Last week we talked about what is SEO
or Search Engine Optimization, now lets look at how SEO works. Today’s post will discuss how SEO’s or SEM’s (search engine marketers) can improve your search engine rankings.
What does Google want to see?
A Quality Website
Make sure that your website loads quickly and is mobile-friendly. Since websites often show up slightly different on mobile phones than it does on desktop computers, Google crawls and indexes both versions in two different databases. In recent years, the amount of searches made on mobile phones surpassed the amount on desktops. Because of that, Google announced that the mobile phone index database would outweigh the desktop version. Learn more about this from our previous article “Google Mobile First
For each page of your website or article you write you should a have a specific keyword or keywords in mind. These words should not be too broad and should reflect how your customers search. If you’re an online furniture store, trying to rank for “furniture store” is way too broad… it’s guaranteed that there are thousands of other furniture stores trying to rank for those same keywords, and most likely there is someone like IKEA spending millions to make sure they show up first, you can’t compete with that. A good Search Engine Marketer will develop a comprehensive keyword strategy for you to combat this issue.
Those words should then make their way into your page title, the header, the page link (or slug), within your image tags and within the text for a 1-2% keyword density.
Google also understands and appreciates synonyms and natural language. Its bots are highly sophisticated, and they can tell when your content is written unnaturally. So if you’re trying to rank for “Tampa Real Estate Agent” writing an about page like this:
“I have served as a Tampa real estate agent for over five years. As your Tampa real estate agent I’ll fight to get you the best deal. So if you need a Tampa real estate agent, look no further.”
This isn’t how people naturally speak or write, you’re clearly trying to rig the system with keyword stuffing and Google will know this.
Consistently New Content
If your website hasn’t been updated in a couple years, then it is pretty safe to say you’re most likely not an authority on your subject matter. Similarly, if you’ve only written one article on a topic, again, you are probably not an authority on the subject compared to those who have written dozens.
If you’re an authority on a topic you’ve probably written about a topic multiple times, the more you’ve written about it, the more an authority on the subject you’ll appear to be. Most likely one blog post doesn’t cover the entire realm of information you have to share on a topic, so break it up and share your expertise.
External Links To Your Site
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of SEO is having a lot of links to your site or blog pages from external websites. This gives your website authority and validation. If other people think your information is important and relevant you must know what you’re talking about. The authority of the site linking to you is also taken into consideration. If The New York Times has referenced you in an article, that link will hold much more weight than a local directory no one uses that you paid to be on. Part of the SEO plan your Search Engine Marketer will put together is a strategy to receive more external links.
Now that you have a basic understanding of how SEO works, next week look at some black hat techniques (or techniques that will hurt your site ranking in the long run) to avoid and some red flags to watch out for from SEO companies.