An Introduction to SEO

A Master Class in the Basics

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An Introduction to SEO

SEO or Search Engine Optimization has done a fine job of making itself a standard tool in the world of online marketing, and rightfully so. As digitally oriented people and with Google being one of the most visited sites in the world, it’s clear that search engines are the bread and butter of any marketing venture. We’ve previously discussed the importance of ranking high on search engines, but with everyone already so well educated on the value and methods of marketing themselves online, it’s become a rat’s race of sorts to get to the top (or at least on the first page). This is where SEO comes in and with a little friendly guidance on optimizing your site to the best of its ability it’s a sure shot to search engine success.

Content is King

We’re more than familiar with these words by now and when it comes to SEO they ring truer than ever. Content is crucial for your site’s success and updating it on a regular basis can help increase your organic traffic flow and subsequent rank on search engines. In this case, quality trumps quantity. Remember that you’re writing for real people still so keep it relevant and chock full of useful information on your services, products or industry. Optimizing your content is hands down the best way to improve your SEO and one of the easiest ways to ensure your site is producing continuous, fresh and quality content is by integrating a blog.

Social Media is Your Friend

Creating a blog is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of social media distribution. Distributing links to new content across your social media platforms not only expands your traffic source and encourages interaction; it’s another opportunity to gain external links back to your site. Social sharing is a clear indication of quality content and including social share buttons on content has already become standard practice, not to mention Google usually tracks your interaction in the social space and counts it towards your overall rank. Think about what channels are most aligned with your industry, audience and goal and plan strategically. Don’t overdo it though because no one likes a spammer!

Lucrative Linking

Speaking of links and the power they wield, the more links that point to you the more reputable Google perceives you to be and as a result, the higher you rank. Getting a high ranking website to link to yours is more meaningful when it comes to SEO, sadly it’s not something you can necessarily control. This is where creating unique content really proves its worth but in the meantime you can take advantage of the linking system by utilizing anchor links. Anchor links are embedded organically into text and provide insight to the Google spiders on what those linked pages are about. The more relevant words in a link, the more likely that page is to appear on a search engine versus a link that simply says “Click Here.”

All of the Keywords!

And while we’re on the subject of relevant wording, another heavy hitter in the world of SEO is keywords. Keywords, as the name itself indicates, are key and including them in everything from your site title to your image descriptions can make all the difference for your SEO. There are multiple ways to go about ensuring your site is keyword rich:

  • Restructure your permalinks and trade in the random number and letter mashups for the infinitely more attractive and equally beneficial keywords of that specific page.
  • Similarly, avoid the standard IMG_1234 filenames of your images and change them to something more relevant and keyword oriented.
  • Be conscious of using appropriate keywords across your site in general, especially within content, page titles, meta descriptions and anchor links.

Finally…

At best this is just a brief introduction into SEO as we’ve only touched on the most basic aspects. There are other important elements to note such as including a sitemap to the major pages of the site, which makes it easier for Google spiders to trawl through and understand. Additionally, keeping in mind your user experience, while always important, will do wonders for your SEO ranking if you consider your audience needs. Avoid uploading overlarge images, Flash or any unnecessary elements that could bog down your pages and affect loading speed. And finally, take advantage of search engine Webmaster tools. These will allow you to learn more of how search engines operate as well as gain a better understanding on what’s working for you in terms of keywords and what drives the most traffic.

For everything else, there’s us! And we pride ourselves on being experts in the field. So if the talk got too technical we’re more than happy to help you along the way.

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