For most people, search engine optimization (or SEO) can seem like some secret art that only a select few “hackers” and digital experts can understand. In reality, SEO can be practiced by anyone, regardless of your technical expertise or understanding.
Effective SEO requires a lot of common sense and you can really improve the search rankings of your website by following a few simple rules and executing on them properly. If you follow these rules (even if you don’t understand why you are doing them at first) you will gradually see your website climbing in the search rankings.
My name is Tim Stoddart. I am the owner of Stodzy Media. Today, I will guide you through the key points that will undoubtedly get you started on your SEO journey
Let’s get started
Create Valuable, Well Written Content
Writers will always have a job in the SEO world. To be able to create well written, long form content is such a sought after skill. I can personally attest to the fact that I am always looking for skilled writers to hire.
Now, being a good writer is different than being a good SEO writer. There are a few guidelines you need to understand. When creating new pages, be sure to have a specific point to each page. Think of search phrase you may want to get picked up for, and write the best content possible that will be helpful to someone searching that query in Google. Be specific.
Remember, in order for Google to understand what your website is about, it needs to see the words. Google literally “crawls” the words on the page to get an understanding as to what it should rank or index that page for.
If you can write valuable content, you are well on your way.
Build Cornerstone Pages
Your cornerstone pages should lay the foundation for the rest of your site. These pages should be designated for your hardest keywords.
As an example, the services pages are the cornerstone pages for this site. Simply because these are the most valuable keywords and they are the search terms that I want to spend the most time on. Use the rest of the site to funnel rankings to these pages.
So let’s say for example we want to rank Near Source for the search phrase “website design and development” then we would write the content for that page and make that page foundational, which means that it links out to other pages.
Being picked up for that search phrase is very important but also very difficult because of the stiff competition. So, we offset that competition by making it a corner stone page. This tells Google that it is important. For instance, we link this page on the navigation bar. This makes it easy for Google to see and index.
Get Back links and Don’t Stop
Back links are the number one factor in Google’s ranking algorithm. Getting back links is hard.
There is no secret to getting back links. It’s all about hustle. You need to network, do guest blogging, reach out to other sites and find something you can do in exchange for a valuable link. This is the creme of the crop so spend time on it.
I know what you’re thinking… “what’s a back link?”
Simply put, a back link is a link on someone else’s website that links back to your website. Getting links on other people’s sites serves two purposes. For one, it is a way to bring in referral traffic to your site. If someone clicks on that link and lands on your website, obviously that is another user checking out your business that may not have been there before.
But more importantly, Google sees these back links and incorporates them into it’s ranking factors. Remember when we used to write reports in school and we had to source our information? Back links are very similar. You can source your information through back links. So if people are “sourcing you” that tells Google that you are providing great information.
Create great content and get great back links. It will really pay off.
Do This Consistently
SEO is a long game. However, the difference between being ranked number 1 and being ranked number 5 is drastic.
Google really wants you to earn your keep. In order to be seen as an “authority” by Google, you have to become an authority. You can’t build a website and write some pages and expect to be rankings over night. You need to be constantly improving and working on your website.
SEO is simple, but it is not always easy. You need to build relationships for back links, you need to be researching new topics to blog about, you need to be improving on your content and staying relevant with the times.
However, keep in mind that search traffic is the most valuable because it is relevant. People go to Google to solve problems, and if you can be the best solution to a person’s problem, they are going to pay you to do so.
If you can rank in the search engines, your business will change over night. You can double or even triple your revenue. Sometimes you can grow ten times.
As I said, the rewards are great. So stay patient, stay diligent and continue to work at it. It will be worth it.