10 Things A Newbie Learned About SEO
A new challenge on my Facebook Writers’ Group! Write an article about learning SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and see how high you can get it to rank. So let’s see what we can do with that …
Write for humans, not search engines.
The algorithms are actually so good nowadays, that they are looking for real text and real people sharing it. If you write stilted, unintelligible prose, nobody will care and neither will the search engine.
Make sure your keywords are on the page, but don’t overuse them.
Search engines look for keywords, but the latest Google Penguin update penalises sites that overuse keywords in their text, a technique known as “keyword stuffing”.
Get your Meta Description on.
That’s the little blurb that Google and other search engines will put under your link. People like to read those, and so do search engines.
Fix your broken links.
If you have links on your page to somewhere else, make sure they all work, or you will lose your web crawlers, both human and algorithmic.
Link to your own content.
If there’s any consistency between your blog posts, you should be able to refer to previous posts in your current one. Make that link, it’s a good and friendly one, people like it as a way to get to know your blog better, and so do search engines.
Get real referrals and avoid “link farms”.
One of the abuses that Penguin was designed to thwart was the use of fake websites to produce lots and lots of inbound links, to make it look like others were intensely interested in your content. That’s great if it’s true, it will kill your rankings if you try to fake it. Delete all those emails offering to sell you link juice. Ask your friends for links instead, if you must.
Choose your anchor texts wisely.
If too many inbound links have the exact same anchor text, the search engines won’t like it. Try to avoid “click here”.
Try to avoid duplicate content.
If you have two pages on the same site with almost identical content, neither will rank very well because the search engines will be confused. Combining them into one could be a good idea.
An alt text is worth a thousand pictures.
Search engines can’t read images, so make sure you have some kind of alternative text set up to tell them what your images are about. This is also kind to humans with slow connections.
Write interesting content.
If people are interested in your content, they will share. There is absolutely no better way to improve your SEO than to have your page go viral.
Much of this information, although by no means all, comes from the Moz Beginner’s Guide to SEO. I would love to know what you think of my list – is something unnecessary? Am I missing something important? Do let me know!