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Posts Tagged ‘web content’

What You Need to Know about SEO (On Page SEO – Part 1 of 3) – Fueled Friday

Search Engine Optimization (a.k.a. SEO) is a very confusing subject to many. Like anything else, once you learn the theory and the specific components of SEO, it starts to make more sense. Some might even say it’s not that hard, and I would agree. Not to beat a dead horse, I will define SEO as “architecting a website such that the search engines are able to understand what is is about and why it should rank well for its related terms.”

There are two general components to SEO; “on page” elements and “off page” elements. On Page SEO refers to how the keywords related to your business appear in the written content of your site as well as the behind the scenes code that only the search engines read. Off Page SEO refers to how other (relevant) websites link to your website. When speaking, I put it like this “on page SEO tells the search engines what your website is about and off page SEO tells the search engines that your website is important enough to rank for what its about.” There is a third component to consider for effective SEO and that is the website platform iteself. There are essentially search engine friendly and non search engine friendly web platforms. I am sure you can guess which one is best for SEO. In this post, I will discuss on page SEO in detail and in the next two posts, I will discuss off page SEO and web platforms.

The two components of on page SEO are the actual page content (what people read) and the page coding (which the search engines read). In days of SEO past, content was referred to as “king”. You would hear people in the SEO business using that phrase very often – in fact too often – “content is king“, “content is king“. So let’s chat about what kind of content and coding you need to have on your website to get great results in the search engines.

Themed Content
Your website content should be “themed” meaning that each page on your website should target a unique set of keywords. For example, if you own a financial services company, you would want to have a separate page on your website for each service that you offer. This gives each of those pages an opportunity to rank for its related keywords. Many people fall short here in trying to get a single page site (often their home page) to rank for multiple keywords, and that generally can’t happen. What the search engines are looking for is how relevant a single page is to a keyword or set of related keywords. If you have a single page website that talks about everything you do, chances are that it will not rank for anything that you do because the keywords are diluted in value.

Fresh Content
The search engines want to serve relevant and current content to the searching public. While it is often not practical to change your web content frequently, there are certainly things you can do to keep current content on your website. Here are a few suggestions:

– Whenever there are changes to product or service offerings, you want to make sure to use those opportunities to update your website.

– If you have events or news, always make sure to add those to your site as well (news websites tend to do well in the search engines due to continually having new content).

– Adding articles to your website on a consistent basis can allow it to grow into a resource website that will attract those search at search engines and others linking to and sharing your content; which should ultimately lead to increased sales.

– Having a blog as a part of your website is a great way to add content on a continual basis and can help to position your company as the thought leader in your industry.

Website Coding
If you are not technical, some of this may not resonate with you. This just means you need to get someone to sit down and explain it or do it for you. Website coding (for the pupose of SEO) refers to having your keywords in the specific tags that the search engines look for such as TITLE tags, ALT tags, and META tags. Some may disagree with me, but I will say this. If you focus on creating solid content and use relevant keywords in your TITLE tags, you will do well. You should add META tags as a matter of good practice, but NEVER expect the META tags to make a big difference in your website. In he past, they used to have value but they have been abused so the search engines simply devalued them. I have had website obtain #1 rankings with no META tags whatsoever. Using ALT tags to add keywords to your images is a nice way to reinforce their keyword relevance, but a bigger way to do this is to name your images with keyword terms rather than the default names (i.e. loan-modification.jpg vs. DSC0112.jpg).

I hope this gives you some great ideas for adding relevant content and coding to your website. Once you start to put it into place, I am confident you will see results. If you need more specifics on the coding aspects, my book on Internet Marketing spells a lot of this out.

So, while content may be king, links are the “queen” that turns the kings head. Stay tuned for next weeks Fueled Friday where I disucss links and off page SEO.

Have a great weekend!

Why outdated web content can rank well in the search engines

Some time ago (well over a year), I ran a small web site that was started pretty much as a self challenge. It was a niche site in a very non competitive market, so I just thought one day “hmm, the site leading the way isn’t doing SEO well, I bet I can out rank them”. Well, my pride got the better of me because although I was right, I ended up with a business where I now had to serve customers, and at a very low price. Even worse, we had to provide a service (I say we, because I quickly recruited a team of people to help me) and it didn’t even seem logical because there was no back end product – at least not another more profitable one.

Have you ever heard the phrase “Fire, Ready, Aim”, and that is pretty much what my approach was to this site, which became a real business (I didn’t really think it out long term). That’s the down side of having access to developers and designers, and having lots of ability to drive traffic to a web site.

So whats my point? Well, this site STILL outranks the competition and I no longer promote the site. It even has a “this site is for sale” text string on it. So I had to ask myself “do the search engines really care about outdated content?” At least two newer companies have joined the mix since I got out of it, and in fact, it was over the weekend that I did some searching to try and find a buyer for this domain, or perhaps offer them my Internet Marketing services.

So why does this content sill out rank newer sites with more dynamic content?

1. It serves a niche market where there is limited competition. If you are in an emerging field where new content is coming out daily, there is bound to be more competition for your related terms. If you are in a niche market where there is very little activity or fewer optimized sites entering your field, you might get lucky as I did. (yes, niche is always better)

2. Implementation of good on site SEO practices. After all, this is why I launched the web site. I saw that the competition had a great idea, but didn’t know how to market it online without using AdWords (they still use AdWords, and I still out rank them organically).

3. Trusted Links. When I was actively promoting the site, it had a Page Rank of 5 and this was more due to the quality of links rather than the quantity of links. I scored an interview from a major site that linked to my little site and that kicked it up to a Page Rank of 5 (from 3) in no time and with few other links.

4. Age of the site / content. My sites content is seasoned in that has been around longer than many of the newer sites in the field. (so is it better to have dynamic content or seasoned content? – makes you wonder)

5. Domain expiration date. This is one of those questionable ranking factors that we often hear quoted. A commonly understood practice is to register your domain for at least 5 years, which indicates that you plan on being around for at least that long. With Google’s domain registrar partnership, it is alleged that this is a ranking factor, at least for Google. At a minimum, I would say it is a good test for how the site owners feel about their site. Most registrars default to a two year term, so it could be suspected that is you reduce it to one year, you are testing the market, and not serious about the web site.

Sorry I was not able to mention the site by name; I am in negotiations with a few companies. Even after it sells, I may not be able to mention it.

Happy ranking!

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