Although I don’t offer search engine optimization (SEO) services, I have always tried to incorporate good SEO practices into the websites and blog posts I create. The concepts I’ve learned through observation have worked well for my clients and me over the years, even without formal SEO training.
It’s no secret that things have changed dramatically over the last few years. Google’s Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird and other updates have had a huge impact on some websites’ search engine ranking.
To make sure I wasn’t overlooking anything important, I recently completed a Basics of SEO Webinar Series taught by Rebecca Gill. It was packed with valuable information and tips, but it all boiled down to one thing.
Since Google’s priority is to keep users happy by displaying relevant links in the search results, we should focus on publishing high quality content that meets the needs of real people. Haven’t I always said that providing good content will do much more for you than trying to manipulate the search engines?
Here’s the SEO Formula which Rebecca has followed for the last ten years:
- Research keywords
- Map keywords to content
- Write content
- Optimize content
- Build internal links
- Build social shares
- Build off-site authority
- Check ranking progress
- Optimize further
- Document and repeat success
Steps 1, 2 and 10 are the most important. In fact, Rebecca stated that skipping over the first two is the most common reason for failure!
Keep in mind, however, that keyword optimization isn’t about loading up your content and metatags with keywords.
You do not have to place your keywords word-for-word in the content… Google is no longer trying to match the keywords you type into its search engine to the keywords of a web page. Instead, it’s trying to understand the intent behind the keywords you type so it can match that intent to relevant, high-quality content.
Hubspot, 17 SEO Myths to Leave Behind in 2016
Although the first webinar confirmed much of what I already knew, it also opened my eyes to what I didn’t know as well as things I could be doing better. I’m looking forward to reviewing my notes, trying out some new SEO tools and strategies, and sharing them with you in future posts.
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