profile. Whether they are business people or noncommercial users, one great practice to employ is playing to your site’s strengths, especially with metatags and page descriptions. Deploy specific terminology and descriptions that your users are likely to use. If you happen to have well known experts creating content for your site, make sure their names are being entered as tags. Also create links to sites and blogs operating in the same sector to further build the community at large while gaining credibility for your content.
Leverage Social Media
The top five social media networks are: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest. For outcome you should join these networks and be as active as possible. While updating 5 different media networks can be challenging, simplify your life and use tools like Twitterfeed to have articles on your site automatically populate to your social media sites through RSS feeds.
Be Detail oriented
Create solid keywords, page descriptions, page titles, tags and navigational links. Use your niche taxonomy terms within these SEO fields in order to solidify these terms in the engine’s term sets.
Solicit Quality links
Google’s content spiders place huge value on links from other sites to your content. Link building can be time and effort intensive, but can reap huge rewards. You can find multiple techniques here, but contacting sites that you use or reference on a normal basis and asking for link backs is a winning strategy too.
Optimize your video
Everyone agrees that video is the fastest growing facet of the internet. Well produced, informative video can quickly help build a following for your content and utilizing YouTube, Vimeo and other sites can help drive traffic through channels you may never have considered. It helps though to have your video be optimized for SEO. This article explains the details on doing so.
Use Google’s tools
Advertising and SEO are Google’s business and they want your site to succeed, so they provide a large array of free tips and tools to help.
- SEO Starter Guide
This tool started out as an internal document for Google teams but it proved so successful, they released it to the world. This guide is a great primer for anyone new to SEO.
- Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a very robust web app that lets you measure, to a dizzying level of detail, site traffic, visitor types, advertising ROI, content visibility and overall site popularity.
- Webmaster Academy
The webmaster tools provided by Google are available for anyone and the academy provides training at varying levels of complexity.
These tools and tips are a great starting point for anyone interested in improving their site’s search engine rankings and placement. There are also hundreds more articles available online for readers that have exhausted these resources.