As a general rule for SEO, it’s always good to think in terms of doing all that you can to “assist” Google/Bing with understanding “what” your pages are about. This will be especially important as Google moves into a “human understanding” process over just queries & keywords. This process is happening right “now” and will continue into a full artificial intelligence process. It’s important to embrace this philosophy as not just science fiction. As a result, the SEO arena is shifting again. Future success will rely on staying on top of “what” those shifts are.
With that said, here are some basic guidelines, not only to help SEO, but to help your Marketing get found and understood properly.
3 parameters you can work with to SEO your own pages
While there are hundreds of factors, the recommended “SEO 3” for content writers
2) H1 tag
3) Body text
4) Meta-description (highly recommended for user perspectives in the SERPS)
Never link to other sources using ONLY “click here” or “see more”, etc
Rather use full descriptive links (outgoing and on page anchor text)
Ex: “For a full report on SEO strategies, click here
(your link would include the entire phrase, instead of just the “click here portion”)
If your page is targeting a product or theme, make sure that it at least contains “something” about it.
I recommend a few paragraphs focusing on that agenda so that search can validate your page as a resource or authority. While this statement may seems obvious, I can’t tell you how many times companies expect pages to rank just with their meta-titles or stuffing keywords into an ALT Tag. This may work in limited cases, but not in the case of most content these days especially with the new algorithm changes
Good live Example:
Here is a page that is trying to gain SEO credibility for a product or service (MarketDiscoverySM Planning)
From what I can tell, there isn’t a single mention of it on the page, or paragraph introduction describing what exactly that is. (in fact its not even in the meta-title tags). My analysis of this is that this page could never rank for the product term.
SEO has transformed in more than keywords, the recommendation for 2014+ is “value-based content”
This statement should really become part of your overall strategy for success. Gone are the days of weak or sappy content. Look at it another way……… What makes your page “deserve” being ranked in the top SERPS listings? If you don’t know, then it doesn’t
Keywords are not extinct. Queries still rely on them. However use them effectively, semantically and with the intention of “why should my page rank #1 in the entire world for this subject, product or article?”. Translation: out of a million potential results, what can you do to make yours most relevant to queries.
Adwords: (as we round up financing on this)
Embrace Adwords if your budget allows! It doesn’t replace SEO but may be the only way to gain visibility for extremely competitive keywords (which in many cases you are competing with dictionaries, high traffic news sites and education facilities)
(Mike will work/advise with Marketing on best practices for 2014+….)
– Visuals are hot in today’s Marketing!
– include an image if you can, (we can also OPTIMIZE the image!)
– any visuals should have great descriptive TEXT around them to reinforce its meaning and SEO value
– VISUALS are necessary for today’s social marketing (especially to accompany social media)
– INFOGRAPHICS are also a hot new way of viraling a business and page
Bolding helps emphasize a keyword on a page to search (as does italics). Use sparingly, don’t overbold, but recognize its value on the page
While it’s hard to monitor every page on a site at all times, pay attention to what your competitors are doing (if their page is outranking yours). Chances are their page is a better “value-based” page and has earned its status. Forget about using SEO tricks! SEO is now built upon a foundation of good relevant content. If the content isn’t worthy, then the techniques of optimization will be less effective if not at all.