SEO has been a hot topic lately, both in our help desk and in my inbox.
Some people are still trying to figure out how Google’s latest algorithm update should impact their strategy. Others are still in the infancy stages of figuring out what their SEO strategy should be.
Whatever the current status of your SEO gameplan, know that it is always relevant and worthwhile to think about.
Search engines aren’t going away anytime soon, which makes the smart use of them one of the best avenues for sustainable traffic to your website.
As long as you are “talking to them” in the right way, that is.
Here are three simple tips to make sure you’re on the right track with your SEO.
1. Create content for people, not robots
If you only take one piece of information from this post, make it this one.
Our friends at Blue Glass summed it up best when they said:
One way of gaining the correct perspective is to imagine that no Google algorithm exists. Instead, imagine that all the search results and rankings are curated by a human being, hand picked based on their merit and ability to add to the larger conversation.
As search algorithms get more and more sophisticated, they get closer and closer to resembling this concept of hand-picked results curation. That’s why it’s becoming pointless to seek out and take shortcuts.
Read this interview with Matt Cutts by Eric Enge. The common theme is improving the user experience, not the search engine experience.
This “strategy” will never go away.
Since I first started learning about SEO 4+ years ago, so many different strategies have come and gone (Directory listings! Article banks!).
But, if you’ll indulge me as I channel my inner Terrence Mann, the one constant through all the years has been quality content.
And, if you focus on creating quality content first, people will eventually find you and spread the word.
2. Arm yourself with the right tools
Just because you are focusing on users as opposed to robots does not necessarily make SEO easier, per se.
Creating quality content online is no simple task. If it was, everyone would be doing it, and your opportunity to succeed would be minimized. But most people do not create quality web content, which is why learning proven SEO copywriting techniques can make such a positive impact on your online business.
In addition, writing for users does not mean that content cannot still be optimized for search engines.
Writing for the bots should not be your primary objective. But there are certain fundamental elements that should be in place on any given page that make it easy for the little search bots to index it, and determine what search phrases that page is most relevant to.
This is where a tool like Scribe can deliver tremendous benefits.
There are scores of websites out there that will teach you about SEO, if you have the time to devote to learning a complex, ever-changing subject. And there are free tools that will help you analyze your content, though the feedback is sometimes dubious, and difficult to understand.
Scribe packs the knowledge of a seasoned SEO professional into a simple interface that can be used right inside your WordPress dashboard to optimize a piece of content.
You’ll get expert copywriting and keyword advice, optimization tips, and help building relevant, high-authority links – which remain the most valuable piece of currency in the SEO world.
People serious about increasing traffic take SEO seriously. And Scribe is a seriously powerful SEO tool that helps you gently tweak your “people first” content, in order to easily spoon feed it to Google.
3. Learn to write good headlines
If you are not at a point where you can pay for premium SEO assistance, there are free plugins like Yoast’s SEO plugin and Platinum SEO Pack. Or, if you are use a WordPress theme framework like Genesis, you might not even need a plugin.
You need to make sure you have the ability to control your post titles and descriptions.
Your website itself needs a keyword-relevant title and description, as does each page on your site. And sometimes you want the SEO title to be different than the on-page title.
The ability to do this is built into Genesis. If your theme does not deliver in this manner, the plugins above will provide this functionality.
Why are good headlines so important in search optimization? Because, just as they do for a reader, they set the expectation of what the content contains for the search robot.
The headline provides a simple declaration for what your page is about, and so long as the content matches the page, it will be indexed as relevant for the keywords included in title.
How high it ranks for related searches will then depend on a whole host of factors, but having a strong, relevant title will at least get your hat in the ring.
But don’t just keyword stuff the title. That’s a losing strategy over time.
Yes, search robots are one audience for your SEO title, but more importantly, so are potential readers. The SEO title is the one that will be shown in search engine results. So while it needs to be keyword-relevant, it also needs to entice people to click on it.
This post is far from an exhaustive list of SEO tips. Entire websites are dedicated to this topic, and rightfully so.
But with these three discussion points coming up so frequently in my day-to-day activities lately, this seemed like a good time to reiterate these most basic — but consequential — of SEO lessons.
Ultimately, you’re WordPress website is hosted on Synthesis (or, you’re thinking about signing up), for the same reasons as everyone else: to greatly improve the performance and security of your site.
And there are few better ways to take advantage of your site’s increased capacity than by upping the SEO ante and creating more perpetual, convertible traffic funnels into your site.
Keep these three tips in mind and you’ll be on the right track.