5 Key Areas of SEO Practice for Beginners

23 June 2015
Published: By: Amy Honeywell



Content

When it comes to creating compelling content, it is important to remember that it plays two roles; providing information and increasing the pages search-ability. By researching popular keywords and phrases that could be used in your content, and writing about relevant, trending topics, you put yourself in a much better position to be found online. By regularly updating your content, you are constantly adding to the list of search options that apply to your website.

Links

Attitudes to linking have changed dramatically over the last few years. Having links to your site on other websites and blogs will seriously boost your rankings; however whereas in previous years you could purchase links by the thousand, this is now poorly regarded and could cause search engines to block your website.

Earning quality links takes time, however it really pays off when you have a hardcore group of followers. Identify your target audience and create content that will interest them; rather than sticking to articles, consider creating simple infographics to illustrate the points you are making, film a short video or integrate images into your work.

Share your content on social media sites as this will alert your connections to the content. By including an extra element to the content, for example photos or video, your page is more likely to be shared.

HTML

Understanding the importance of HTML title tags and meta descriptions is a huge step towards gaining a higher ranking on search engines. Having keyword, user targeted titles and descriptions is a must; they are user friendly, allowing readers to know what they are clicking on and are therefore less likely to leave the website promptly without looking at other pages (otherwise known as bounce-back).

Titles and descriptions have become more important as social media has become a prominent common platform across the world. If you want to access an audience on Facebook for example, meta details will only be included with the URL if there is explicit instruction to do so, and this is commonplace across the majority of social media sites.    

Architecture

There are some massive DO’s and DON’T’s when it comes to the layout of the text on your website, due to the fact that search engines such as Google ‘crawl’ through your content to determine where to place you in it’s rankings. Websites with more links, relevant keywords and a community of followers will be placed highly compared to those who don’t. By using engaging content, creating organic links and adding meta data to your posts, your website has the potential to climb the rankings.

However there are a series of techniques, known as ‘blackhat’ SEO, which misuse search engines’ optimisation techniques to unfairly push themselves into prime positions. This can include hiding keywords throughout the site, using images to cover a large number of keywords (also known as cloaking), or writing articles of no relevance to the site purely to bring in more viewers.

Google has put in place many systems to crack down on sites that are manipulating SEO tactics, and will shut down any that it feels are unfairly ranking highly.

Social

Social media is the common denominator for the majority of the world, therefore making it a powerful tool in terms of SEO. The key to reaping the benefits from the goldmine of two-billion potential viewers is reputation; your reputation but also the reputation of those who are sharing your site.

Having your own well regarded social media presence is important, but having those of a similar status share your links is equally if not more important. It allows completely new audiences to access your website, growing your community.

In order to grow your own social media presence, participate on relevant platforms in a real, authentic way; just as you would with your website or with customers in an offline setting. 




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