SEO: The 5 Things That Really Matter
It’s true these days, that you don’t need to know much about back-end coding to have a good website. In fact, there are a lot of really great web tools out there that can help you build a website rather quickly, such as WordPress or other popular content management systems.
But what about SEO (or search engine optimization)? Do you need to know much about that? Well, yes…and no.
SEO can be a tricky, tricky beast, but most builder tools, including Newtek’s SiteCenter, have some pretty nifty components built in to help. And a basic understanding doesn’t hurt either.
Last week I sat in on a Social Media Club Phoenix seminar delivered by Evo Terra, an authority on the subject. Without getting too bogged down in the minutia of it all, he said there are only 5 things that matter for SEO, and as long as you pay attention to them, you’ll be well ahead of most others in the SEO game.
In case you don’t have time to listen to Evo’s presentation (even though I urge you to invest 15 minutes of your time because it will be worth it), here are the 5 things that really matter:
Write great content: According to old school thought, most always believed that there was a tried-and-true formula for achieving keyword density. Ignore this. Just write great content that will truly add value. Key things to keep in mind:
- The more pages on your site the better (Just make sure each and every page is necessary and adds value)
- Roughly 500 words is the sweet spot for amount of content per page. Obviously if the page doesn’t call for it, don’t worry about it.
- Investigate the popularity of your keywords. Find the phrasing that your audience will likely be searching. In addition to Google’s Keyword Tool, try using Google Insights for Search as well. Here’s a screen shot of a search I ran:
Write Smart Titles: This is SO crucial! Keep these tips in mind:
- Put your keywords up front in the title. If you’re writing a blog post on your site about hiking with dogs, title it “Hiking with Dogs: Three Safety Tips to Keep in Mind” RATHER than “Three Safety Tips to Keep in Mind When Hiking with Dogs”
- Don’t try to be pithy, cute or clever. Title your pages and posts in a way that gives away the secret. There are no spoilers in SEO.
- Invest 10 minutes to find the best title that will deliver the best results. Write out three different titles and pick the best.
Use H1 Tags: This is the tag that really tells the reader what the page is about. Revisit the “Write Smart Titles” tip because the same rules apply here as well. Also, make sure you only use one H1 tag per page. Using more than one will only confuse Google.
Link Text Matters: Link text is the text you use to link to various pieces of information both on your site and off of your site. Key tips to keep in mind:
- For better search results, link concepts, not things. Take this sentence for instance:
- Keep the conversation going with additional links, not only to your own content that relates, but outside content as well. It just makes you a better digital citizen. If you have a blog on your page, look into Zemanta.
Clicks Come From Descriptions: Today, description tags play a singular role: to entice visitors seeing you in a search to click to your site. So in other words…write it well, and write it for human beings, not Google crawlers. Here is what the description looks like in a search:
Like Evo said, pay attention to these five things and you’ll already be ahead of the game. When it comes to the basics of SEO, have you found there are other foundational things to pay attention to when optimizing your website or blog? Leave your helpful nuggets in the comments below and let’s keep the conversation going.
Related articles by Zemanta
- Getting started with SEO (e1evation.com)
- Cooking Up Great SEO: An Analogy in Photos (seomoz.org)
- Few Valuable Tips On Improving Search Engine Ranking (ronmedlin.com)
- Optimize Your Brand for Sharing and Social Search in 11 Steps (briansolis.com)
- 11 Mind-Blowing Reasons Your Company Needs Facebook (convinceandconvert.com)
- SEO Trends to Watch for in 2010 (smallbiztrends.com)