I have been immersed in the hectic world of SEO for coming onto a month now and, as everybody says, there are no concrete rules about what makes SEO work. What then, does a fresh pair of eyes think are the most important factors to bear in mind in SEO?
The main rule of SEO is that there are no rules. Certain things seem to work well, though there’s no promise of longevity in this. SEO is ever changing and it is crucial to attempt new things and not follow supposedly gospel criterion, when really, this might not be the best way to go about your campaign. However, as an SEO company we need to utilise what we do know about Google algorithms and there are of course useful hints and tips that can typically work well.
Choosing the right keywords is a crucial starting point in good SEO, without this, you may end up wasting important time and resources. Using Google Adwords to identify competitiveness of a term and more specialised long-tail provides a useful insight into which are the most appropriate terms to target. Generic keyword terms tend not to be the best approach, opting for more specific keywords that relate directly to your service can often bring about the best results. Bear in mind that you can only successfully do this if you know your market, so ensure that you place is much importance on knowing your market as you do your keywords. Don’t overlook branded keywords, as these tend to be the most targeted and highest converting.
Consider your link strategy carefully. When possible, opt for the highest quality resources and avoid pointing all links to your homepage, keeping links relevant by linking them to the most appropriate deep pages, utilising tools such as Open Site Explorer to monitor the top competing backlinks. In terms of creating content, keep it relevant and interesting, creating copy that people would want to read. Submit content to general directories and more niche sites, such as related blogs and choice article sites.
In terms of OnSite optimisation, each page should be crafted around the ultimate goal of search engine rankings for specific phrases with descriptive page titles and meta tags. However, it is essential that your onsite content, although containing relevant keywords, is ultimately written for those reading it. Many fall into the trap of creating a website considering only the search engines preferences as opposed to their users. Ensure that within your site structure, the most fundamental pages are linked to throughout the entire site and you use consistent anchor text in your navigation.
Importantly, ensure you remain up to date with your own campaign. Measure the results. Use programs like Google Analytics to track which keywords are working and alter your strategy in accordance with this. It is always good to keep up to date with the SEO market in general, following SEO blogs to be aware of changes and trends because, as we all know, these can change rapidly and can greatly affect your campaign.
Ultimately, the trick to good SEO is finding the right balance of all the various components. For example, throwing all your energy into OnSite optimisation is little use without strong off site SEO and likewise, bombarding a site with links will not achieve effective results without the right backend to support it.