Now it needs to be said here that no one really knows everything that goes into how Google indexes different websites. That’s what the Internet is basically, a giant index that returns results prioritized according to the way it is indexed. It’s believed that not even a single person at Google knows everything about their algorithm because different aspects of it are compartmentalized and by design not shared. It may even be the case that some of it is automated so literally no human really knows for sure, but that last part is conjecture. What we do know is that if no single person at Google knows for sure, certainly any marketer or SEO expert who claims to know is probably lying.
- Use quotes when a particular phrase is difficult to fit in. Maybe it is a different tense then the rest of your content, or maybe it’s just odd. Simply attribute a quote to yourself or the CEO or someone in the company and it will sound natural. Quotes have the added benefit of drawing more attention.
- Search engines ignore periods, commas, etc. when they split key phrases. You can end one sentence with part of your phrase and begin the next sentence with the end of your phrase. “Right now is the perfect time to buy. Widgets are overstocked and priced to sell…” – “Buy Widgets” is the key phrase.
- You will find advice that says to hide keywords within the background by making the text the same color or through other methods. Google will catch you and penalize your site. It’s the same thing with any trick you might run across, and who knows what they will come up with next. If it seems sneaky then chances are Google is going to catch on or has caught on, and will penalize your site for it.
- Use bulleted lists. This makes it so much easier for your potential customer to discover your benefits quickly, and it also allows a lot more freedom in how you fit in your keywords.
- Say one of the top searched for phrases is “Cheap Plumbing Service” but your company offers top-line plumbing that might be a little more expensive but that you guarantee. Maybe you want to use “We aren’t a cheap plumbing service, but we’re the last plumbing service you will ever need.” This works because you are making an honest claim while also fitting in the keyword that does not necessarily apply to you. Avoid making claims that are not true for the sole purpose of fitting a keyword in that does not apply, instead do something like what we did above.
A lot of people just don’t care about SEO, and we get it. SEO can be boring. The acronym can even get annoying when you hear it so often. So we’ve compiled a list of the quickest and easiest tips and put them together in a way that is easy to digest and to the point:
1. No matter what anyone ever tells you, the content of your website and online marketing material is more important than some key phrases. Either you can get SEO in there or you can’t, but never ever sacrifice the integrity and attractiveness of your content for improved searchability.
2. Have at least one landing page with a keyword in the domain name and a link to your site.
3. When people say keyword they usually mean keyword phrase. Phrases are easier to optimize and get you better results. Don’t worry about individual words.
Not all SEO advice is good. In fact some of it can be downright harmful. Here are some of the most common pieces of misleading advice you will hear over and over again.
- Age of the site plays a significant role in where it is ranked – This has been an accepted theory for years and almost everyone in SEO is guilty of making the correlation between age and searchability. Some may even think there is a correlation. There is no evidence of this though. Searches return newer results all the time after all, does that mean that those sites are just super amazingly good at all other aspects of SEO? Maybe. More likely the age of a site has become a false correlation. The older the site the more likely it is to have good links, to have more visits, and to have become trusted in the eyes of search engines like Google. Remember, the goal of a search engine is to return the most relevant results for users. The age of a site has nothing to do with how relevant it happens to be. What effect age has is that it give Google time to determine its legitimacy and users time to decide if it’s the type of site they click on and stay or if they click on and leave immediately (a major factor in ranking which is why relevancy is so important). But once those factors have been determined, additional days, months or years that site is online likely has no impact.
- Don’t report spam – Um, what? This is more an insider SEO code of silence thing. It’s dumb though. If someone is spamming in order to boost their ranking, then report them. They’re going to get caught anyway, why should you have to sit and wait for it to happen while your ranking sinks? Of course if you are spamming and involved in black hat SEO tactics, then it might be a problem. Make sure your hands are clean first, or get them clean at least.
- Make a different Headline and Title Tag – The theory is that you can cover a couple of different keyword phrases, and also make a more searchable Title Tag for Google and then when they get to the page something more relevant or more attractive to the reader. A lot of well respected SEO experts do suggest this, but there is no actual data that really says that there is a search benefit. It may turn off readers though. Imagine you click on a search result with one title and see something totally different when the page opens. You may think the site has been jacked or that you’ve been redirected, or worse, the site you clicked on just tricked you! There is some wiggle room, but at the least make the Title Tag and the Headline very similar.
- Never exchange links with other sites – The idea behind this advice is that if you are doing a link exchange, then you are automatically linking to things that are irrelevant for the sole purpose of having another link, which Google and other search engines hate. That is good advice usually, but there are times when there is nothing wrong with a direct link exchange. Linking to a news article about your product or service, linking to partners, even linking to relevant sites is all okay and even helpful, even if it is a straight exchange.
- Keywords and content structure are more important than actual content when it comes to searches – This could not be more misleading. Good structure and the right keyword phrases will help search ranking more than great content of course, however, full page reads, links, more visitors staying longer, all of this impresses Google way more than any keyword of phrase in the title and content. Ideally a writer can balance these two; you are always better off with great content in the long run though.
Today press releases, sometimes shortened to PRs, usually refer to online releases as opposed to the traditional release sent to television stations and newspapers. Online versions are submitted to companies like PRweb, and that company distributes them online to different news outlets. There is generally a fee for this service, but it can be worth it because online releases can reach hundreds of thousands of people. When choosing a company that will distribute your release, be sure they use analytics in order to track where it is being picked up. (more…)