You'll hear about Search Engine Optimisation from every online marketer and his wife but the truth is that, if you want your website to succeed, you will need to establish an effective SEO Strategy before you even think about building a website.
Why do I need an SEO strategy?
Search Engine Optimization is the process of getting websites ranking at the top of search engines such as Google. Achieving this will get more traffic directed to your website, which, in turn, could equate to more leads turning into paying customers.
If you are looking to position your business in the local market, then it is crucial to take advice from specialists in Local SEO Services, who can help you to apply geo-modifiers to the SEO strategy below. The same can apply if you are doing SEO for mobile marketing. These are both areas that will become more and more important for lead generation over the coming years.
Whether we are talking about large or small business SEO strategy, there are two different types: ON-Page SEO and OFF-Page SEO.
OFF-Page SEO is the main method for most effective results, but ON-Page is becoming increasingly valuable and should be put in place before moving on to the external optimisation.
ON-Page SEO strategy
An On-Page SEO strategy covers everything which is directly in your control on your webpage; these are things that are required to be done to optimize the each page of your website to get the higher rankings in search engines. On-Page SEO is not the complete solution and is not enough in most cases to get you to the top of Google - unless it is a very simple keyword which has virtually no competition in the rankings and this normally equates to little or no search volume. Ideally, to be awarded the highest rankings in the search engines,you need to use both On-Page and Off-Page SEO strategies.
So, the fundamental element in this process is identifying the best keywords to underpin your SEO strategy. Long tail phrases which have good search volume but lesser competition. And these must be built into the infrastructure of your website right from the start. They need to be part of the metadata for the individual pages and included in the slugs for each page's URL.
Regular Content is a major priority; you will have to update your website as frequently as possible by adding new content and original content. Google for example, catches pages which have high activity on them, new posts, new feeds etc. Any articles and content on your website must be original content, do NOT copy and paste from other sites because Google does not like duplication. Google also likes to see content related to the other pages on your site, so not only does the subject matter need to be relevant, original and frequently changing, it needs to be targeted around your chosen keywords with articles that are of a good size, not just a group of small articles.
Headings! The Keyword or Keyphrase for which the user is trying to rank their webpage should be included in the h1 and h2 header tags. Just as you would break up any large block of text for a human reader, you can do this for the search engine spiders who are crawling your site. Most word processing software will have functinos for headings which will be tagged as H1 and H2. Simply highlight the desired text for the heading and then select whether it is the larger h1 heading, or h2 which is slightly smaller. If thinking of making a BLOG to begin to use SEO strategies on; I would recommend WordPress as it is easy to use and has some helpful tools which can help you easily fill out metatags for your webpage, the title, description and the desired keywords for the webpage(s).
Another important aspect of your on-page seo strategy is KeyWord Density. This is how often you will mention your given keyword throughout the content/article on your webpage, so if your keyword is something like ‘Gaming Headsets’ then mention that phrase every so often, spaced out depending upon the size of the article. You should aim to have a keyword density of between 1% and 3%. It is also a good idea to throw in some phrases that are similar to the main keyword or to use some other colloquialism that means the same thing.
It is also a good idea to embed a video relating to your keyword somewhere in your site, preferably from YouTube since Google owns it, but there are other platforms such as Vimeo and Metacafe.
Outbound Links are useful to have on your page. Although these can be in the sidebar, contextual links that are part of the main content are best. These should use the keyword as the anchor text and go out to authority sites talking about that subject.
Internal Links are being seen as having more and more value and you should ensure that each page of your website links out to other internal pages that can provide the user with a better experience and other reference points. Again, using keywords as anchor texts is good practice for an effective SEO strategy.
All this on-page SEO will help to tell the search engines what your site is about. Then it requires some human proof to confirm that the content you are offering as most relevant to its search terms is in fact good quality.
OFF-Page SEO strategy
Back in 2011, I wrote that:
Your OFF-Page SEO strategy should be about human interaction in the form of backlinking; getting links from other websites directing to your website. Search engines see these backlinks as a sort of vote for your website, so the more votes (backlinks) the higher rankings.
However, whilst pre 2013, saw Contextual Backlinks with keyword anchor text as the most desirable as they were most worthy of Google's approval, in 2014 it is quite a different matter. Websites which only have keyworded anchor text linking to them are likely to find themselves in hot water. If you link to another website, do you link to it using a keyword rich anchor text or do you use its name or do you use words that fit with the sentence that you are writing? At one point SEO advice said that using Click here or Read more were better for your website but the marketers have spammed those to death. It's about natural link text.
Back in 2011, we also talked about Variety being KEY! And advised that you would need lots of different types of backlinks from different websites. And about how to look natural, you couldn't have hundreds of links coming from the same site or even from sites with the same IP addresses. And that these links needed to be built to a certain time frame preferably regular or viral. These days, Google is looking at the quality of the site not necessarily the type. The better the content on that site and the more relevant it is to your niche the better.
So there's a basic seo strategy for you to bear in mind right from the outset if you want to achieve higher rankings on the search engines.
Read more about Lollipop Local's view of SEO in 2014 post Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird.