In the past, SEO (search engine optimization) was all about flooding the back end of your web site with as many keywords as possible. Search engines, like Google, would crawl sites and log the top keywords in order for web sites to be ranked. But Google has changed the rules these days. A lot of the definitions of Google’s SEO have to do with explaining their new algorithms. Here are the new rules in real people terms instead.
If you want to be ranked on Google, here are the major things you need to do with your web site.
1) Create High-Quality, Dynamic Content. Many web sites are full of images, stock photos, flash, or a few sentences that really do not reflect the web site’s purpose. More than ever, high-quality content is the most important factor in increasing your SEO performance. Because Google has changed the value placed on certain online signals–such as authorship, natural links, and social media–content marketing has become the linchpin of SEO success.
2) Continually Update Web Site Content. Web sites should continually be changed and updated to send a signal to Google and other search engines that something is different. This tells Google to reindex your web site, helping your page ranking status. When something changes on your web site or on your blog, submit the new URL to Google to re-search your page.
3) Leverage and intertwine social media platforms. Dynamic content mixed with social media platforms increases page ranking and traffic. The more shareable your content, the more relevant your web site will be to Google and other search engines. Consider using Google +, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn to leverage interconnectedness on search engines.
4) Link Building – But Only Use Respectable Links! In the past, many people hired link building services to add links to their web sites. These link building services are still available, but Google and other search engines are recognizing them as red flags. The best way to utilize links on your web site is to link to YOUR OWN dynamic content on other sites or other pages of your web site. External links should be highly reputable. Outbound links should go to your social media sites, blogs, articles you’ve written, and industry respected web sites.
5) Meta Data Still Counts. Your web site should not be a blank template. Highly specific keywords and accurate page titles and descriptions are still necessary for Google and other search engines to identify you. Make sure all of your images have descriptions and tags too! Many people forget to add accurate descriptions and tags to their images and videos. This meta data will cross-reference with your content too. While high quality content is the driving force in SEO today, meta data still counts A LOT.
To help consumers with SEO, Google put together a great SEO Starter Kit that can be downloaded for free. It is extensive, but very helpful in understanding the ins and outs of Google’s SEO policies and how to best optimize your site. Just in case you want a super quick version, they have a one pager to download too. Good luck and start optimizing!
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