How can you get found online? Search engines are often the portal to your site, so you first have to garner great SEO (search engine optimization) practices. There are companies that specialize and do this for their entire business. Their websites are designed to produce higher ranks on search engines, landing them on the first page of results. But how can you do it by yourself? Let’s take some of the great advice from Inbound Marketing University’s second class “Crash Course in SEO” to gain some insight.
How Search Engines Rank Sites
In general, search engines rank sites based on how relevant they are to the terms people have searched. This means that the site is being measured for how “trustworthy” it is. This trust is built both on-page and off-page that makes it more likely to be found. Let’s explore these two ways that can each build trust for your blog.
On-page is the content that can be found on your website and this can be broken down further into branded or non-branded content.
Branded content is anything on your page that relates to your company – your unique branded messaging. This includes your brand name, tagline, “elevator pitch”, and branded products or services. It can even be a little blurb from your newsroom about something you did in the community. When it comes down to it, branded content has to do with your brand.
Non-branded content addresses anything that doesn’t directly reflect your brand. This type of content includes any news about the industry your company is a part of, interesting tips for people looking to help themselves (and maybe looking for your products or services later on), or anything else that is related to your company but doesn’t have your name on it. Non-branded content is especially useful in blog posts or social media posts. People don’t want to feel like you’re constantly talking to them about yourself or trying to sell them things. Instead, it’s better for them and SEO to provide timely and interesting content that is relevant to your brand.
Although these two types of content are markedly different, they should be treated the same in certain aspects. You should use keywords that your company wants to be associated with across all types of content. However, try not to let this affect how you write your posts. Quality content with personality is better for readers than getting beat over the head with filler words. Instead, IMU suggests that you write your post or content first and then revise it to see if keywords can help your SEO.
Off-page influence is just another way of saying how relevant, dependable, and trustworthy your site can be to users searching for a term. IMU points out that search engines want to see your content is popular among your readers, but this isn’t measured on your site. Instead, it’s measured off-site, or “off-page”. Search engines measure the number of interactions users have with your website.
Interactions may be the number of people who share your page on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. They may also come in the form of other people posting a link to your page from their own blog. It can even benefit from making links between your other pages within your site. Just remember that off-page influence comes from anything not directly posted on your site, but from the interactions that result from it. In turn, on-page and off-page content are closely related and rely on one another and so it is important to pay attention to both when creating SEO.
What You Can Do
There are a few things that you can do to take advantage of these two types of influencers for SEO. In fact, a lot of the parts for building blogs can be used to improve SEO. A few examples include:
- creating categories (especially for your blog posts)
- developing a number of keyword strategies for your site
- creating titles and headers based on your keyword strategy for the page
- writing relevant and clear metadescriptions
- adding images that have alt text, titles, and captions
- displaying social sharing buttons on the page to make it easier to share content
- linking to other blogs in the hopes that some will link back to your site
- posting links to your own pages within the site
These are just a few things that you can do to help your SEO. Are there any others that you can think of? Katie would be more than happy to hear your suggestions and add a few more of her own. Leave your comments below and she’ll give her input!