It’s an ongoing project: SEO What are the best tactics when it comes to ranking in Google and Bing? No doubt you’ll find a lot of information on the web about how to achieve incredible rank – some valid, some not-so-much. At the end of the day, focusing in on a few key tactics will give your site the best chance at ranking high in the search engines. Here are our best SEO tips for ranking in search results:
Build a good website.
What is a good website? The answer may seem simple on the surface. However, there’s more to a good website than user-friendly navigation and pretty pictures. A good website certainly does include these items, however there are a couple factors that must be addressed for better search results. These include responsive design and load time.
Responsive design is critical. According to Search Engine Journal: “Google is built for users – for people who search the web. In a world where those users are accessing the web via mobile devices, Google is acting accordingly. And so, it stands to reason that they are going to favor those sites that meet the needs of Google users.” Test your site on mobile to be sure it includes mobile navigation, renders properly and loads quickly.
Since 2010 Google has used page load time in their algorithms. While a slower site effects bounce rate and conversions, we also know that Google has announced mobile page speed will be used in their mobile-first index. Pay attention to your desktop and mobile load times. Think: image-size, server side processes, etc. Find out how you stack up to new industry benchmarks for mobile page speed with Google’s “Test My Site“.
Determine your keywords.
Your SEO strategy should begin with determining your keywords. Try to get into the minds of your intended audience. What are they searching for? Try to use their vocabulary whenever possible. Start with a couple of tools to analyze your current site’s keyword density. Then using the Keyword Density Analyzer (link below), see what the density is for the top-ranking (competitive) sites.
Google’s Keyword Planner, part of the Adwords network of Google offerings
Keyword Density Analyzer from SEOBook
Yoast also recommends the use of long tail keywords, especially if you are in a competitive industry. By using long tail keywords (3+ word phrases) you can narrow in on the audience that might use that phrase. Once you have determined your best keywords, looking at competition and search volume, incorporate them in all your content.
On-site SEO is easy and effective.
Using WordPress? Install Yoast or All-in-One SEO. Use the interface to add keywords and long-tail keywords in your meta data including page title, description and keywords. Be sure the title and description are reflective of your page content. You can (and should) use keywords in these entries but only if it makes sense. Write these for people; it will pay off in the end.
Write for readers as well as search engines.
For 15+ years marketers have tried to find ways to outsmart search engines to earn rank. But over time, and with Google’s continuous algorithm updates it is constantly a game of catch-up. With that, one thing has remained the same. Content developers need to write for people and the search engines. Sure you need to use your keywords but over-stuffing is ineffective and possibly damaging to your rank.
Developing rich content that is readable, stays on topic and is unique will create interest in your blog, your product or your service. The key is to bring readers in with quality information that answers their need for information and interest.
Engage with your audience.
Once you’ve developed rich content, share it. Find out where your audience lives, where they hang out. Depending on who your target is, this will undoubtedly include social media. Share your content on Twitter and Facebook, perhaps Instagram and YouTube, depending on your product or service. And don’t overlook local search opportunities with Yelp and Citysearch.
Engaging with your “community” will grow your social signals and help your chances of increasing search engine ranking.
So that’s it for now; we know this will change soon…it always does. We’ll be back with more tips before you know it. Work a little each month on SEO and watch for updates here on the best SEO tips.
For my clients maintaining their own site, it’s time to update WordPress.
February 2, 2016 – From WordPress.org:
WordPress 4.4.2 is now available. This is a security release for all previous versions and we strongly encourage you to update your sites immediately.
WordPress versions 4.4.1 and earlier are affected by two security issues: a possible SSRF for certain local URIs, reported by Ronni Skansing; and an open redirection attack, reported by Shailesh Suthar.
Thank you to both reporters for practicing responsible disclosure.
Updating your version of WordPress
- First and foremost, create a complete site backup before updating WordPress. There are backup plugins available to assist you with this process (I use Updraft Plus).
- Goto your Dashboard, click on Updates
- Click Update Now.
June 1, 2015. WordPress has introduced a new view of your stats.
“Insights give you instant access to your all-time numbers, including posts, views, and visitors. Dig deeper into your stats to make the most of your site.
Have you ever wondered what times of day or days of the week you have the most visitors? Insights has you covered!”
Blogger Jonathan Sadowski gives the skinny here.
PS – This is for wordpress.com sites but you can see the same insights if you install Jetpack.
Everyone’s doing it, right? Setting up a blog is a great way to share ideas and news with friends and family. Setting up a blog is imperative for business. Sharing quality content about products and services as well as related ‘edutainment’ type content enables a business to increase brand awareness, through social sharing, and improve customer service.
Whatever reason you have for creating a blog, doing it right from the outset will help you achieve your goals. Ajeet Yadav (jeffbullas.com) has some tips on Jeff Bullas’ blog that just make sense, The 15 Most Common WordPress Mistakes to Avoid. They’re easy to implement too. Number seven stands out to me:
#7 — Using the Default Permalink
This is the link created when you add a new post. It may look something like this: http://www.yourblog.com/?p=123. Be sure and check your theme’s settings and change this to include the title of your post. This will look better to your readers and help in search engine ranking.
Good morning! I wanted to drop this in here — found on Twitter from Social Mouth (@SocialMouths), sharing Peg Fitzpatrick’s great tips. including what size your cover should be for Google, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook. (Bookmark this page for easy reference.)
Quick Tips for Great Social Media Graphics http://pegfitzpatrick.com/quick-tips-for-great-social-media-graphics
— Francisco Rosales (@socialmouths) July 13, 2014
Gating content means adding a form for users to fill in before they can view your content. It is used to capture lead information. But what happens when a search engine robot reaches your form? Does it get through to your content?
If you are hoping for organic traffic to this content, you may want to reconsider gating it. Guest author Janet Driscoll Miller writes about this on Search Engine Land‘s blog today in her article entitled “Should You Gate Content? The SEO Implications“.
I love the idea Miller has of creating a summary or preview on the form page. This will allow visitors to decide the worth of the content and the search bots to index the main focus of the content.
Image: Travis Reitter