Matthew Gates 9m 1,417
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Techniques For Newswire SEO
When it comes to visitors and search engines, you must figure out what both want. While your site should mostly be geared towards attracting visitors, it must also appeal to search engines. Your content must be relevant to what a user is looking for so when you are designing a website, your site must be directed at catering to the visitor. On the other hand, you must also use common sense techniques in order for search engines to recognize your website.
If you were searching for a website, what would you be looking for? What do you expect to see when you click the link? Relevant answers to your search. If you type in “How to make an Israeli salad”, you expect to see a recipe for it. If you clicked the link and saw something that was not related, you would leave because any other result displayed would likely not be of interest to you. The website is unrelated and a waste of your time.
If you clicked and found what you were looking for, but you wanted a different recipe, and then went to the second link and saw the same exact recipe as the first link, your search result is irrelevant, because it does not offer you anything but an exact copycat of the first link. Google and other search engines are always working to ensure that you get a variety of relevant results that are not identical, rather than the same one for the first ten results on the front page.
How do you get picked up by search engines? Write quality content. Write simple enough to get your point across. You have about 3 to 4 seconds to capture the attention of the average person before they click the X on the top right or left and leave your website forever. In order to get noticed by search engines and still attract visitors, you must use some common sense techniques that make sense. If you were the human being in charge of displaying websites, what type of websites would you choose to display?
When it comes to visitors, the majority of visitors will probably not be interested for long. Accept that and focus on the ones who will be interested in your website. Write to your heart is content but make it worth reading. Write for yourself and write for others. When you are done writing, walk away for a few hours and come back. Read again what you just wrote. Does it interest you? You will catch mistakes and paragraphs that probably seem excess. Get straight to the point. Use the strong tag to point out sentences or paragraphs that are the primary focus of your article that are most important. When it comes to your website, write for visitors, not for search engines.
When it comes to search engines, focus your content on keywords. Bold those keywords, relevant to whatever topic you are writing about. Ensure that your content is unique content not copied from elsewhere. You may get ideas and influence from anywhere else, but you must never copy word for word, unless you give credit where its due.
There are plenty of ways your website can appeal to search engines and visitors alike. Here are 25 efficient ways to improve your SEO using these newswire techniques.
- Update your site at least once a week with fresh new content (especially blogs). If your site is static and unchanging, dedicate at least one page on it to ever-changing content.
- Make sure that your site is using an H1 headline tag and if possible, use an H2 sub-headline tag.
- Capitalize case everything within your H1 tag — all caps is discouraged.
- Your H1 tag and your Title tag should be identical or closely related.
- Make sure your content has been through a spell check and there are no mistakes.
- Ensure that you have the proper META Description. While you can still use the meta tag for keywords, the feature is technically obsolete, but there are still search engines that use them to determine the type of content on the page and match it to the actual content on the page.
- If you are not using a Content Management System for your site, make sure that all of your HTML pages are named according to what is on the page in the title, headline, and the url. (i.e. about.html, company.html, etc.).
If you are using a Content Management System, make sure your URLs are formatted to be readable by humans.
- Make sure all your image names are not numbers or generically titled such as “DSC_1234.jpg” or “IMG_5678.jpg”, but rather, name them according to what is in the picture.
- Do not use spaces, underscores, or weird characters including periods in your file names. Use dashes (my-favorite-image.jpg) instead.
- Keep all your filenames lowercase.
- Optimize your images using a site like Image Optimizer, Smush.It, or Pixlr which helps to keep file sizes down while hardly reducing any of the image quality, so your webpage will load faster.
- Ensure that all Title and Alt tags are filled out and contain information relevant to the image or link.
- Title attribute goes in the link, alt attribute goes in the image.
- Check your page speed to see what is draining resources or causing it to slow down using Pingdom, GT Metrix, and Google Page Speed.
- Get familiar with the major Social Media websites. Link to a Facebook Page, Twitter Page, LinkedIn Page, or and any other Social Media sites. If possible, include a Like, Tweet button, or other Social Media buttons on the page.
- Use STRONG and EM tags over BOLD (B) and ITALIC (I) tags.
- To keep people on your site, always use target=”_blank” when using external links. You never want to direct people away from your site for too long.
- If you are linking to a YouTube video, try to embed it on your site. You never want to direct someone’s attention away from your site.
- DO NOT FEAR WHITE SPACE. Become a minimalist. Many websites may tend to throw everything on the front page right away hoping everything grabs the visitor’s attention, but often times, it just ends up being overwhelming. Use the front page as an information teaser to get a visitor’s attention. Your site should have good colors and should be easy for anyone’s eyes to scan and focus on anything seen on the page, especially content.
- Make sure you are using the Google Analytics tracking code on all your web pages. It is free, so sign up for it! It will take about a week up to a month after you have released your site to the public, optimized it for search engines, and advertised it through Social Media to understand how well your site is doing. Google Analytics will help you gather all the information you need about your visitors. It will tell you where visitors are coming from, how long they are staying, which pages they are visiting, and how much time they spend on those specific pages, where they are from, what browser they are using, and much more. While you’re at it, sign up for Google Webmaster Tools which will help optimize your site even more and also understand more about your site providing you with more information that Google Analytics may not provide.
- While everyone wants to earn PageRank, it is best practice to rel=”nofollow” every link.
Some of these SEO tips may not match the current search engine algorithm or have been unproven to be effective. However, they do make the most sense whether you are a visitor or a search engine robot.
If you think of your website as your business or your store, the SEO is the detail-oriented interior design. What would you hang on the wall? What colors would choose for the walls? How would you use the space of your building? What would your employees wear? How would you dress? What about the lights? After you have done everything, an inspector will come in to investigate and give you a score based on the appearance and flow of the store.
These techniques are common sense and easy to implement but are often overlooked. Using them will organize your site and help visitors and search engines to navigate.
If you have any techniques that you are using that are common sense, feel free to add to the comments section!