You hear the acronym ‘SEO’ and immediately break out in anxiety-induced sweat! I know, it seems intimidating.
While you might not supersede the SEO experts at Google, you can do yourself a super big favor and learn some basics. All it takes is a little patience, basic knowledge of the blogosphere, and you’ll be more viral than Lindsay Lohan’s latest drug binge!
I am NOT an SEO expert.
I am a content writer.
However, I employ basic SEO tactics on a daily basis at my New York web design firm. I work closely with an SEO expert, who says that the simple tactics that I employ have proven to increase our online reputation, Google Page Rank, and overall business success.
If I can do it, you can do it! Website design companies all over the world are utilizing these three ingredients to SEO on a constant basis and I would like to spread the wealth:
As a content writer, I feel passionately about this SEO tactic. In fact, I’ve probably belabored this concept in previous blogs, but it is critical to your online reputation. You’d be surprised to find out how many individuals DON’T employ this:
1- If you have content on your blog or website, don’t STEAL it!!!
This is like Junior High Literature 101. Don’t plagiarize or you will receive steep penalties. If you think that stealing content (verbatim!!) from your biggest competitor is a good idea, you are in for a rude awakening. Google, the almighty GOOGLE, will find your theft faster than Lindsay Lohan falls off the wagon……AGAIN!
2- Make sure your content is relevant
Reason would have it that a “web design” blog would be about…….web design! That’s relevant. Don’t confuse your readers with contradictory and unwarranted content. They aren’t looking for useless material and, further, will be driven to leave your site. Also, Google (ahh, yes, GOOGLE again!) possesses a little thing called “spiders.” When these spiders “crawl” the content of your website, they are particularly attracted to new and exciting content. The spiders have a memory better than….well……anything! They immediately “know” when material has been stolen and will punish you for this.
It’s real easy:
Write your own content. And, make sure it’s on topic.
Compliance to Web Standards
Google rewards any website that complies with the W3C web standards for search engine results (SERP’s). Imagine the W3C standards as the “law,” Google as “the fuzz,” and your website as “the law-abiding citizen.” So long as you follow the rules, you will get on just fine with Google. Alternatively, your inability to comply with the law might have you crying like a little girl in jail.
1- So, what are the W3C web standards and how can you follow them?
We are specifically concerned with the back end of your site. Or, shall I say Google is! The web development on your site must not be flooded with superfluous code that impedes the amount of content and in-bound links to your site. What I mean is, you aren’t going to trick Google with a Bible of html code. Make sure that the web development is balanced and done properly.
2- How can You be sure your html code is efficient?
So, you aren’t a brainy web developer. No biggie! You can easily run your html through a software like W3C Markup Validation Service. This will inform you of any erroneous back end material and nip Google penalizations in the butt.
The best way to boost your online reputation is to get in-bound links from other quality websites. Now, once again, relevancy is key. If you’re a dessert blogger, you want to find that fierce PR 7 cookie blog and make friends fast! This is going to tell Google, “Hey, the most popular kid on the block is talking to this new kid (ahem, you!).” Thus, reward is warranted.
1- Quality over quantity
While it’s certainly not going to hurt your online reputation to possess an abundance of in-bound links, we do want to scour the Internet for the good ones. What are the good ones? Well, PR level is a good indication of another site’s relative “power.” Let’s just say that having 10 in-bound links from PR8 and PR7 beats the heck out of 100 in-bound links from PR 0 sites. Ya’ dig?
At the end of the day, variation of PR links is also stellar for your reputation. It lets Google know that you have versatility.
Oh, and you can easily check a website’s PR by “Googling” page rank checker and submitting the website’s URL. Easy peasy!
2- Do-follow! NOT no-follow
No, I’m not speaking in tongues! Any SEO guru, or even any web designer or blogger, knows what I’m saying. Depending on the site you post comments on, the html code will either allow or disallow Google to follow in-bound links. You can find out whether a site is “do-follow” or “no-follow” by clicking “view page source” and searching the code for “nofollow” tags. If the site disallows Google to crawl, this isn’t going to be the most STUNNING link to receive. If, by chance, the PR7 site that you found DOESN’T have “nofollow” tags, you just got yourself a pretty sweet in-bound link and “shout out” to your website.
Hopefully now you understand some basic SEO principles and how attainable they are to practice.
And, once again – If I can do it, so too can you!!!!!