I’ve never been shy about my thoughts on SEO… I’ve tested some SEO strategies in the past, had some sites rank for amazing keywords, began relying on that traffic for my income, and then lost it all… I’m not the biggest fan of search engine optimization as a primary traffic strategy.
Why would someone put so much time and money in to something that Google could just change the rules on next week. It’s scary and I’m not a huge fan of it.
Saying that, I do like to take actions on all of my sites that will put me in the best position for SEO success, even if it isn’t my primary traffic strategy.
I see no harm in doing little tweaks here and there on my sites that will make my pages appealing in Google’s eyes. I’m just not putting a lot of eggs in the SEO basket. After all, Google makes its money through paid search results… If they make SEO too easy to figure out, no one would buy ads, we’d all just hire SEO guys instead.
Anyway… Here’s some quick tips that I’ve found Google likes and should help you get a little boost in the search results.
1. Pick a good domain name from the start.
If you can find a domain name that includes the keywords you want people to find you for, this will give you a jumpstart. I’ve heard that Google doesn’t put as much value on this element as they once did. However, I still seem to have a much easier time ranking domain names with my keyword than if they don’t have them.
2. Use WordPress for your websites.
WordPress sites are inherently SEO friendly sites.
3. Install WordPress SEO by Yoast.
Use it to create a sitemap and get the sitemap submitted to all the search engines.
4. Create an account with Google Webmaster Tools and use the Yoast plugin to make sure Google pays attention.
5. When adding images to a post, make sure you use relevant keywords for the image’s name and “Alt Text”.
Google looks at this information when ranking posts. It also helps your site show up in Google’s image search….
6. Link out to authority sites from within your blog posts.
Google loves to see links out to big name authority sites like Wikipedia, Forbes, Huffington Post, etc… You linking to authority websites shows them that you are trying to put out great information and link to relevant content.
7. Link your existing posts together.
If you write a new blog post and it’s relevant to an older blog post, link the new one to the old one. Also, go back and edit the old post and link it to the new one. Google likes depth to websites. Google also likes to see a low bounce rate (meaning people stay on your site for a while). By linking between posts, it could lead to people staying on your site for longer.
8. Use YouTube videos on your site.
Google loves to see you linking to their properties. Linking to YouTube videos that are relevant to your site’s content looks good to Google. Google denies that YouTube videos add any value to search engine results. I’ve seen a lot of people show me results the prove otherwise, however.
9. Keep your content fresh and relevant.
Post often and don’t let your blog content go stale. Google loves to see fresh new content. Lately, Google has been ranking fresh new content over existing seasoned content as demonstrated by Glen at ViperChill in this blog post.
10. Get blog comments.
I believe that Google sees a lot of blog comments as an indicator that a post is something that people want to read and interact on. Comments also help keep your posts looking fresh in Google’s eyes. Even if a post was written months ago, a new comment today looks like a post was recently updated. (A loophole also pointed out by Glen at Viperchill.)
11. Leverage social media and ask for Likes and Shares.
SproutInsights points out that 7 out of 10 of the major SEO factors stem from social media. G+ being the most looked at factor in Google’s eyes. Sites that get shared and liked a lot rank higher than sites that don’t… This is a “chicken or the egg” scenario in my mind… Are these sites getting a lot of social interaction because they rank high or are they ranking high because they get a lot of social interaction. I’m not sure. However, no matter how you look at it, social media helps get traffic to your site. Get active and encourage the shares.
When you make a post, share it on Facebook, Google, and Twitter… Like it yourself and encourage readers to do the same. You’ll get traffic from the shares and it could help you rank better.
12. The most important factor in SEO is to create killer content. NO EXCEPTION.
This is the number one rule for modern SEO. Create amazing content that people want to read, want to share, and want to dig deeper on. If you create amazing content on your blog, most of the SEO takes care of itself… People like and share your content in social media, people link to your content on their blog (giving valuable backlinks – important for off-page SEO), people stay on your site longer (decreasing bounce rate), people comment on your blog, and people tell others about your blog. All of these things combined add up to Google loving what you do and putting it in front of readers. Create stuff that people want to read, share it, and the rest should take care of itself.
I’ll leave you with this Infographic (click for full size) that shows the importance of content marketing in SEO as well as social signals effects on SEO.
If you enjoyed this post or gained something from it, please click “Like”, Tweet it, or share it on Google+. I’d love you for it!
Also, please let me know in the comments anything I’m missing in regards to on page SEO. I love the comments and interaction!