SEO Cornerstones

Some dos and don’ts to follow in SEO techniques. Remember the cardinal rule: Content is king.

CONTENT – Do

  • Quality well-written content your visitors want to read.
  • Keywords / phrases people are actually searching for. There are tools and techniques to determine these.
  • Keywords / phrases you want to be found by.
  • Fresh, changing content and trending topics and terminology.
  • Verticals, when relevant; maps, local references, images, news, shopping, video, etc. Seek being featured by Google in special sections or “oneboxes.”

Don’t use thin / shallow content that lacks substance.

STRUCTURE – Do

  • Easily crawlable content. No obfuscated links (javascript, flash). Use robots.txt and sitemaps.
  • Manage duplicate content. With complex ecommerce platforms or data-driven content management systems, multiple urls can display the same info. If applicable, it’s important to manage url parameters and pagination strategies, use 301 redirects, and rel=canonical tags.
  • Mobile friendly. Test with Google’s tool.
  • Speed; Optimize site load time.
  • Meaningful keywords in URLs.
  • Secure; Use HTTPS when possible.

Don’t use cloaking – trying to trick search engines by serving them hidden text or different content than visitors see. No clickbait.

KEYWORDS and PHRASES – Do

  • Keywords in title tags.
  • Use meta description effectively so it reads well in search results and contains keywords relevant to content.
  • Use structured data markup to be eligible for Google features: Enhanced presentation in search results, and Answers from Knowledge Graph. This gets complicated, to learn more, research structured data schema.
  • Relevant keywords in header tags.

No stuffing; Don’t over use keywords. No hiding keywords with colors or css.

HTML – Do

  • Easily crawlable content. No obfuscated links (javascript, flash). Use robots.txt and sitemaps.
  • Manage duplicate content. With complex ecommerce platforms or data-driven content management systems, multiple urls can display the same info. If applicable, it’s important to manage url parameters and pagination strategies, use 301 redirects, and rel=canonical tags.
  • Mobile friendly. Test with Google’s tool.
  • Speed; Optimize site load time.
  • Meaningful keywords in URLs.
  • Secure; Use HTTPS when possible.

Don’t use cloaking – trying to trick search engines by serving them hidden text or different content than visitors see. No clickbait.

TRUST – Do

  • Authority; Seek links and shares from trusted authorities.
  • Engagement; Minimize bounce rate, maximize visitor time on site.
  • History; Preserve domains and operation style over time.

Don’t copy and use pirated content. Avoid getting flagged. Don’t be too ad-heavy, especially above the fold.

LINKS – Do

  • Quality; Similar to trust authority. Seek links from reputable sites.
  • Descriptive link text; Don’t make links say “click here,” use relevant keywords in the links. Use keywords you want to be found by.
  • Seek back links from many different sites, not many from one. A ton of links all from one domain isn’t nearly as effective as one link from many different domains.

Do not buy back links just to get links to your site. Do not spam your links to blogs or wherever you can spread them. You only want intentional links from trusted sites where the visitors will choose to click because they want the info and actually appreciate what they find when they get to you.

Do use

  • Easily crawlable content. No obfuscated links (javascript, flash). Use robots.txt and sitemaps.
  • Manage duplicate content. With complex ecommerce platforms or data-driven content management systems, multiple urls can display the same info. If applicable, it’s important to manage url parameters and pagination strategies, use 301 redirects, and rel=canonical tags.
  • Mobile friendly. Test with Google’s tool.
  • Speed; Optimize site load time.
  • Meaningful keywords in URLs.
  • Secure; Use HTTPS when possible.

Don’t use cloaking – trying to trick search engines by serving them hidden text or different content than visitors see. No clickbait.

[toggle_content heading=”HTML”]

  • [+3] Keywords in title tags.
  • [+2] Use meta description effectively so it reads well in search results and contains keywords relevant to content.
  • [+2] Use structured data markup to be eligible for Google features: Enhanced presentation in search results, and Answers from Knowledge Graph. This gets complicated, to learn more, research structured data schema.
  • [+1] Relevant keywords in header tags.
  • [-2] Stuffing; Don’t over use keywords.
  • [-1] Hiding keywords with colors or css.

[/toggle_content]

[toggle_content heading=”TRUST”]

  • [+3] Authority; Seek links and shares from trusted authorities.
  • [+2] Engagement; Minimize bounce rate, maximize visitor time on site.
  • [+2] History; Preserve domains and operation style over time.
  • [-1] Pirated content. Avoid getting flagged.
  • [-1] Too ad-heavy, especially above the fold.

[/toggle_content]

[toggle_content heading=”LINKS”]

  • [+3] Quality; Similar to trust authority. Seek links from reputable sites.
  • [+2] Link text; Don’t make links say “click here,” use relevant keywords in the links. Use keywords you want to be found by.
  • [+1] Seek links from many different sites, not many from one. A ton of links all from one domain isn’t nearly as effective as one link from many different domains.
  • [-3] Do not buy links just to get links. Do not spam your links to blogs or wherever you can spread them. You only want intentional links from trusted sites where the visitors will choose to click because they want the info and actually appreciate what they find when they get to you.

[/toggle_content]

[toggle_content heading=”PERSONAL”]

  • [+3] Locality; Especially when your products/services market best to your geographical area, use locally recognizable names and terms. Internationally, use terms unique to the country if applicable (football / soccer)
  • [+3] History; Use content and features that bring repeat visits. Regular visits and social shares are worth points, and lead to suggestions by search engines, ad platforms, social suggestions, etc.

[/toggle_content]

[toggle_content heading=”SOCIAL”]

  • [+2] Reputation; Do respected, popular social networkers share your content?
  • [+1] Shares; Do many people share your content on social networks?

[/toggle_content]

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