Search engine optimization can be confusing not only for SEO newbies, but also for people with a good understanding of the basics. This infographic on search engine optimization makes it easier to understand some of the key concepts in SEO by breaking it down visually.
Keyword research is an integral part of any search engine optimization strategy. By analyzing different keyword phrases you can identify opportunities to rank in search results, leading to traffic and new customers.
When conducting keyword research it is important to consider the ability of your website to rank against competing websites. For new sites or those without much authority, targeting long tail keyword phrases can provide better results than shorter keyword phrases.
In general, shorter keyword phrases have higher search volume as well as more competition. This makes it more challenging, resource intensive and time consuming to build a top ranking.
Make sure to take the time to also understand the search intent for keywords. This will help ensure that the keywords you rank for actually drive value for your business.
Site Architecture and Structure
As search engines continue to get more advanced in their analysis and how they rank websites, site architecture and structure continues to play a more important role.
Search engines are designed to provide the best resources of information on a topic. By taking the time to organize the structure of your website into a logical flow and including internal links on pages, you can improve the search engine ranking of your website.
If you operate an e-commerce website, make sure that you have individual product and category pages. This will be better for ranking in search results than if you combine multiple products and categories on a single page.
People new to the SEO world often forget that Google’s Page Rank applies to pages, not an entire website. Take the time to optimize pages and improve their overall quality. This will help increase the average page rank of your website and improve overall visibility.
On-page optimization is an important aspect of search engine ranking. Take the time to incorporate at least one keyword phrase into each page on your website.
When optimizing a page, you may want the URL to contain your primary keywords for that page. You will also want to make sure to use heading tags ranging from H1-H5.
Whenever you use an image, make sure to add an alt tag. Alt tags are displayed when an image cannot be displayed or a visitor is visually impaired. Search engines count it as a negative factor if your website does not have alt tags for all images. Whenever possible, try to incorporate your primary keywords into at least the first image of the page.
Another important factor of on-page SEO is internal link building. Make sure to link to other sections of your site form each web page with keyword rich links.
Link Building Strategies
Links are incredibly important when trying to rank for competitive keyword phrases. Lots of exploits, paid link schemes and other questionable services exist to help you build links quickly with less effort.
As search engines like Google continue to employee the smartest engineers in the world, any benefits you get from exploits, or what is commonly referred to as “Blackhat SEO,” will only be temporary.
Just as we saw at SXSW when Matt Cutt announced that Google will be starting to penalize those who have over-optimized pages, trying to cheat search engines may provide a temporary benefit, but in the long run it will only hurt your website’s search engine ranking.
To build quality links that add valuable traffic and strengthen your ability to rank for competitive keyword phrases, try guest blogging or incorporate proven link baiting strategies. Both of these approaches can be highly effective in developing links from high ranking websites, increasing search engine visibility and improving overall search engine ranking.
White vs Black Hat
For those who are not familiar with the different theoretical camps of SEO strategy, white hat refers to SEO practices that follow the rules established by most search engines and don’t try to exploit loopholes. Black hat SEO is based on strategies that try to exploit or take advantage of how search engines like Google determine ranking.
Since the algorithms used to determine ranking are constantly changing, these types of black hat practices often backfire when updates are made to search engines.
Link Baiting Explained
Link baiting is a commonly used tactic to develop legitimate links. These links are believed to add value no matter how the ranking algorithm of popular search engines changes.
Link baiting refers to the act of generating a lot of links to your website. This can include emailing large numbers of bloggers and asking them to share your content. It can also take the form of developing valuable, unique content and sharing it with others.
Link Baiting Tips
When link baiting, make sure to engage your existing social media networks on sites like Facebook and Twitter. This can create a lof of sharing, especially if you take the time to develop a powerful headline.
Infographic courtesy of Blogging Pro.