SEO Guide For Digital Marketers

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seo-drawingMany people are looking to internet marketing to boost the sales of their company or increase their disposable income.  One of the most difficult aspects of marketing online is obtaining internet traffic.  Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most effective and cost effective way of getting traffic to your website.  This SEO guide will go over some of the most important things to keep in mind when trying to rank your site in Google.

Google uses an automated algorithm to decide what sites are most relevant to a given keyword search.  Part of this is based on the content of the page itself.  These are often referred to as “on page” factors.  However, since anyone can make unlimited modifications to their own site to manipulate the rankings, Google is much more heavily reliant on what other sites say about your site.  These are referred to as “off page” factors and are normally based on the number of links coming in to your site, the anchor text (text on the clickable link), and the “authority” of that site in Google’s eyes.

Now the most important thing to remember with SEO is that what looks natural to Google will serve you better over the long term.  There are a lot of “black hat” SEOs out there who will just spam a site with as many automated links that they can build and use mechanically generated “spun” content to try to get fast rankings.  This used to work quite well a decade ago, but the algorithm has advanced considerably.  One can use some of these techniques to get rapid results even today, but often they do not last.  If you want long term results, build your link profile slow and steadily so it does not look unusual.

Another very important point to take away from this SEO guide is that in the spirit of looking natural, you do not want all of your anchor text to be the same as the keywords you are targeting.  Google released an update called Penguin in 2012 that severely penalized this practice.  Now you want to use your exact keyword probably less than 10% of the time, and spread around the other anchor texts amongst random words, raw url links, and related key phrases.  The more natural it looks in your eyes, the more natural it will look to Google.

The quality of your link profile is much more important than the quantity.  What you want to do is find high Page Rank (PR) sites.  These have high authority in Google because a lot of people link to them and they have quality content.  However, sometimes you cannot depend on Page Rank alone since Google has not updated its algorithm in a while.  Using a site such as Open Site Explorer or Majestic SEO will allow you to look at the backlink profile and domain authority to get a better sense as to how powerful the link authority of the site is.

It is also very important to make sure the site you link from is relevant to the content of your site.  If you put up a link to a site about weight loss on a site that discusses the problems of nuclear terrorism, it will not be nearly as important if it was at a site that dealt with health, or even better, weight loss.  The more relevant the content on the page linked to your site, the better.

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When you build links, you want to build relevant contextual (in the main text, not sidebars) “do follow” links.  These are not easy to acquire on high PR sites, which is the reason they are so potent.  The best ways of getting these links is by buying them.  For example, you can approach the owner of a blog about allowing you do to a guest post with a link back to your site for a fee.

Any even more effective strategy is to buy existing websites with PR that the owners do not want any more.  Then you can post many links directly your self.  You are essentially building your own private blog network to rank your sites.  The most cost effective way to do this is to buy expiring domains that have a good incoming link profile.  Then quickly put up your own blog and start linking with good unique content on each page.

One page SEO is not nearly as important as off page.  However, if your on page SEO is flawed you can be seriously hindered in your ability to rank effectively.  Make sure that any keywords that you are targeting are in the url, the meta-title tag, and the meta-description tag of the page.  Also try to have it in an H1 header tag.  Keyword density on the page itself should be natural, or the page should be penalized.

The content on your site’s page should be good quality as well.  While some people use mechanically spun content, I do not recommend it.  The content should be at least 300 – 500 words and completely unique.  It should be good English as well.  This is not only for rankings, but to make your site look professional.

A couple other important content tricks will help you to rank.  The first is to embed Youtube videos and pictures in your blog.  Google owns Youtube and is rewarding those people who spread its content.  The pictures make the page appear more real and less spammy.  Finally, you are going to want to link out consistently at least once per page to a very high PR authority site such as Wikipedia.  This is because this is what normal website owners do, while overoptimized sites tend to never link out to preserve internal link juice.

This SEO guide is should give you a good understanding of the basics to building out a site that will rank for your targeted keywords.  By keeping the site looking natural and focusing your promotion efforts at high authority sites, you should be well ahead of most of your competitors.

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