Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of adding targeted keywords to web text to ensure it receives a high search ranking via search engines such as Google. Indeed, SEO has been around about as long as search engines have been around. Those online marketers who don’t yet have a stake in SEO are losing out on much potential revenue as well as brand visibility.
But SEO is not a static thing. As technology and they way people gather information changes, so does search engine optimization. For example, the rise of social networking has created a shift in the online marketing and SEO landscape, as more and more people are performing online searches via their smartphones. But while the devices and methods may change, there are some basic tenets of SEO that will always remain the same.
As far as effective SEO is concerned, there are two basic types:
- On-page SEO. This is where the marketer controls the search engine optimization directly, usually as the webmaster or publisher.
- Off-page SEO. The optimization in this instance relies more on user behavior and other publishers.
On-page SEO puts the control firmly in the owner’s hands, and it is the recommended course of action, no matter the size of the operation. With that in mind, here are some things those launching an on-page SEO marketing campaign for the first time should bear in mind.
There was a time not too long ago when content marketers focused on flooding the Internet with as much duplicate content as possible, most of it of dubious quality. But with certain search engine updates, such as Google’s Panda and Penguin updates, targeting content of a lesser quality, the focus now is high-quality, fresh content.
Online marketers new to SEO should focus on producing the highest quality content, as it enhances the user experience and builds trust. But it’s not only important to curate stellar content, it’s also crucial this content be added regularly. Adding content once a month or even once a week will simply not cut it, as far as building an audience is concerned. Marketers need to focus on posting fresh content at least 2-3 times per week.
In SEO, it’s all about the keyword, and that’s where optimization comes in. It’s not merely enough to produce fresh and unique content; the marketer also needs to ensure that content stands the best chance of coming up in an Internet search. And the best way to ensure a high search rank is by adding targeted keywords to the content text.
These optimum keywords should be in the title, description and body of all posts. Of course, due to the aforementioned search updates, keyword optimization has become subtle. Marketers should add just enough keywords in the right places as opposed to throwing as many keywords as possible into the text. This process is known as “keyword stuffing,” and is viewed as spam by search engines.
Once the content side of marketing has been taken care of, it’s important to focus on the vessel for content delivery. A well designed and easy-to-navigate website offers a positive experience for users and allows them to access the content easily. A professionally designed site is also going to be easily accessible to search engine bots, which will increase visibility for the website.
These are just a few pieces of advice for those new to the world of on-page SEO. Above all else, the ball is firmly in the marketer’s court as far as on-page is concerned. It’s up to him or her to take the initiative and produce top-quality, properly optimized content on a regular basis.