Basic SEO Techniques Swanley :
A few basic SEO techniques:
- View Google’s cache to see your page the way a search engine sees it. If you can’t see an element of the page in the cache, the search engines can’t see it either! This means that content isn’t gaining you any search traffic.
- Be sure your page is reachable. Crawlers don’t perform searches, they travel by links. This means your page has to be viewable by clicking on a link on another page or crawlers won’t see it and it won’t be searchable.
- Be sure you don’t have metaframes preventing your page from being crawled. Many Swanley webmasters use metaframes to prevent rogue bots from crawling their page and don’t realize that these metaframes will also prevent search bots from crawling their pages!
- Don’t let your links get lost in a sea of links. Pages with hundreds or thousands of links may not get crawled thoroughly in order to prevent spam and skewed rankings.
- Use specific keywords. General keywords will have lots of competition. By using more specific keywords, a webmaster can reduce competition and increase rankings.
- Don’t abuse keywords. Use your keywords in natural speech. Optimize your page for one or two specific keywords that searchers might use when looking for information available on your page. Be sure your keywords are relevant to your content.
- Don’t use keywords in link anchor text pointing to other pages on your site. (This is known as commiting keyword cannibalization.)
- Be sure your keywords are plain text HTML. Add ALT text for images, transcripts for videos and audio clips, and put captions with java or flash plugins or images. Although crawlers are improving, many are unable to process anything besides plain text.
Be Aware of User Experience
Increasing the usability, accuracy, and visual design of the website will also increase your search metrics. Search engines use search metrics and backlinks to determine the popularity and user-friendliness of your page. These factors play an important role in SEO. Always seek to create content that is pleasing for your reader.
Search Engines use Engagement Metrics to determine user satisfaction. Time spent on a search result means the user found the result much more helpful than a user who immediately hits the back button to look for another search.
The Panda update allows google to use machine learning to rank websites on quality and user friendliness. In 2011, human evaluators ranked thousands of websites based on quality and then implemented machine learning that mimicked those evaluators. This update changed more than 20% of search results.
Things to consider when selecting keywords:
- The Keyword’s relevance to your page. Will the people using that keyword in searches be satisfied with the content on your page?
- The Keyword’s specificity. Would a narrower keyword or keyphrase attract an audience that is more interested in your content than the audience of the broader term? On the other hand, is your keyword so specific it won’t be searched?
- The Competition on that keyword. Can you compete with the current top ranked websites for your keyword?
Where to Put Keywords:
- In the Title: as close to the beginning as you can put it
- At the Top of the Page
- Several times throughout the body of the page
- At least once in the ALT text
- In the URL
- In the Summary or Meta description tag
Optimizing Title Tags:
- Titles should be between 45 and 55 characters long. Titles that exceed 55 characters in length may not show properly in google searches.
- Keywords should be placed near the beginning of the title
- Consider putting your brandname at the end of the title
- Don’t sacrifice readability and emotional impact for keyword optimization
Visit https://moz.com/learn/seo/title-tag to see how the title and summary of your page would show up in a google search.
- Keep them short
- Be sure your reader has an idea of what he will find on the page when reads the URL
- Use plain text links
- Use hyphens to separate words
- Use keywords
How Links to your Page Effect your SEO
- Are a wide variety of websites created by a wide variety of webmasters on a wide variety of topics linking to your site?
- Are many sites on similar topics linking to your site?
- Are the ranking sites for your keywords linking to your site?
- Are sites linking to your page using your keywords in anchor text to link to your site? (Anchor text is the blue text that shows on a webpage instead of the URL to the link)
- Are you getting links from trusted sources?
- Have you refrained from linking to spammy or poor quality websites and websites that link to your page?
- Have you been accruing new links?
- Is your page being shared on social media?
If you can answer yes to the eight questions above, links to your content are doing their job and helping increase your rankings. If you can’t answer yes to each question, devise strategies to remedy your answer.
Creating good, quality content that related pages will naturally link to is one of the best ways to get links. Another great way, is through Manual Outreach. Don’t under estimate the traffic that a well placed link can generate itself. Target specific websites who cater to similar audiences, preferably websites with few links, high credibility and high rankings for your keywords, and invite them to link to your page. Be sure to explain how linking to your page is a benefit for them, and not just an act of charity for you. You may also use this tool to see your competitors’ backlinks. Finding sites who have linked to the top ranked sites for your keyword gives you a list of sites that whose links would be of value to you. Avoid self-created links on lower quality websites. While they may help rankings a little bit, they may also hurt your rankings. If you pursue this option, proceed with caution.
Search Engine Webmaster SEO advice
SEO advice from the major search engine webmasters includes:
- Be sure all pages can be reached by static, plain-text links. (Links of the form: , as opposed to links buried in images, java or flash.) These links are easier for crawlers to find.
- Don’t “cloak” your work, or try to present different content to the search engine than you present to the user. Make sure your page is optimized to be found by a search engine when a user searches a relevant query. Don’t try to cheat the crawler’s and their index.
- Use accurate, descriptive, clear language with appropriate keywords in your titles, subtitles and ALT text. (ALT text is text that appears when an image cannot be displayed.) On hubpages, photo captions are ALT text and are therefore an extremely important part of search engine optimization.
- Create content filled with relevant keywords.
Check for Errors
To check for crawl errors see Google’s Webmaster Tools.
Meta Tags & Optimizing Metadata for SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is an ever-changing discipline, and the art and science of getting a website onto the first page of search results is something that every SEO expert wants to achieve.
Although the details of how Google and other search engines rank a website are closely guarded secrets, everyone involved in SEO agrees that backlinks are a very important factor in ranking.
Backlinks are one of the most powerful ways that search engines find out about quality content. Having good backlinks to your website will increase your rank in search results and ultimately attract more visitors.
This article explores what backlinks are and provides practical advice on how to create backlinks and increase your website's visibility. We'll explore:
- What is a backlink?
- What is it that makes backlinks important and valuable for SEO?
- Are backlinks good for human visitors too?
- What is the best way to get backlinks?
- What are some other methods that can be used to get backlinks?
- Posting links to your articles on link submissions sites
- Sharing on social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and more
- Commenting on blogs and forum posts
- Guest blogging and posting
- Sharing your expertise
- Other areas
What is a backlink?
A backlink is simply a link to your website or other online content that comes from another website. An example of how a backlink is created would be:
- You write an article about, for example, simple website navigation and publish it on your website.
- Someone else puts together a guide to creating the perfect website and whilst researching they come across your article, read it and enjoy it and believe it would be a good resource for their readers.
- In their guide, they include a sentence like: 'If you want to find out more about simple website navigation, check out this article' <includes link to your website>.
That link, from their website to yours, is a backlink.
What is it that makes backlinks important and valuable for SEO?
Among other things, search engines use backlinks as a measure of a website's popularity and quality. Google and their competitors use the number and quality of backlinks to help them judge and rank the relevance and value of the content of a website and specific pages on that site.
More backlinks from reputable sources means that the search engines will regard your content as important and worthwhile, meaning that they are more likely to show it in their search results.
Are backlinks good for human visitors too?
Yes, backlinks are a great way for readers to find relevant, related information without having to look too far. Anything that improves a reader's experience on a website is worth considering.
When you write content, it's always a good idea to include backlinks to other content on your own site and around the web. This will enhance the information that you provide to your audience.
What is the best way to get backlinks?
The very best way to get backlinks is to write excellent content. Articles that are worthwhile to readers are more likely to be shared and referenced by them, both on social media and from other websites.
This means that great content will naturally gather backlinks over time, increasing its value in the search engine rankings. Although this is the best way to get backlinks, it isn't the easiest or the quickest and there are other methods.
What are some other methods that can be used to get backlinks?
Other methods of gaining backlinks vary in ease of use and how effective they are. You should use these methods sparingly and not become overly reliant on just one or two techniques.
Posting links to your articles on link submissions sites
Sites such as StumbleUpon, Reddit, SheToldMe, Red Gage, Delicious, BizSugar and more allow users to submit links to articles that other site users can discover.
Because anyone can post links to these services, the backlinks from them are not considered especially valuable. You should also review the terms of each of these sites to find out about their link submission guidelines.
Sharing on social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and more
If you have a following on social media that's interested in your content, it's worth sharing your links and articles there.
If the information is relevant to your audience, they may share your posts onwards, further increasing the reach and visibility of your website.
Commenting on blogs and forum posts
If you find content related to your website on a blog or forum, and you believe that readers would be interested, you can leave a comment together with a link back to your site.
Be careful when using this technique and make sure that any links you post are relevant and valuable to other readers.
Guest blogging and posting
Although guest blogging is being devalued by Google, there can be some advantages to writing guest posts.
You should find a guest blog that covers a niche closely related to your own and write very relevant, focused posts that can include a link back to your content.
Fact about blogging
- Three quarters of us read a blog every day
- 70% of us say that blogs influence the things that we buy
- There are four times as many search pages for businesses that have a blog and a blogging strategy, as those without
Places to find guest blogging opportunities
There are many sites out there that can put good writers and reputable blog sites in contact with each other, to create a high-quality guest blogging experience, for writer, publisher and the reader of the blog; some of the most popular ones are:
- My Blog Guest
- Blogger Link Up
Guidelines for guest bloggers
- Search Google for high quality blogs (i.e. those that are well ranked, with authority and engaged readers)
- Read the guest posting and quality guidelines for the blog
- Contact the blog owner or other nominated contact
- Explain something about yourself, your skills, expertise and experience for writing content
- Suggest some topics for guest posts that they might want to see
- When writing your post, ensure that you create useful, worthwhile, valuable content that servers a purpose
- Don't stuff your content with keywords or over-optimize it; write for people, not Google
- Include a link to your author bio, Google Plus page or other website in your byline / footer
Things to avoid
If you want to avoid a Google slap for spammy posts, make sure you avoid the following:
- Getting only 'dofollow' links from the blog
- Accept money for guest posting (Google doesn't like paid sites)
- Use 'spun' guest articles
- Provide low quality content
Things to remember about guest blogging
You, the blog and the reader will get the most value out of your guest posts if:
- Your content aligns with the overall subject of the blog
- You provide high-quality, well written, unique content
- The content is of use to the readers of the blog and engages them
- The content is not spammy and doers not contain overly optimized keywords or links
Sharing your expertise
Question and answer and content sites such as Quora, WebAnswers, HubPages and more can be a good place to demonstrate your expertise and experience.
If you answer questions or write articles there, you can often link back to your own content, providing relevant backlinks.
Are there any areas or techniques that should be avoided when creating backlinks?
Google and other search engines are getting smarter about devaluing backlinks from certain areas. You should generally avoid getting backlinks by the following means:
- Article directories - These have been hit hard by Google updates and links from article directories are generally of very low value.
- Blanket posting / 'spamming' your links - Seeing lots of links to content appearing over a short period of time is a red flag to the search engines. Artificially posting and sharing your link extensively over a few days will devalue all of the links.
- Posting to irrelevant sites - You should only share links to your content where the links will be appreciated. This means only posting links into highly relevant communities, blogs, forums or other online destinations. If it's not relevant to the audience, don't post it.
You can use Google Webmaster Tools to understand who is linking to your website and content and if you find undesirable links, you can use the webmaster 'disavow' tool to get Google to ignore them.
Increasing trust in your backlinks
There is an increasing importance and authority that Google is giving to 'Trusted Sites' - These are sites that Google considers to have high-quality, relevant, easy to understand, valuable content. Points to consider include:
- Whether a website that links to you will provide additional, quality traffic to your site
- How would you feel if a person went to the site linking to you and found your business listed there?
- Is it easy to add your site? If it's too easy to add your site, the chances are that it won't help your SERPs ranking
- Does the site linking to you relate to the business you are doing? Context is very important
Naturally occurring backlinks that point to great content are the most effective way to increase your visibility in search results.
Using these techniques can increase your ranking on the search engines and ultimately get more visitors to your website.
5 Ways to Handle SEO
In 2014, the new Top Level Domains (TLDs) were introduced to much fanfare from the press and tech bloggers. New web address endings were touted as a land rush on the internet and a game changer for marketing strategies. Despite such pronouncements, new TLDs were largely ignored in 2014, leaving some to expect an explosion in activity in 2015. However, before business owners run off to build new sites with fancy new names, it's important to separate fact from fiction regarding TLDs and to ask the question, "Will the new TLDs matter to marketers and consumers in 2015?".
As a brief primer, Top Level Domains are the endings to websites such as .com, .edu, .gov, etc. In the past, these were all handled by the ICANN, but in 2014, the door was opened for entrepreneurs to create their own TLDs that they can control on their own. So now, there are essentially an endless amount of TLDs. Business owners could pay to can have their site end with things like .xyz, .toys, .soy, .wed, and more. Nearly 4 million web sites around the world use one of the newly created TLD.
There have been many different Top Level Domains for website owners to choose from before the introduction of the new TLDs and research has shown that they work in a general sense. People know that the various country TLDs can be used to find information from a certain region of the world. Consumers generally know that .fr is for pages in France and that .ca is for Canada. However, it's not perfect, a study from Moz suggests that nearly 25 percent of Americans can be tricked into thinking that .ca is for California; so they knew that the TLD was for a region, but guessed the wrong region.
Similarly, people know that a .tv site will be about a television show, .edu is for schools, that .org pages tend to be for non-profits. The .edu and .org are the two TLDs that carry the most meaning for consumers. Searchers know that .edu resources will be more reliable since they are from schools and not from businesses. And people associate .org with organizations, groups or non profits with goals other than profit. Many people don't realize that .com itself is short for "commercial" which was chosen in the early days of the internet to identify the sites that weren't the traditional school or government based web pages that first populated the nascent world wide web.
The challenge for these new TLDs is that though people can use them to quickly understand the purpose of a site, consumers don't inherently trust sites with unusual TLDs more than ones with more traditional endings. In fact, having a vanity TLD immediately indicates that this a new site which puts the site at a disadvantage when compared to sites that have been serving customers from a .com web address for years. This is why older alternative TLDs like .biz or .info never really took off.
When NPR followed up with some of the creators of the new TLDs at the end of 2014, they found that adoption has been incredibly slow. The TLD that is doing the best so far is .xyz and even that is based on a large buy from a third party that gave a free year of .xyz registration to their clients or from people who bought .xyz domains to squat on them. A better indicator will come at the end of 2015 when we see how many people who squatted or received their new TLD domain for free decide its worth it to continue paying for it.
The international study from Moz asked users if, based solely on the domain name, they were more likely to trust an insurance quote from a website ending in .insurance. 62 percent of Americans, 53 percent of Australians, and 67 percent of marketers said they were unlikely to trust the quote based on the domain alone.
And despite what people who are trying to sell TLDs may say, when it comes to TLDs and SEO, TLDs offer no intrinsic value to improve SEO. The algorithms for search engines don't include these new TLDs as a ranking factor. These domains will show up in a generic search for a keyword and people can search by TLD extension if they want to. If TLDs become more popular, they may become ranking factors in the future (though Google says they doubt it), but for now, they are treated no differently.
Google's John Mueller recently reposted comments the company made earlier in 2014 to reiterate their position on TLD and search.
"It feels like it's time to reshare this again. There still is no inherent ranking advantage to using the new TLDs," Mueller wrote on Google+ before sharing a postfrom Matt Cutts on the subject. "They can perform well in search, just like any other TLD can perform well in search. They give you an opportunity to pick a name that better matches your web-presence. If you see posts claiming that early data suggests they're doing well, keep in mind that this is not due to any artificial advantage in search: you can make a fantastic website that performs well in search on any TLD."
The sheer amount of TLDs available also undermines one of the reasons some thought they would be so popular. When there so many TLDs to choose from, it's not as effective for squatters to try and wrap of domains with the intent of selling them later. It's not the same as in the early days of the internet. Back then, if someone had the .com you wanted, there was nothing you can do but pay them or get a different name. Now, marketers can just move to a different TLD. The introduction of these new TLDs have created so much internet real estate, it's impractical for one person to try to lock up domains they don't intend to use.
There are a lot of good reasons why business owners may want to create a site using one of the new TLDs, but it's important to be clear about what the benefits are and what is just hype. It's undeniable that business can get domain names using the new TLDs that are unavailable for older extensions. Some states are introducing TLDs for businesses in their state. So BillsGarage.com may be taken, but BillsGarage.NYC may be up for grabs.
However, other than the benefit of giving marketers more options when deciding on domain names, TLDs don't offer any intrinsic benefit to business. As the research from Moz and comments from experts at Google have shown, TLDs have no advantage over .com when it comes to customer trust and SEO visibility.
Given the challenges facing TLD adoption, it's unlikely that TLDs will make a huge marketing impact in 2015 unless there is some sort of game changing development. If you want to use one of the new TLDs to build a site with an easy-to-remember name, you won't be disappointed, but don't expect new domain endings to perform some kind of marketing magic in the coming year.