With Search Engines updating their algorithm regularly, SEO seems more and more complicated with each passing day. Ever heard of Panda or Penguin? Well, both of these are Google’s major Search Engine algorithm updates that have upset a lot of businesses overnight. With over 200 parameters being considered to determine the ranking of your page, the internet sure seems like a jungle where big predators are waiting to pin you down. Well, not quite the same but you get the point 🙂
In this post I will enlist a few rule of thumbs that you should keep in mind when devising your SEO strategy. I will update this post if the rules change but generally they can be applied any time.
- Create unique quality content that keeps your users engaged.
- Tidy up your website’s code
- DON’T get involved in any suspicious / ‘easy’ way to boost your Search Engine Rankings
- Make sure your page loads lightning fast.
- Make sure you have gone through all On page SEO taks in my check list
- Do not ‘inject’ too many advertisements into your content.
- Be realistic.
1. Create unique quality content that keeps your users engaged
With so much information available on internet, it is very important for you to keep your visitors engaged. A blog on your website with related articles can be very helpful to your website’s SEO. It matters how much of an expert you are on the subject you’ve chosen and your ability to produce quality engaging content will be acknowledged by Google and other search engines. Modern day Search Engines do not like hollow content and yes they can tell the difference between the content written by an expert or an outsourcing company that tailors keyword rich content to lure Search Engines’ robots. If you are good at something, then write about that topic yourself, otherwise don’t write at all. Be consistent with your publications and don’t expect miracles. Remember that SEO is a long term strategy and not an overnight miracle.
2. Tidy up your website’s code
It is important that your website’s html has been validated using a validator like http://validator.w3.org/. Invalid or erroneous code is a well known negative factor. If you are getting a custom website designed, make sure you communicate it to your designer during an early phase.
3. DO NOT get involved in any suspicious / ‘easy’ way to boost your Search Engine Rankings
This rule is supposed to cover any easy way out there. For instance, you see a dodgy blinking advert “Get PR9 backlinks” or “I will write 500 words article for you”. As much as you might be tempted to click those links, don’t even contemplate taking that path. Any modern day Search Engine’s algorithm is designed to get hold of businesses trying to manipulate the system by use of these services. Many domains have been penalized or completely removed from Search Engines for being a part of this.
If you think about it, it all makes sense. Just imagine being in business for 10 years and putting in all the hard work into your website, creating quality content, doing all the right things. Last thing you would want is to know that your business can be toppled by a bunch of newbies who know how to manipulate the system.
To find out more about how Google determines the quality of your content, follow the link below to google’s official webmaster blog:
4. Make sure your page loads lightning fast
While using content management systems to manage websites, I have witnessed a lot of people facing the same problem – their website becomes very slow after installing plugins. To find out how page load has an effect on your Search Engine Rankings have a look at this article. You can improve your website’s page load time by using firefox addons like Yslow or google’s Pagespeed insights – an online tool (also available as addons for firefox and chrome). Both these tools will show you/your developer how you can optimize your page to load faster. Gtmetrix.com is another good tool to test your website’s speed.
5. Go through my on page SEO checklist
I keep a thorough checklist for all on page seo tasks that you can utilize in order to optimize your website. This checklist is updated regularly by myself.
Your new website’s SEO is like a germinating seed. It takes time and depends on internal and external conditions of the seed. The seed in this case is your new website and external conditions are the links from other websites that affect your website. Likes / votes on social websites like facebook, pinterest, twitter, google plus can be seen as fertilizers that provide nutrition to your seed and makes sure it stays healthy.
6. Do not ‘inject’ too many advertisements into your content
You need to realize that it’s your visitors that add value to your website and not your sponsors or advertisers. Not only does having too many advertisements make your visitor’s experience bitter but it also gets noted by Search Engines’ robots.
7. Be Realistic
This is a very broad rule of thumb that can be applied to SEO in a lot of ways. You need to realize that you can not possibly be in the top five for a highly competitive keyword like “Lawyer in Melbourne” just a couple of weeks after the launch of your website and putting in ‘lot of effort’. For startup businesses, my advice has always been to target your market very precisely in the beginning. So for instance, if you build up your website around the service that you specialize in let’s say “Personal Injury claim lawyer Melbourne” you would see more results. Once your business starts picking up, you can always start moving towards a keyword that might benefit you more and you envisioned in your grand scheme.
If you apply these fundamentals of SEO to your new website, you will see some good results very quickly. Share your SEO experiences below as comments if you think they are going to be useful to other beginners.