There’s More Than One Approach to SEO
A client recently asked if we could “do SEO” for them. While the short answer was “yes,” the long answer was a little more complicated. Because the fact is that we do a lot of different kinds of SEO, or more precisely, there are a lot of ways to improve search engine optimization (SEO). And although it’s great if you can do all of them, even focusing on two or three techniques can really improve your search engine rankings. Here are some of the most effective ways to boost your SEO.
Search Engine Advertising
One of the fastest ways to get your site listed at the top of the search engine is to pay for it. Search engine ads, also called search engine marketing or SEM, allow you to pay to have your site listed when certain keywords are used in search terms. You can also request that your ad is only delivered to certain geographies and certain types of users.
Most search engines rank your site on the number of times a keyword appears in your headlines, subheads, and text but also factor keywords that show up in the way you name pages or URLs. Search engines also factor in whether keywords are used to name images or appear in the alt text.
Search engines want to show users the most relevant sites. So, if all other things are equal, sites with more traffic will be ranked higher than those with less traffic. Also, a site with traffic from a variety of sources will rank higher than those with traffic from just one or two sources. In addition to visits from search engines, site traffic can come from social media, ads, or links on other sites.
High Credibility Outbound Linking
If your site offers links to sources, preferably to highly respected, credible sources, search engines see that as a sign of goodwill on your part. These links that go off your site are called outbound links. Including them in your content shows that you’re not trying to “trap” users on your site, and it demonstrates your intent to back up data with sources, increasing your site’s credibility.
Search engine bots crawl through sites (which is why they are sometimes called crawlers). These crawlers try to get as much info as possible before leaving your site, but they won’t use the navigation bar to do it. Instead, they continually find links on pages that lead to other pages. That’s why it’s so crucial that each page of your site has at least one link from another site page and to another site page. This creates easy ways for bots to review and rank every page of your site.
Search engines want to make sure that users know what your site is about. For example, if you say “Cars” on your site, you may be referring to automobiles, the ’80s band, or the Disney film. Search engines infer meaning by the other words on your page or the syntax. This process of inferring meaning is called Latent Syntax Indexing or LSI. It means that it’s not enough to use keywords. You must include relevant keywords and context so that search engines can rank your site correctly.
Content, Content, Content
Like it or not, if all other factors are equal, sites with lots of words almost always outrank sites with fewer words. Likewise, websites with more tagged images almost always outrank sites with fewer tagged images. And a site with more tagged videos almost always outranks sites with fewer tagged videos. That’s why blogs are such an essential part of SEO–they provide your site with fresh content and offer opportunities to build SEO. Providing lots of descriptions, illustrations, explanations, tutorials, interviews, and other information is one of the best ways to increase SEO.
Search engines also rank sites based on how often it is updated. That means that someone should be on your site, changing some part of it at least once a week, preferably once a day. Even small changes count, so make an effort to add, edit, or remove information frequently.
Which Approach is Best?
Let’s be honest–the combination of each of these approaches is the best way to improve SEO. There is no proof that any single method is more effective than all the others. That’s why it’s important to incorporate as many of these techniques as possible into any website. By considering your website a work in progress, you give your team the space they need to continually update and improve the site in ways that enhance your brand, create better customer relationships, and improve SEO.
Want to know more about SEO for your website? Contact Cup O Content today, and let’s get started.
Want to read more blogs about digital strategy? Check out these Cup O Content articles.