Let’s get to the basics
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s a set of consistent strategies and techniques that is used by website owners to rank their page organically in the number one page of Google for a certain keyword.
Although this is a simple definition, it’s a lot more complicated than that because strategies vary and techniques vary and it takes a lot of effort.
SEO does not include Paid advertising. Paid advertising on Google’s ad platform Adwords is not included in SEO. If you spend thousands of dollars on ads, you can’t expect to see an increase in ranking of your web content. You might get traffic, but that traffic comes from the ad itself.
So how does Google rank your content?
Google ranks content based on various factors, this is a question that SEO experts have spent decades trying to figure out.
In simple terms, Google wants to serve relevant content to their users for their searches. So when people search for something like “How to fix a bulb”
Google will show the best content for that phrase, that gives exact details on how to fix a bulb. And they measure the impact and value of that article based on how many click through to that link and how long they spend there.
If a user clicks through to a link and leaves in seconds, they’ve clearly seen no value in that article. This sort of article will be demoted by Google. So Google measures user behaviour to understand the best content.
For every site to rank, there are a few things that website owners have to do. If they do these things, it makes it easier for Google to rank them.
Here are some SEO Must Do’s
Have a Top Level Domain
The truth is out. Although there are cool .io domains out there and it might be cool, cool doesn’t always rank well with Google. .com domains are still ranked way higher than any other domain. So if you are looking to buy a new domain, stick to .com.
Why does google do this? It’s because it’s the most common domain extension and they’ve noticed .com websites are more legitimate than the other extensions.
Age of the domain is also key. The older the domain, more the trust Google has towards it.
Setting a XML sitemap
A small but effective tool is the Google XML Sitemap. A sitemap is basically a structured version of your site that helps Google crawl your site in an easy way. Think of it as a bullet point list of your website that Google can use to understand what you offer.
Sitemaps are important not for ranking, but getting crawled quicker. This in turn helps with having your content delivered by Google more.
It’s a matter of presentation and the better presented you are, more the value.
Create regular fresh content
Ultimately Google wants to show the latest content to their users. For example, when a user searches ‘How to create a website’ and Google shows a result from 2013, it’s of no use to the user. A lot of things have changed in 5 years. To avoid this, Google focuses on showing relevant and updated content. So keep posting regular content and this will be lapped up by Google.
Guest Blog smartly
Many people think guest blogging is done. It’s not. Google will never penalize good quality content. What they do penalize is when you churn out bad quality content and link back to your site from not so good sources.
So when looking to guest blog, form relationships with top bloggers. Write quality content on those platforms and link back to your site. This way there will be a lot of value derived by the customer and at the same time a valuable backlink to your site.
Choose your guest blogging sites carefully.
Linking to top blogs
This is something that you can do easily and something that tells Google that your site is legitimate. If you read any editorial piece from top publications, you will see a generous amount of links to other blogs and other top quality websites.
Why do they do this?
They do this for two reasons. Who you link out to is important as well. Fraudulent or bad websites link to cheap product pages or not so legitimate sites and Google takes a not of this. You will never see a straits times linking to an unverified, illegitimate site. It’s the same with you. If you link to top quality publications, Google will consider your site to be reputable.
Social Signals are Important
All websites like Facebook, Youtube and Google are more intertwined than we think it is. This is because people post Youtube links of Facebook, Facebook links on Linkedin and so on. Social sites also bring a certain amount of credibility because of the accounts being verified.
So when you put content out, make sure your links go to Facebook, Twitter and you get links back from there and keep your profile updated.
Value, Value, Value
The ultimate objective of any business is provide value to their user in exchange for money. This is it. If you keep this principle in mind for your content marketing and SEO activities you are sure to succeed.
When you put a content post, don’t write for the sake of writing. Write for the sake of engaging and providing value. When a user benefits from your content, they share it, they link to it and they spend a lot of time on your site.
This is exactly what Google is linking for. It’s not about writing 2000 word posts that nobody will read.
Check out this case study on how we generate million in sales for this Singapore company
Read also: Cost of Doing PROPER SEO in Singapore