SEO, or search engine optimization, can be as complex and tricky as you allow it to become. While Google’s algorithms are complex and no single person can fully understand it, you can apply simple SEO basics to ensure most of your positive results from a small set of actions. In other words, while you can obsess micro-testing small details and have success, you can also be successful by adhering to a small number of best practices and use the rest of your time in other actions that will help you grow your business.
The problem with worrying too much about details is that you need to be constantly on the top of your game, up to the last detail. Every Google algorithm update will stress you out. By focusing only on the bigger picture, you can live worry free about such events.
Here follows a simple plan with five points which will bring you the most impact possible on your rankings without using questionable practices. Ricardo Basset, has reviewed it. Visit http://seo.hurricanewebdesign.com/vancouver-seo/ to look at his credentials.
1. Less Is More
Simplicity is key when it comes to site design, structure, and navigation. When a visitor first opens each page of your site, it should be immediately clear what your business is about. Information should be readily available.
Your personal brand should be visible, right on top. Your contact information should be easy to find in the page footer, plus a link to your contact page.
Your main pages should also be easy to find. Most sites offer a navigation bar. A full sitemap is also good for both your human visitors, as well as search engine crawling activity.
Interlinking inner pages is great practice as long as it is relevant. It facilitates navigation and also highlights your own content, which is also helpful with search engine activities.
Also, do not keyword-stuff your metadata fields! Simply be accurate and naturally describe your business.
2. Constant, Structured Updating
Having a blog is a great tool to keep your website updated. Not only that, but it also helps you promote your entire site through a proper content marketing plan by using classic formats, such as how-tos, top 5 lists, updates from your company, news from your industry, and anything else that is topically relevant for your business.
Once you have a clear vision of all those possibilities, map your blog categories and start writing to develop your own brand voice. SEO benefits will come once you start creating quality content, which is usually long (1,000+ words has become the new standard), as well as a good title and detailed information in your actual text. Publish new blog posts at least once or twice a week and add relevant images and video whenever possible.
The best articles you can write are the ones that answer a possible customer question, which is why how-tos and “what to do and when to do it” guides perform well. As customers search on Google for information on Google and you have published that exact answer, it increases your possibilities of capturing the interest of those customers to click on your site result. Not only this is effective, but it is also much more long-term thinking than simply optimizing for one specific keyword.
Growing your site’s authority necessarily means acquiring inbound links to your content and brand. Not all links are the same, though: they need to be relevant and non-spammy. Do this wrong, and you will be Penguin-slapped faster than you can conceive, which will only be harmful.
The first, and most efficient, step to acquire backlinks is to have great, quality content that anyone else would be thrilled and excited to share. When that is done, the bulkiest part of your “selling” is pre-done for you. Now, all you have to do is to show it to other journalists, authors, bloggers, and influencers, and some of them will do the linking and sharing for you as well. This will increase your search engine authority, as well as your credibility before humans. Guest blogging is also a great alternative and works very similarly as well.
4. Social Media
While this is a controversial point on whether or not social media activity works as a ranking on Google, the undeniable fact is that social media can work as additional entrance doors bringing you additional customers. Plus, you can share your backlinks in front of new people, which is a small SEO benefit by itself.
Claim your brand on the main social media platforms – Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Then syndicate your blog contents and share updates from other important players in your industry. Engage in comments and interact with others as well.
5. Get Good Local Reviews
If getting local customers is important for your business, then local directories such as Yelp and TripAdvisor are important, and good reviews on them are even more important. Claim your account in those places, verify all your information, and make sure everything in those profiles matches your website information down to all the dots in your Is and crosses in your Ts.
Also, encourage positive reviews from your customers. Do not bribe them, since that will get you banner on any serious platforms. However, if they are positively impressed by the quality of your work, do let them know that positive reviews are important connecting your business with new customers who are interested in getting a good service as well. You get more business activity, your future customers get a good service, and your current customers do a good deed for both sides.
The sixth, non-written rule, of this five-point plan is straightforward: consistency. Do all of these actions, and you will gradually increase your search engine presence, without worrying about search engine penalties.