Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Introduction
Before you begin to improve your SEO you first need to establish why your site is not ranking well in Google and the other major search engines, Bing & Yahoo, then you can make changes to the right elements of your web design and content.
In order to fix or improve your rankings, first you need to be certain which of Google’s two significant recent updates has caused the problem. Large traffic drops on or near the 24th April 2012 indicate that the Google Penguin algorithm has penalized your linking profile.
Most website owner who are hit by Penguin see their exact match search terms hit hardest because they are dominate the websites back-link anchor text. The free back-link analysis tool at majesticseo.com will show you the keywords being used in your back-links.
SEO Linking Profile
The Google Penguin algorithm requires text link density of less than 5%. It is advisable to reduce the volume of keyword rich anchor text links. Replace them with Brand links, URL based links and ‘junk’ links.
Your registered company name is ideal for a Brand link. Your URL links should be a wide selection of different permutations of your URL.
Getting links from various IP addresses is very important for good rankings. The best back-links come from sites with similar themes to your website. You should only build links from sites with a good trust score.
Link from pages that have links pointing to them are more powerful than unlinked to pages. Links on pages that themselves have established back-links are the best links to get.
Google and Automated Link Networks
Don’t use automated link networks to generate new links because the quality of those links will not be high quality. Google penalize sites it finds using link networks.
If you are caught using a link network then it will make no difference how good your web design is, or how high quality your content is, all your internet marketing efforts, Twitter and Facebook marketing, and even your pay per click Adwords campaigns will be negatively affected.
Back links are still hugely important for search engine optimization as they provide the relevance, trust, and authority that Google uses to position your site in its results. The nature of those links has however changed enormously.
If you want to learn how to build high quality links for yourselves then a good starting point is an online SEO course which will teach you everything you need to know to stay Google friendly and comply with search engines requirements.
On-Page SEO for Panda
Don’t go mad with your page content keyword density, less is actually more for the new Panda algorithm so aim for around 2%. An external link from your content to a .gov or .edu authority site is a good SEO factor.
Most web masters make the mistake of over using their most important keywords in the content and this is the number one reason for ranking badly. Less really is more so keep your web design clean and don’t overuse your keywords.
Your Web Content for Optimisation
The information on your site should all be unique to you, well written and of only the highest quality. It is currently Google ‘best SEO practice’ to link from inside your site content using phrases in the text to other information pages on your site or to external ‘authority’ domains.
Use of Images and Photo’s
A good video will drastically boost the time that visitors spend consuming your site content, which in turn will aid your SEO. You should also use photo’s to make your site content more visually appealing and to break large areas of text into smaller more readable sections.
Use different variations of search terms you want to rank for in the alt text image descriptions behind your content images.
By assessing the ‘reading age’ of your content, Google can establish if a child or a graduate has written it. You should get in the habit of spell checking everything you publish so it is of the highest quality.
It is recommended to write as much or little as you need to to get your message across. That being said, our evidence is that above 500 words, your content will have extra weight in search.
Always write for your readers, not for Google. If you write for search engines, you will get traffic, but that traffic won’t appreciate your content very much, so won’t stay very long on your site to read it.
Word association is used by Google to understand your content. Latent Semantic Indexing is employed to associate the words within your content. Google knows that certain words relate to the same topic and can assimilate them together.
How to Use Metatags
You must add bespoke meta data tags to each page of your site. If pages have the same meta-tags on several pages then you will be penalized in SERP’s.
The click through rate from SERP’s to your site can be improved by writing teaser meta description tags. Use your meta description tags to inspire more clicks and improve your sites user engagement metrics.
There are many SEO tutorials online which will cover much of this in greater detail, but if you want to know exactly what you should be doing to rank well for specific terms, without upsetting Google in the process, read what Dave Holland MD of Deeho Limited has to say about how to rank in Google in 2016/7 and beyond;
Google measures the content load speed of all the websites in its index. If your site loads too slowly then you will be demoted in Google’s results. Your website bounce rate measures the amount of traffic that leaves your website straightaway. The lower you can get this number the better, but the highest your bounce rate can be for top rankings is 55%.
Visitor Page Views
Increasing the number of pages that your visitors look at is a good way of increasing the quality score for your website content. Getting your targeted traffic to click through to a second or third page on your site is beneficial for your search engine rankings.
The average time visitors spend on your site is an important metric for your quality score. The longer people spend on your web site, the better your rankings will be.