Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a strategy for getting your website or web pages to rank high on search engine results pages (aka SERPs). Your SEO strategy can involve many tactics, and these tactics won't be the same for every business.
SEO philosophy has changed dramatically over the last decade. At one time, website owners paid for cheap SEO content that was "stuffed" with certain keywords. Keywords may have been listed on the page or even hidden on the page in white font. The thinking was that content could be nonsense as long as those keywords were present.
Today, Google and other search engines have fine-tuned their algorithms for website ranking. Junk content and keyword stuffing will get your website penalized—the exact opposite of what you hope to do.
The good news is that there's a legitimate way to wield SEO. By commissioning SEO content, you can flood your site with high-quality content that delivers real value to your visitors.
Again, SEO content writing specialists may use different tactics to get your website or blog to rank. But there are some basics that all content should follow.
Yes, adding keywords to your content is still important. The trick is to use them sparingly. For instance, if you're writing a blog post on automotive cooling systems, you'd naturally include terms such as "cooling system," "radiator," and "water pump" several times in your article. If you avoid forcing keywords into your text where they're unnecessary, you're golden.
Generally, the rule of thumb is still to assign a primary keyword to any page, as well as a few secondary keywords. In the previous paragraph, you might choose "cooling system" as your primary keyword and the other terms as secondary keywords.
A newer approach to keyword placement is to include synonyms too, as people doing web searches may use different terms for the same thing. For example, athletic shoes may also be called "sneakers," "trainers," "kicks," and "tennies." These are all valid terms, whether they're regional or slang, that different people might use to look for your products or services.
A second commandment of SEO is to post only unique content. Plagiarism is against the law and is also a fast path to the bottom of the barrel.
Anybody can check for plagiarized content on the web these days. You can use a site like Copyscape to see if you've inadvertently copied someone else's ideas—or if they've copied yours! Even easier, just paste a few lines into any search engine. You might be surprised at what you unearth.
The bottom line is that if your audience can find content elsewhere, they have no incentive to visit your site. Keep the ideas coming, and present them in a fresh way that keeps readers coming back for more.
A beautifully written, unique article containing a healthy proportion of keywords isn't necessarily going to outperform your competitors' content. Algorithms have become sophisticated enough to measure user experience in relation to your content. This means people must do more than click on your content for you to get points.
The time a visitor spends on your page of content is another factor in ranking. Whether they share your content or not also comes into play. That means your page or article must be interesting enough to keep the reader engaged—AND visually appealing too.
So, once you have your content polished, you need to think about all the other ways this content is going to engage your visitors. Have you added attractive images? colorful call-to-action buttons? external links to helpful resources? Even the ads you allow on your site can make or break your success.
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