SEO for Dummies, Part Two
While is a huge load of work behind the scenes of SEO, you still need to ensure you are producing high-quality content for visitors to read and view. Google’s latest algorithm puts a major emphasis on useful, high-quality writing rather than heavy keyword usage. As such, avoid “keyword stuffing,” and instead focus on calculated, strategically-placed keywords. It is best to target one keyword phrase per page. Make sure each page has a distinct arrangement and headings.
To best understand the value of meta-tags, think about things through the eyes of someone using a search engine. When you search for something, how do you decide which result to click? Most likely, you will analyze the first few results, and read a few words from the title and description. As a site, you have a limited string of characters to convince someone to click on your link.
Your site will see a significant improvement if you properly engage meta tags. Each meta description should be around 160 characters and should include natural keyword phrases. Be sure to include some sort of call to action. If you’ve done your keyword research and organized your site content appropriately, you should be well on your way to accomplishing this stage.
Coding can be a daunting and difficult part of SEO for those unfamiliar with the topic. While you likely need someone well-educated in coding to perform specific and detailed work, there is one area you can understand on your own: robots.txt.
Robots.txt is a text file that you put on your site to tell search engines which pages they are allowed to visit. While this code is not essential, it is very helpful in cases where you have pages you would like search robots to avoid- much like a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door. Make sure your robots.txt file is in the main directory of your site and is structured properly.
You can have a stunning, well-structured site, but this all means nothing if people can’t view it. To get the maximum amount of traffic and visibility, your site must be indexed by search engines and directories, like DMOZ. Otherwise, the big players like Google, Yahoo! and Bing are much less likely to find the relevant page on your site to display.
Many techniques and tools promise to get your site indexed by search engines, but by far the least time-consuming way to lead search engines and visitors to your site’s content is by creating a sitemap. With an HTML sitemap, visitors can quickly navigate the contents of your site and head to the most relevant area.
In addition to the work you’re putting in on your page, have plans in place for off-site. This can include content marketing, blog writing, guest blogging, infographics and other tools to allow you to leave online footprints leading back to your site.
So there you have it! Don’t be intimidated by the hype surrounding SEO: by breaking this part of your online strategy into steps, you’ll be an SEO savant in no time at all.