Thursday, 6 March 2014

Paying Attention to Three Elements - Content, the Links and the Social Signals - Is Crucial for Success in SEO

Google's web spam hunting algorithms, Penguin 2.0 and Penguin 2.1, have literally changed the face of SEO. If you really want your business to be easily found online and not lose out to competition, you should stop using old-school search engine optimization strategies such as article spinning (replacing the words in any existing article with other words manually or using software and posting as your own article), link spamming (building as much as links without checking relevancy) and keyword stuffing (using number of keywords unnaturally for boosting up rankings). Instead, the way things are at present, you should focus on three things - creating great content, credible links and social signals. Let’s take a close look at each of these critical factors.

Great Content

Unless you create fresh, compelling content and organize your site well, no one is going to visit your website, regardless of your optimization efforts. So, what makes great content? Pay attention to the following five key aspects:
  • Keyword Research - You can optimize your business website only if you know how your targeted visitors search for your products and services. Proper keyword research is important to find the right keywords for optimizing your content. The right strategy - prepare a list of possible keywords or phrases that might be used for searches, analyze the search volume of each term and check which ones have low competition but are still relevant to your customers.
  • Organize the Keywords - Once you have a list of relevant and less competitive keywords, organize them by mapping them to major sections on your site. Suppose you are a plastic surgeon in Manhattan, New York. Your business site will have several pages that talk about the services offered at Manhattan and New York. The best keywords for those sections are 'plastic surgery New York' or 'plastic surgery services Manhattan'. Here, knowing what sections of your site to target for the specific keywords in your list is very important.
  • Optimizing Content - While optimizing your content with relevant keywords, make sure that you are using the right keywords naturally. Do not overuse keywords for the sake of getting higher ranking. Include your primary keyword in the title and Meta tags.
  • Better User Experience - Your site should load quickly when clicked and visitors should be able to take action easily and quickly. In other words, user experience counts for better click-through-rates. Ensure that your site is easily navigable for visitors. To improve user experience, check the bounce rate (the rate at which visitors leave your site after viewing just one page) on Google Analytics. If the bounce rate is high, it may because you have not optimized those pages so they correlate better with the search terms or because of complicated design. Don’t hesitate to seek professional website design services if necessary.
  • Efficient Web Design - Make sure that your site design is clean (not spammy) and well-organized. Design the site for optimal conversion rates. If you have a site with obsolete design and want to build an authority site, consider upgrading rather than developing a new site.
  • Frequently Updated Blog - Google ensures better ranking for sites with fresh, up-to-date information. Blog posts are among the pages that search engines crawl and index the most. So regularly updating the blog on your site can improve search ranking.

Credible Links

Earlier, search engines would consider your content more valuable if it received more inbound links. Inbound links can still build trust and authority, make your page rank higher and drive more traffic, but they must be high quality links from a site which is reputable and relevant to your industry. Quality link building is possible in the following ways:
  • Guest Blogging - Find an appropriate blog and send a pitch to the blog owner with an offer to write a post for their audience. Once you build trust with this audience, you can make them visit your site too and build organic links. However, make sure that you are choose reputable blogs relevant to your industry and content.
  • Press Release Submission - Create a newsworthy press release, optimize it smartly and submit it to an effective press release distribution service to build more organic links and improve your brand reputation. Google’s recently published link schemes say that using forced optimized anchor text in press releases will result in a drop in search engine ranking. The best optimization strategies are to link call-to-actions instead of keywords, minimize the use of keywords, and add Google Authorship and no-follow all links. You can distribute social media press releases - multimedia, bookmarks, blog posts, images, embeddable components, RSS feeds and much more - for a broader audience and receive lots of organic links.
  • Spice Up Your Content - Instead of writing new content each time, you can re-package your existing content across various platforms and mediums. For example, you can add images to your White Paper and distribute it as a video through You Tube or Vimeo.
  • Utilize Real-World Connections - Engaging in various real-world activities such as sponsoring local events, speaking at conferences, or becoming a member of a professional associations will give you the chance to list yourself on their websites with your company description and website link.
  • High-Quality Directories - Do not list your site in every directory you find. Look for the directories where it will be useful to list your sites such as local directories which help to rank for location specific keywords, professional directories that focus on your industry, and established directories that focus on your area of expertise.

Social Signals

Social networking activities can really improve your online brand reputation as they have a direct impact on search engine rankings today. Whatever you share on social networking sites will go viral in a shorter time. Still, the quantity and quality of social mentions matter to search engines. You can generate quality social signals in the following ways:
  • Engagement on Social Networking Sites - Create an authoritative and appealing profile (you can create business pages) on social networking sites and engage actively by sharing content, thanking people for shares and retweets and joining discussions. Spend few minutes regularly for this.
  • Brand Your Social Presence - You should make a strong social presence by staying active on social networking sites and also build your brand in three ways - brand your profile name and descriptions and link to your website, ensure that your profile layouts and design stay similar to your website, and share professional content constantly in your brand's name.

  • Easy to Share Content - Make sure that your content can be shared across various social networking sites. Place social share buttons in your content (as given below) for that.
  • Choose an Effective Platform - Rather than being present at every social networking site you know, consider the social behavior of your target customers and select effective platforms accordingly. This will increase your social signals. However, having a presence on Google+ is very important today as the posts published on that platform are crawled and indexed very quickly and can pass on link equity.

These elements are the bedrock of a successful SEO campaign. Rather than stumbling at tedious optimization task, get support from a professional SEO company that offers comprehensive, affordable SEO packages.

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