SEO links
Creative Commons image by Adam Levine.

Creative Commons image by Adam Levine.

Whether you are new to learning about search engine optimization, or SEO, or you’ve been at this for a while, you probably wish there were a few silver bullets that would all but guarantee success. Well, there aren’t… but there are some content- and link-based strategies to try if your SEO strategy seems to be stagnating. An SEO company can help you with any or all of these tips, or you can try your hand at these on your own.

Boost your content.

Go through each of your pages and be sure that they all have at least 300 words of content. If they already do, comb through to make sure that your keywords are included somewhere on the page, preferably toward the top. Also, read it out loud to ensure it reads well. If necessary, hire a writer or an editor to make sure that your content is human-reader-friendly. If people are clicking away from your site in frustration because the content is not up to par, then the search engines will not look favorably upon your site. Make it reader-friendly with subheadings and plenty of white space, and be sure that what you are putting on the page is worth saying; it should be engaging and relevant to your business.

Add Internal Links

Within your content, you should have a couple of links going to other pages on your website. You should also have a navigation bar on your home page that will lead to various other pages. One good tip to keep in mind is that the higher up on a page a link is located, the more importance Google and other search engines will attribute to the page it leads to. If you are using a link to a secondary page on your homepage, try to get it in the first paragraph or two, if possible.

Build External Links

Link-building means getting other sites to link to your pages. This can be easier said than done, but there are a fewA� ways to accomplish this without resorting to black-hat methods. One is to ask site-owners who are not your competitors but who still use your keyword on their pages for links. For example, if you’re a landscaper, you might know of companies who will reference landscaping in your area even though they’re not landscapers themselves. Some examples might be real estate agents, nurseries, or companies who do siding or brickwork.

Use Outbound Links

Another way to use links is to link out to other sites. Every site you link to should have content or a product that you believe in. Another consideration is that each of these sites should be reputable. Linking to a random blog does not hold the same clout as linking to a reputable organization in your industry, and search engines are aware of this. As a side note, linking out can actually end up bringing you more external links, which will, in turn, help you score better on the SEO algorithms.

Search engine optimization can be a challenge, but if you have the time to comb through your site and work on your content and your links, you should see some improvement on your ranking. Most Optimal is also available to help you with your local visibility and search marketing. Don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more!


Creative Commons image by Olga Berios

Creative Commons image by Olga Berios

Google has a way of keeping us guessing, and while there are definitely SEO practices that can boost your ranking with the search engine superstar, no one has actually a�?cracked the code” of the exact algorithm used. Still, there are some tips that anyone who knows anything about SEO will tell you if you ask. Recently, Andrey Lipattsev, the Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google Ireland, answered some questions about the top three characteristics that Google is looking for. They come as no surprise to those in the know, but here they are, in no particular order, for your consideration.

Content

Remember a few years ago, when a common catchphrase was a�?content is kinga�?? Well, it turns out that this is still a valid and large piece of the algorithm. If you have a web page that doesna��t actually give any information, is stuffed with irrelevant keywords, or is poorly written, Google is going to take notice and send you careening toward the recesses of the double-digit search result pages. So, what are the characteristics that your content should have? A few include:

  • Scannability and a clear, easy to read font.
  • Compelling. Include information that people will want to read and share.
  • Concision. Dona��t go on and on about nothing. At the same time, though, strive to keep your pages over 300 words.
  • Original. Plagiarism? Dona��t even think about it.
  • Accuracy. Make sure what youa��re including in your articles and blog posts is actually true and verifiable.

The takeaway here is to write for human readers and Google will soon follow.

RankBrain

Speaking of human readers, youa��ve probably been aware for some time that artificial intelligence is rapidly catching up to, and in some cases even surpassing, the brainpower of humans. RankBrain, Googlea��s AI system, is an important piece of the algorithm puzzle. You can take a look at what RankBrain is all about and how it works, on Search Engine Watch.

Backlinks

Sometimes considered a gray-hat SEO technique, making sure that other sites are linking to yours is actually important when it comes to ranking well on Google search results. The actual links are a good thing, if you handle it the right way. If reputable sites are linking to you, Google will assume that you have good, actionable, useful content. If you are posting your link as spam all over other peoplea��s blogs, however, ita��s not going to work. Here are some link-building strategies can can work for you.

Ita��s important to keep in mind that there is no simple formula for ranking well with Google. Even if you have solid backlinks, great content and a good rating on RankBrain, you still might not make it to the top of the first page of results. On the other hand, if you arena��t achieving these basics, then ita��s almost definite that you arena��t going to find the success you are looking for. Google uses the best tools available to put engaging, actionable sites toward the top of the results page. Ita��s in your best interest to write for human readers, incorporate some SEO techniques into your site, and contact a reputable SEO company, such as Most Optimal, to help you get the best results out of your efforts.