Search engine optimization is a tricky thing. If done wrong, it can seem like the snake oil of the 21st century. But if done right, it can make a huge difference in the success of any online business. Interested in search & social marketing? Let’s be friends. Contact me
SEO Ranking Factors
Lots of different elements factor into Google’s search algorithm. No one knows for sure what the algorithm says, but we have a pretty good idea. Here is a brief list of things that can affect your site’s search rankings.
Content always comes first. What does your site offer its visitors? Is it all text and blog content? Videos, photos, games? Identify your site’s contribution and focus your efforts there first.
- Quality ― Pages should be well-written & contain substantial quality content.
- Accuracy ― Targeted keywords should be researched and planned.
- Keywords ― Pages should use the keywords & phrases you hope they’ll be found for.
- Engagement ― Users should spend time on your pages, not “bounce” away quickly.
- Freshness ― Content should be fresh, updated regularly & about “hot” topics.
The second set of SEO ranking factors are technical and relate to your site’s HTML code. Any quality content management system should have these features built right in.
- Titles ― HTML titles must contain keywords relevant to page topics.
- Descriptions ― Your website and pages must load quickly!
- Headings ― URLs should be short and contain keywords meaningful to page topics.
- Crawling ― Search engines must be able to “crawl” your site.
- Speed ― Site should load as quickly as possible.
- URLs ― Should be short & must contain relevant keywords.
- Quality ― Links to your pages should come from trusted, quality sites.
- Text ― In-bound links should use keywords in their link text.
- Number ― The more sites & pages that link to your site, the better.
- Reputation ― Your content should be shared by respected social sources.
- Shares ― Your content should be shared widely across social networks.
- Authority ― In-bound links & shares should make your site an authority.
- History ― Your site should be old & well-established, operating the same way.
- Country ― Your site should be relevant to searchers’ country of origin.
- Locality ― Your site should be relevant to searchers’ city or area.
- History ― Users should visit your site regularly or have “liked” it.
- Social ― Users’ friends should visit and/or like your site.
Putting it all together
Combining all the factors above requires the right tools, acquired skill, and lots of patience. I’ve been successful at promoting and ranking dozens of websites, big and small. Google is a vengeful god. It smites as many as it saves. There are plenty of “black hat” techniques in the world. Any good SEO knows how to avoid them and remain in Google’s good graces.
Further reading on SEO & social media
- SEO Basics – Resources & guides to learning SEO
- “TJ Kelly” ― My Google Identity, published on October 29, 2009
- Twitter’s SEO Mistake, published on June 1, 2009
- Is DiggBar an SEO-killer?, published on April 6, 2009
Do you need help with SEO or social media? I can help. Contact me