The SEO world really took on a new face in 2012. It’s back to the SEO basics in 2013. The SEO shortcuts have all but vanished, and for the better. While you should definitely pickup your social interaction and promotion, there are some simple SEO basics that you should not neglect.
On Page SEO
Title – The next most important thing after content. Gosh, I see a lot of silly titles. If you’re serious about your blog and site take the time to come up with a solid title for each post you publish. Should you write for Google search? Absolutely not, but if you can tweak a title after doing a quick keyword search that has more appeal, then make the change.
For this post, I initially came up with “SEO 2013: Keep it Simple this year Bloggers” but discovered the data below after a Google Keyword search.
Well 140 and 12 with High competition didn’t sound like a winner. While the search numbers should increase since it is so early in the year, the High competition would only get more challenging. Then I saw the results below. A much better chance of getting some search results. Changed from “SEO 2013” to “SEO Basics” and presto the success rate chances just increased dramatically.
Keep Title under 70 Characters in length
Keywords should be closer to the front of the title tag. In this case the keywords “SEO Basics” were in front
Keywords – You want to use your keywords near the top of the page, and at least 2-3 times in the body. Don’t force it. If you feel like you’re having trouble fitting them in then they’re probably not the best keywords for your piece.
Your keywords should also be placed in the alt attribute of an image on the page at least once. This helps with both your site and image search.
Meta Description – The meta description does not get used by Google for rankings, but you’ll see it in the results page under the title. It’s basically a quick summary of what the article is about.
The meta description length should be in the 135-155 character range, while not exceeding 155 characters
Meta Keywords – I don’t know how to break this to you, but meta keywords really don’t have any value all. While the meta description at least serves as a snippet under the title in search, the meta keywords just show up as tags under your post. Just sitting there with no worth.
Until SEO is officially dead, linking is still an important part of your Google rankings. You should get into the habit of at least one link to another post or other content on your site. This does help for SEO, and you’re giving your readers additional content similar to the what they’re enjoying in the current piece. Without a link, chances are they will not navigate to related information. Take a couple of extra minutes on each post to incorporate this method.
Back Linking is a more complicated endeavor. The spirit of back linking is for someone to love your article and then to link to your article from their site. It’s suppose to be a natural process. Google sees it as big positive when someone links to your site, well except when that site is spammy. That can hurt you, and you have limited control when that happens.
So what do most of us do? We comment on blogs, which provides a link providing it is dofollow. We guest post, which generally provides a link from the bio box from the other site. I write on a few other sites and my link is on those sites, but is that the spirit of back link? Some of us do article marketing where we write on an Ezine or Squidoo for example, and link back to our site. One can definitely question the merits of the article marketing method, as it sort of a manipulation of the system. While article marketing takes time and effort, I could definitely see it being on Google’s list to clean up search. Stick with commenting, because you can build rapport with someone by adding to their site. The back link is gravy. Google can’t take away the connection you’ve made with others.
It might be the last section of this post, but it’s first when it comes to SEO Basics. Without content all of the other stuff doesn’t matter. The search engines can’t find white space. If you only want to write when you have something to say, that’s fine, but it’s not good for SEO. It’s not good for getting your name and brand out to the world. The more solid the content, not epic, you can produce, the better your results will be… Period.
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