by Randall CraigFiled in: Blog, Blogging, Social Media
There is no shortage of “experts” living in the dank underworld of the business called “SEO”, or Search Engine Optimization. This is the black art of finding ways to make your web site, Social Media profile, blog, and other web properties appear at the top of the Google organic search results.
While there may be many who are ethical, and many others who believe that they are providing an important service to their (ignorant and stupid) clients, SEO is something that should be built-in and happen naturally. With just a very few basics, it is amazingly easy to make a difference to your search engine ranking. Here are five tips:
1) Keywords: Make sure that you know what keywords your target audience will use when searching for you. This is available through Google Analytics (if installed in your site), by using traditional market research… or by guessing. Ensure that these keywords are embedded throughout the regular text of your site or profile – but don’t overdo it: stuffing keywords will only penalize you. Here’s a simple rule of thumb: write for people, not for search engines, otherwise Google will penalize you – and you will alienate anyone who eventually gets to your site.
2) Graphics: Name each graphic (or video) a relevant name, and use ALT tags to provide additional data for Google to index.
3) Page Title: Instead of an identical page title on every page, name each page uniquely, based on its content. This can be automated in your blog and web site, but is usually pre-programmed within Social Media sites.
4) Meta tags: These are invisible tags within the web page that gives the search engine additional clues to the page’s relevance. The most common tags are Keywords and Description; both can be filled out within most blog software and web sites.
5) Relevant inbound links: The more inbound links from credible sites, the more likely Google will see your site as being… credible.
This week’s action plan: Surprisingly, these tips are equally important when it comes to being relevant to people in the real world. Whenever you are writing, presenting, or just talking to your colleagues, use relevant-to-them keywords and graphics that are well-labelled. Organize your thinking – and label it – using chapter names/titles/subtitles. Summarize it (meta data), and make sure that it is referenced by other important sources. It is surprisingly easy to be smarter than Google in the real-world, using the same common sense that Google uses online.
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