Quality Shareable Content is Important for SEO

Quality Shareable Content is Important for SEO

Shareable content is a great byproduct of any effective content strategy, this same content is also great for your SEO. Shareable content impacts key off-site signals that are crucial to improving your organic search ranking, including backlinks, customer engagement, and brand awareness.

We all know that shareable content is good for your online marketing efforts but what constitutes sharable content and how can brands create shareable content?

Creating shareable content, or potentially viral content is typically a well-planned effort that requires planning and strategic content development. In this article, we’ll discuss why shareable content is good for your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.

Here are three reasons why sharable content is good for your SEO strategy:

Increase in backlinks  –  

A couple years ago, Google disclosed that backlinks (links from other external domains) are one of their top ranking factors. These days, backlinks (aka external links) are still among the top correlated ranking factors for organic search. 

Having shareable content increases the likelihood of gaining external links from other sites. Creating high-quality, engaging content is the backbone of any good link building strategy. 

Increase in brand awareness  –  

Brand awareness is another byproduct of having shareable content and by having more individuals see your content. This can increase repeat visitors to your website and increase trust with your brand.

Google understands the percentage of branded and non-branded queries that users use to find your site (they have referral query data in Google Search Console). Having a stronger, more reputable brand can increase your visibility in search results and drive more organic search visits.

Increase in in engagement  –

As one of the goals of any SEO strategy, driving engagement with your target audience can lead to more conversions and interactions with your brand. User engagement signals and user experience have become more important over the years for organic search ranking.

Particularly with user experience, Google has had algorithm updates over the past few years prioritizing site speed, mobile friendliness and intrusive pop-ups hindering user experience.

There’s also a known correlation between click-through-rate (CTR) and better ranking in organic search. Google can understand the “long click” versus “short click” from search results and prioritize results with “long click,” knowing users are interacting more with that particular piece of content.

How to discover shareable content topics?

Now we know why shareable content is so important, the big question is how do we discover shareable content topics? There are a few ways to research and plan new topics that are already popular to inspire your shareable content creation.

Social listening

Using social listening can help determine what kind of content your target audience is interested in seeing what’s being shared and liked on social channels. This includes researching your social profiles as well as competitors to analyze user behavior.

Third-party tools

Using third-party tools to see what is popular within a particular niche can be helpful. For example, searching in Buzzsumo will show the most shared and popular pieces of content for a particular subject.

Competitive insights

Ahrefs is also a useful tool to see what content is most popular with your competitors. This can be used for specific ‘how-to’ and expert advice articles are among the most shared and linked pieces of content across a site.

Conclusion

Wrapping up, shareable content is important for improving organic search signals and should be part of any SEO strategy. Shareable content can impact your search engine optimization strategy by:

  1. Increasing backlinks
  2. Increasing brand awareness
  3. Increasing brand awareness

Discovering content ideas for shareable content starts with understanding your audience and what’s popular within your niche. Use third-party tools, such as Buzzsumo or Ahrefs, to find popular content within your target market or topic.

For more information visit our section Sharable Authoritative Content

Contact us for a Free Consultation and see what we can do to grow your business today.

Citations and Business Directory Listings are Local Search Rank Factor

Citations and Business Directory Listings are Local Search Rank Factor

Citations and business directory listings continue to be one of the easiest and straightforward tactics to get links pointing back to your local business and NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) data online where search engines can find and verify your locations. These citations are still crucial because links and NAP from reputable and trusted websites contribute to how you rank in local search results.

With both Voice Search and Near Me Search on the rise, it’s critical that your local business have citations and business listings on online directories that help search engines like Google provide accurate this-is-what-you’re-looking-for-close-to-you local search results.  The latest MOZ Local Search Ranking Factors puts Citations as the #4 ranking factor for Local Pack results, and #5 for Localized Organic Ranking.  A study by BrightLocal found that Local SEO’s used “Citation Building” as their #1 tactic for growing backlinks to support their search engine optimization.

Why Citations and Business Directory Listings are Important in Local Search

Your business listing and local citation matter to search engines like Google, so they should be extremely important to you. Citations and business directory listings make your business visible online and the more quality listings you create, the better chance you have of customers finding you through online searches – both on search engines and industry or location specific websites.

Unlike earning backlinks from other websites when link building, citations and business listings don’t need to contain an actual link back to your website to matter. Search engines are citations in the context of confirming that your business is, in fact, a legitimate company and should be recognized, and even promoted, as such.

You know the amazing growth your business can see when you rank high in local search results.  Topping local search results where new customers will find you is highly dependent on search engines being able to confirm you’re correct contact information and properly categorize your business. Managing your business listings is not something you risk leaving undone or haphazardly maintained.

Don’t have a fancy, optimized website or a blog attracting thousands of new visitors every month?  Lacking a strong online presence for your business, search engines are going to pull whatever information they can find on the internet. Google My Business Optimization, Reviews Monitoring, and Listing Management are crucial to your growth in the local market.

Managing your Google My Business account, gathering five-star ratings and interacting with customers on review sites, and accurate citations and business listings on well-established sites like chambers of commerce and business association pages help create a positive online presence that a search engine can trust and use on its results pages.

Citations and Business Directory Listings are Your Online Business Cards

If you care about ranking in local search results (if you have local customers you really, really do) then business listings are the foundation of your local digital marketing campaign. When NAP or business listings are inconsistent, or you fail to manage their creation and maintenance, you may find that any other local search marketing efforts are a waste of time.  Spiders are ever crawling the Web looking for new data to store and confirm to use in cross-referencing and extraction for search results. For you to be indexed as a local business listing there are four criteria that search engines require:

A Business Name – or DBA
A Local Phone Number – no toll-free or call tracking numbers
A Physical Street Address – no P.O. Boxes or shared addresses
A Face to Face Business – no virtual businesses
Your Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) has to remain consistent across the internet or search engines will distrust your existence and drop you in local search ranking. Typos and punctuation like including an apostrophe in “Sam’s Car Lot” only sometimes is disastrous. Take great care to make sure your NAP’s are identical in spelling, spacing, and styling everywhere your business is listed online. Take note that all this information needs to be entered text, so you can’t just copy/paste in your logo with your address in a directory and call it done.

The Best Way to Manage Your Citations and Business Directory Listings

Finding directories, creating citations, and maintaining business listings on authority sites that are constantly indexed ensures that search engines – these are all things you can manually. But smart local business owners (notoriously short on extra time) automate not only their citation and business listing creation but the maintenance that ensures their business listings stay up-to-date and consistent with one another across the web.

Time to Automate business directories and review sites, as well as hundreds of other websites

There are extremely cost-effective ways to automate the management of your business listings. You can get a complete digital presence control good reputation and review software.  This allows you to automate most of these essential processes.  These types of services provide almost hands-free customer review management and promotion, in addition to business listings management and branded feedback pages. They are all part of Reputation Loop’s comprehensive program to build a stellar five-star online reputation so when local searchers are looking for the best; they find your business first.

Whether you choose to automate or manually manage your business listings, the most important thing for you to remember and adhere to is remaining consistent with the data you use to build your business listings and citations. Mistakes and inconsistencies make it so that search engines distrust the legitimacy of your business and lower your ranking in search results. And people are even less inclined than search engines to try to figure out what conflicting information they found online about your business is correct.

If you have questions contact us for a Free Consultation.  In the meantime use our free online software to check the main local listings and reviews for your business

Reasons to use Google My Business for Local SEO

Reasons to use Google My Business for Local SEO

Google is looking for the best experience for its users.  It’s at its most profitable when users receive a good experience and when they find what they are searching for, then they’re more inclined to use the search engine again, which makes Google’s ads more valuable. When businesses get more visibility on the search engine, they’re more inclined to use it.  Accordingly, Google constantly introduces new tools and features that businesses can use to improve their visibility. One of them, Google My Business, promises to help local companies get more visibility (and search engine accuracy) than ever before—but is it worth the effort?

What Is Google My Business

Google My Business is an interface that allows business owners to take charge of how their business is displayed throughout all of Google’s products and platforms, including its search engine results pages (SERPs), reviews, and instant content.  You can get the app on Google Play or the App Store, or sign up on your desktop. From there, you’ll confirm a handful of details and have access to several features, including posts, bookings, and insights.

The Benefits

Let’s take an individual look at the benefits and features that Google My Business offers:

1. Information consistency. Have you ever seen your business misrepresented online? Updating your entry in Google My Business will practically guarantee the accuracy of your business’s information in Google, and by extension, any third-party apps or services that rely on Google to get their data. You’ll have the chance to update your business’s name, address, phone number, and specific details like your open hours. You’ll even have the opportunity to write out common questions and answers about your business (and have them appear on Google Maps). That informational consistency is invaluable to make sure customers are contacting you at the right times and getting the right idea of what your business does.

2. Visibility throughout the web. Using Google My Business also improves your business’s visibility. Many third-party sites rely on Google for their information, so completing your business profile will increase your chances of getting featured on them. Google will also have more information to categorize your business, so it’s more likely that you’ll show up for relevant local searches.

3. Better first impressions. One of the best perks of Google My Business is your ability to upload photos or videos, which might show off some of your best products and services or simply display your storefront. Whatever you choose, you’ll have full control over the images your customers see when they encounter your business for the first time, leading to more powerful first impressions.

4. Insights. Google also offers businesses using the platform “insights,” or analytics data that show exactly how and when customers are finding your entries. With these data, you’ll be able to figure out where customers are seeing you—and where they aren’t seeing you. With that information, you can tweak your campaigns to improve your visibility further or cater to a specific target audience.

How Much Does Search Engine Optimization Cost?

How Much Does Search Engine Optimization Cost?

Since the start of SEO, providing a simple answer to the question ‘how much does SEO cost?’ has been tricky. While the mechanics and toolkit for SEO are fairly similar for most projects, there are a huge amount of variables to take into account when building a strategy and budget. It’s often difficult to judge to true cost and potential ROI of an SEO project at its start.

Understanding the Many, Many Variables

First off you have to understand the marketplace dynamics which affect SEO success and pricing. How competitive is your industry? How competitive are the areas you serve?  For example, an SEO website tune-up for a chiropractor in a small suburban town might shoot the site to the top of local rankings, while the same tune-up for an identical practice in a major metropolis might only improve rankings slightly.  Furthermore, the value of improving rankings varies dramatically from business to business and the amount of available traffic in a particular market. For some local businesses, being on the first page of Google results leads to a dramatic increase in leads and revenue while others only a marginal difference.

Next comes considering the starting position of a business’ complete digital presence. How large is the website? Is the site structure well for SEO?  How much keyword-rich content does the site hold? How many technical SEO issues does the site have? How many links and referring domains are pointing to the website?  Is the business listed accurately on local listing sites? The list goes on.  For example, it is not uncommon for an outdated and slow website to rank higher than a technically-perfect newer website because the older site has a robust and hard-earned back-link profile. No site’s SEO is perfect. The entirety of the digital presence has to be taken into account and then you can develop a strategy that addresses important weaknesses.

Common Pricing Models

Back in late 2011, SEO powerhouse MOZ conducted a survey of over 600 agencies in order to understand variations in SEO services pricing models. While this survey is now seven years old and MOZ admits the survey isn’t perfectly scientific, it does provide a solid general understanding of how most agencies price this type of work.

Some key takeaways from the survey:

  • Project-based pricing is by far the most popular model. Around 70% of the agencies surveyed said it’s their most commonly used scheme with projects falling into the four price ranges: $1,001-$1,500, $1,501-$2,500, $2501-$5,000 and $5,001-$7,500.
  • Monthly retainer pricing models, specifically the monthly rate, vary radically from agency to agency. The two most common were $251-$500/month and $2,501-$5,000/month.
  • Most agencies offer project-based, retainer-based and hourly based pricing models in order to fit the diverse needs and budget of clients. It is a competitive marketplace and it seems agency are very willing to adjust their systems to retain clients.

Digital Marketology’s SEO Pricing Models

Over the years and with many hundreds of SEO projects completed, we’ve learned how to expertly tailor our SEO services to the unique variables of each client. We offer both monthly SEO services and one-time SEO projects, and we tailor our plans to our clients’ budgets.

We determine a scope of work by breaking down factors such as:

  • How big is the website? How many pages need optimization?
  • How much content development is needed, particularly if the site is obviously lacking important pages?
  • How many technical issues need to be fixed?
  • If it’s a local business, are there multiple locations requiring business profile listing setup or edits?
  • How many backlinks does the website have? If there are not many, we’ll allocate more budget to focus on building a strong link profile.
  • How strong is the competition?

The standard package we recommend is $1,500 for month one and then $1,000/m beginning in month two. Month one is a higher fee because there is more heavy lifting to do in addressing technical issues and ensuring that all of the priority pages are keyword-optimized.

At the same time, a major factor in pricing our SEO services is the client’s budget. We can customize the scope of work to match a client’s budget down to $500/month. At a reduced fee, we have fewer hours to invest in the work, so we execute our strategy at a reduced speed and with a reduced scope of work. In practice, this means it may take us two months to complete an SEO Tune-Up rather than completing it in the first month, and we’d develop less content per month and build fewer links per month on an ongoing basis.

We also do offer one-time projects. The scope of a one-time project is typically limited to a one-time SEO Tune-Up (keyword optimization and technical fixes). These one-time projects are typically $1,500 – $2,500 depending on the size of the website and amount of technical issues to be fixed.

Conclusion

A successful SEO strategy involves evaluating many variables and forging a path forward within the client’s budget.  ‘How much does SEO cost?’ will always be a tricky question, but it’s important to recognize that — with the right strategy — progress can be made at nearly every price point.

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Website Architecture for SEO

Website Architecture for SEO

Having the right site structure can no doubt help you with your search engine optimization efforts in the same way that the wrong strategies can have a negative impact. There is not a long list of things that can be done to improve your SEO at the level of the website architecture, but when these things are done, bit by bit you will see improvements in rankings. And when done all together, it will reach maximum optimization. Most of these things can be done with very little help from a professional, and when they are implemented at the creation of content, it will become second nature to ensure that all web pages on your site are uniform in their ability to contribute positively to the overall search engine optimization. What’s the point of working hard on a website, only to be penalized because of a few simple mistakes? Never let that happen again when you are armed with this sort of information in your pocket.

Website Crawlability

Websites are crawled by search engines, and these crawlers visit each web page one by one very quickly while making copies of the pages. These copies are then stored in what is known as the index—which can be visualized as a huge book of the internet.

When someone performs a search, the search engine will look through this large book and then find all of the pages relevant to the search query and pick out the ones that appear to be the best, and show those first. In order to have your website found within the search results, you have to actually be in this proverbial book. To be in the book, you need to be crawled. In general, most websites don’t have a problem with being found, but there are certain things that will put a kink in the process. Flash and JavaScript sometimes hide links—this makes it impossible for those pages (at the hidden links) to be crawled, as they become hidden from the search engine. These programs can also hide actual content on a page.

Each website is given what is known as a crawl budget. This is an estimated amount of time or number of pages that a search engine may crawl per day. This is based on the authority and relative trust of a website. Websites that are larger may want to improve the efficiency of their crawls to make sure that the desired pages are being crawled properly and more often. Internal link structures, robots.txt, and indicating to search engines to not participate with specific parameters are all ways that the efficiency of crawling can be improved. Often times, problems with crawling are easily avoided and overall, it is a good practice to use both HTML and XML sitemaps, making it easier for search engines to crawl a website.

Duplication and Canonicalization

Remember that big book of the Internet? The search index can get messy. When looking through, it a search engine could come across multiple pages that look like the same content, and this makes it more difficult to figure out which of these pages should be selected as the authentic version to be displayed in the search results. This is not a good scenario. It can become worse when individuals are actually linking to various versions of the exact same page. Those links are then divided between the different versions. What becomes of this is a lowered perception of the value assigned to that page. This is why canonicalization is extremely important—ideally, there would only be one version of each page available to search engines. That way a piece of content would retain its value and validity across the web.

There are so many ways that duplicate versions of a webpage can be created. A single website can have both a WWW and a non-WWW version of the site rather than one keep redirecting to the other. A website for e-commerce might let search engines index their numbered pages, but nobody is searching for “black dresses page 9”. Filtering parameters could be added onto the URL, and this would make it appear like a different page to a search engine.

Just as there are a number of ways to create URL bloat on accident, there are a number of ways to address it. Using a proper implementation of 301 redirects, managing URL parameters, effective pagination strategies, and rel=canonical tags are just a few ways to reduce the number of duplicate pages of content. Reducing this bloat will give the original content its value back.

Scraper sites are also a cause of duplicate content on the web, but you can code your website to increase the difficulty for this to happen. Additionally, you can opt to use absolute URLs rather than relative URLs. This is important because the browser will assume that the page link is redirecting to a page that is on the browser that you are on. The coding process is simplified with relative URLs, but if your developer is not willing to put new code into the entire site, you can use self-referencing canonical tags. What do these do? When a website scraper pastes your unique content on their own site, the canonical tags will stay in place, and allow Google to know the original source of the content. There are free tools available online that you can use to check and see if you have been scrapped.

You can use syndicated content in order for your site to get new looks, but you need to set guidelines for those that are looking to use your content. In the perfect scenario, you would ask of the publisher to use the rel=canonical tag on the page of the article to let search engines know that the original source for the content is your website. It is also possible to tag the syndicated content with no index, solving the impending problem of issues with search results producing duplicate content.

Site Speed

Google aims to make the internet faster each day and has asserted that a website that loads quickly will have an advantage in the rankings over a website that loads at a slower speed. Even considering this, making your website lightning fast won’t guarantee that it will appear at the top of a search results page. Speed is just a small factor that affects a tiny percentage of queries, Google says. Website speed has the potential to assist other factors that will make improvements overall. Society has become worse and worse at waiting, especially when it comes to the internet. Conversion and engagement on a website can improve based on an improved loading time.

When you speed up your website’s loading time, humans and search engines will respond positively to it!  What are some ways to improve the loading time of your website? For starters, optimize your images. Many times, images are uploaded as a PNG file with a high resolution, but this is not totally necessary for the internet. The images should be converted to a JPG, and you will be left with a smaller image size that will quickly load. Images can also be compressed, making them even smaller.

Mobile Friendly

Would it surprise you to know that more searches are taking place via mobile devices than those on a desktop? Because of this, it is expected that Google will reward the websites that are friendly on mobile devices by giving them a chance at ranking better through mobile searches, and those who are not mobile friendly might encounter a more difficult time appearing on the search results. Bing is following in Google’s steps with this system of rewards.

Working to get your website compatible with mobile devices will increase your chances of showing up favorable within search rankings, and making your mobile users happy with an easy to use a version of your site. Additionally, if you also have an app, you may want to consider taking part in app linking and indexing, which search engines offer.

Secure with HTTPS

Ideally, all websites would be using an HTTPS server, as this would provide heightened security to those who are searching the web. To encourage this, Google actually rewards those websites that do employ HTTPS with a small boost within the rankings. Similar to the speed boost, this is just a small factor that Google takes into account when it is deciding where a web page should rank within the search results. Alone, it will not guarantee that your page will appear as a result will appear at the top, but if you’re considering running on a secure server anyway, go ahead and do it so that it will positively affect your overall success within search results.

When done incorrectly, an HTTPs ranking boost won’t be seen. Most common, when a website has been changed over to HTTPS, that site is not set at the preferred version, and the HTTP version is still active. Google has said that the secure version is indexed by default, but there are still consequences like a wasted crawl budget, diluted links, and of course duplicate content.

Descriptive URLs

Your URLs should be descriptive, and you should be including the words that you want to be seen within the domain name or URLs so that you can improve the ranking. It is not a huge change, but it only makes sense to have these descriptive terms in the URLs.

Now, don’t go stuffing any and every keyword into your URL(s). The keyword or keywords selected to use in your URL should clearly and directly describe the content on your site. When there are descriptive works within a URL, it is easier for search engines to decipher your web pages and determine whether or not their content is considered valuable. These specific URLs will also indicate to those who are performing the search query what they can expect from the content, so if the URL is www.sample.com/article1 that gives absolutely no indication as to what the article is about. That URL compared to one that might look like www.sample.com/ten-ways-to-do-datenight would have less value compared to the latter URL.

Here are some tips for creating the best versions of your URLs:

  • Shorter is better, and they will rank well on search engines.
  • Use only 1 or 2 keywords per URL. These should be your target keywords.
  • URLs should be easily read by a human. This will lead to a better user experience and higher rankings.
  • If you are not using a .com as the top level domain, choose wisely.
  • There should be 1 to 2 folders per URL—more folders will confuse Google on the topic of your page.
  • The folders should have descriptive names.
  • Avoid dynamic URLs when possible.
  • Choose a single keyword to optimize around, and remove categories from the URL.
  • Use characters that are safe, like the alphabet and a select few symbols like? $ ! and *
  • Don’t forget to encode reserved characters, and never use unsafe characters.

Figuring out what works and what does not, will not be difficult, just think about the URLs of your favorite sites or those that you use frequently. The URLs should be easily recognized by search engines and should be obvious and not mysterious to human users.

Incorporating all of these components into your website to improve its SEO will yield positive results. Each of these things will have a slight impact on the overall performance, but when they are utilized together in the correct way, it will be a game changer. Each change that is implemented will boost your site’s ranking in search results, bit by bit, and when they are all perfected, you’ll see the results. Website architecture for SEO is not something that has to be difficult and once you get the hang of it, it will be something that comes as second nature as your brand grows.

If you are looking for a Digital Marketing agency to help your business to increase sales Digital Marketology can work with you to develop a proper Website and promote your business online.   

Contact Digital Marketology Today for Free Consultation.

Make Your Content Search-Friendly

Make Your Content Search-Friendly

Google is dependent on good search results and makes it a priority to find the fest content for its search results. To do this Google is a totally automated search engine that relies on software called web crawlers that explore the internet regularly to find sites to add to their index. Many of the websites listed on Google’s search results have not been manually submitted to be included, thanks to these automated bots that crawl the internet periodically. In order to determine if your website is already on Google’s index by searching your website’s URL. Even though Google crawls and indexes literally billions of websites, it is possible that some get overlooked. When this happens, it likely one of a few reasons; Google may have received an error while attempting to crawl the site, the website design makes it hard for Google to effectively crawl the content, it’s a new site that hasn’t had time to be crawled yet, or the website isn’t well connected from other websites on the internet.

Google offers guidelines to help build a website that is crawler friendly. There can be no guarantee that a crawler will find the website, but when the guidelines are followed it makes it much more likely that it will be crawled, thus appearing in Google’s search results. Google’s Search Console is able to provide tools that aid in submitting content to Google, and are able to monitor how the website is performing in the search results. Search Console is even able to send website owners alerts on important issues that have been encountered with a website or mobile application.

Are You in Need of an SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization or optimizer, and hiring someone to do this is a huge decision that has the potential to exponentially improve a website. On the flip side, this can also potentially damage the website and its reputation. If you are thinking about it, you should research the advantages and disadvantages of hiring someone.

Many SEO agencies and consultants will provide useful services including but not limited to:

  • Content development
  • SEO training
  • Keyword research
  • Reviewing a website’s content and/or structure
  • Technical advice
  • Information on specific markets and geographies

You need to realize that Google’s search results pages will include both organic search results as well as paid advertisements. When you choose to advertise with Google, there will not be any effect on the presence of the website within the search results—the money paid isn’t for increasing rank in search results. It is totally free to appear in Google’s organic search results pages. There are many free resources from Google to provide information about how to optimize a website for organic search results, like Search console, their discussion forum, and the official Webmaster Central blog.

While starting a search for SEO, work to become familiar with how search engines actually work. Also, the earlier in the process of creating a website that you hire someone for SEO, the better. This can be when launching a new website, or even if you are thinking about a website redesign. That way, the website will be search engine friendly from top to bottom.

What to Ask when investing in SEO

If you hire someone for SEO you need to make sure that they are trustworthy. Some topics to ask them about include previous work, their familiarity with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, their marketing services, their experience regarding the industry and location of the site, their length of time in the business, and what is the best way to communicate with them. Those who work in SEO have the ability to provide valuable services, but those unethical SEOs have tainted the industry through overly aggressive marketing techniques and attempts to unfairly manipulate search engines. It is vital to know that anyone who violates Google’s guidelines will receive negative consequences, like a lower adjustment in search results presence or even total removal altogether.

These are some things to consider when looking for someone to help you with your SEO: there is no possible way that anyone can guarantee a number 1 ranking on Google. A company should not be secretive and needs to be able to clearly explain what they intend to do. You should also not never be asked to link to their firm.

Make Your Website Google Friendly

You will need to give your visitors high-quality information, this is even more important on the main page. If the pages of the site contain information that is useful, the content is likely to attract more visitors and even provoke other webmasters to link to your site on theirs. To create the type of information that will get this reaction, the content should be helpful and rich in information that accurately and clearly describes your chosen topic.

While you want others to link to your website, you should be linking other websites on yours as well. This helps web crawlers to find the website and then give it greater visibility in the search results. This is possible because Google uses advanced text-matching software to provide pages that are important and relevant to the search. Pages that link to each other are essentially a vote of confidence in one another and shows to Google as being more important. These algorithms have the ability to distinguish natural links from unnatural links. Natural links are those that develop as a normal part of the web when other websites discover your content and find it valuable and helpful to their audience. On the other hand, unnatural links are those that are placed with a specific strategy in mind in order to make a website appear to be more valuable. Do know that only those links that are natural are the ones that matter when crawling and indexing a website in order to determine the ranking.

A website needs to have a logical structure of the links. Each page needs to be reachable from one or more static text links. It is recommended to use a text browser like Lynx to review your website. Viewing it like this is similar to how many web crawlers will see it, so just in case any extra features keep you from seeing the entire site through it, you’ll know that it is difficult for a bot to crawl it.

What To Avoid

Do not stuff your content with lists of keywords, attempt to hide pages, or make pages only available to crawlers. If there are pages, text, or links that are not intended for visitors to see, then Google sees this is deceptive and could ignore the website.

You should also not feel obligated to pay for an SEO service. Some companies will claim to give you a higher ranking for your site, while others will realistically improve the content and flow of the website. It is vital to be able to distinguish the good from the bad when looking at SEO services.

Images should not be used when displaying important names, links, or content. The crawlers do not recognize the text within the graphics. If images are needed, you should be using the ALT attributes to give information about these graphics.

You should also not be creating more than one copy of a page under different URLs. Many websites opt to have text only or printer friendly version of their pages, and they contain the same information as their graphic-rich counterpart.

Appear as a Featured “In-depth article”

These are the articles that appear when searching for things like a specific person or an organization. They are highlighted in the search results, as they provide high-quality content that will help users to learn more about a topic. This feature is based on an algorithm, but there are certain steps that can be taken as a webmaster that will help Google to discover your high quality, in-depth content for users that are looking for it.

You should have all of the following features in place: a headline, alternative headline, an image that can be crawled and indexed, a description, the date published, and a body for the article. If the content is broken up into multiple parts, it should have proper pagination that will aid the algorithm in being able to correctly identify the extent of the articles. Also, it is very important to correctly canonicalize the pages of the content broken up into multiple pages.

A logo is a great way for any user to recognize the source of content in just a simple glance. Being a webmaster, there are a few ways that you can let Google know which logo should be used for your website. You can generate a Google+ page and then link it to your website. Here, you will choose an icon or official logo to use as the default image. Or, you can use organization markup in order to pinpoint your logo. If either of these things are done, it may take a little time for the changes to be reflected in the search results.

Follow these Basic Principles

Keep in mind your target audience and provide quality content for them and not search engines. You should not be working in a way that will deceive users that visit the page—more often than not it will also try to deceive the search engine as well. You should be avoiding tricks that are used to improve rankings in search engines. One way to think about it is to ponder whether or not you would feel comfortable explaining what you have done to the website to a brand that is your competition or to an employee of Google. Ask yourself, will this help my users? Would I still do this if search engines did not exist? Think about what it is that makes your website valuable, unique, and engaging. Your website should be developed so that it will stand out among others in the same field.

Additional Things to Avoid

Some of the things that seem like a good idea, really do nothing but negatively impact a website. This is because Google’s algorithms are privy to all of the tricks.

Here are some of the things that should be avoided:

  • Link schemes. This is when links are added with the intention of manipulating a site’s ranking in Google’s search results, including buying or selling links, excessive link exchanges, and large-scale article marketing/guest posting.
  • Cloaking. This is when different content or URLs is presented to the human users and search engines. It is a clear violation of Google’s guidelines.
  • Sneaky redirects. Sending a visitor to a URL that is different than the one that was originally requested.
  • Doorway pages. These are created only to rank highly for certain search queries. They will lead to many similar pages while each result will take the user to the same destination.
  • Text or links that are hidden
  • Scraped content. Copying and republishing content from a website and not adding any sufficient original content or value to it.
  • Affiliate programs that do not add sufficient value
  • Stuffing irrelevant keywords
  • Pages with malicious behavior (viruses, etc.)

Good Practices to Follow

Doing the right things is not difficult. You should always be monitoring your website for hacking, and then removing any content that has been hacked as soon as it is discovered. You will also need to work to prevent and remove any spam that is user-generated. These things may cause your website to violate Google’s guidelines, and they will take action on it. Once the problem has been taken care of, it can be submitted to be reconsidered.

If you have questions or need help Digital Marketology provides content services as part of our overall SEO Services.  We are here to help.