Content is King — How content and cross links influence search engine ranking
When the people over at Google came onto the scene, they changed
everything. They approached the problem of making sense of the vast
information of the Internet from a library science methodology.
Inventing search and indexing algorithms in the same way that the
Smithsonian might catalog it’s materials.
This ain’t your mom’s dewy decimal system.
A very important method modern search engines use to decide your rank,
is deciding how relevant you are to the library that they are indexing;
i.e. the Internet. This is done in part by looking for cross references.
Every time your name appears on another site, whether it’s a story you
wrote for another site, a story someone wrote about\
you, or just a simple hyperlink, these ‘cross references’ help to
qualify you as a expert source of information. You can see how powerful
a tool this is. Suppose you were searching for information about the
‘Jacobean Era,’ you’d probably expect to also find many references, such
as; William Shakespeare, King James I, England & Scotland, and even
styles of furniture and arts of the time. This is one of the reasons
these search engines work so well at finding the information that you
are looking for. This is why you must do everything you can to qualify
yourself as an expert in your field.
How to qualify yourself as an expert:
Write helpful articles for publication on your site\
Articles just like the one you are reading now, are terrific ways to
not only help your audience but will also sky-rocket your search engine
Create a press section
Reporters work under tight deadlines and are always looking for a good
story to write. Give them the tools they need to make writing about you
easier. Make sure your press section includes a small library of hi-res
images of your products or services, your logo artwork in vector and web
res versions. Include sample stories if you can; sometimes it’s
difficult to to get a story started. If you have a few different sample
articles for press release they can use them verbatim, or use the story
as reference for their own. When you can afford it, a PR firm can do as
much good, if not more, than a marketing firm.
Ask your partners and third party sites to add a link to your site\
Don’t be afraid to ask the partners, clients and third parties, i.e.
those that complement your site, to add a story, or link to your site.
Offer to return the favor on your own site or sites. Remember these
cross references help them too!
Try and make speaking engagements
Believe it or not, there’s a good chance that you really are an expert
in your field! Offer to speak at anything — schools, events and
conferences. You’d be surprised how many times efforts like this filter
down from a printed program, all the way to the web.
…and this is just to name a few.
Titles are just as important as anything on your site!
Writing great titles is not only critical to your SEO efforts, but also
towards engaging your readers attention. I can’t tell you how many
bounce rate numbers I have turned around for clients, simply by
re-writing their titles. Take these examples:
“Best Work-flow Tools” vs. “How to Save Your Firm $100,000.00 Annually”
You only have a split second to engage your audience. Make sure that
your titles highlight why the copy they are about to read is helpful to
them. Use images, diagrams and good layout techniques to reinforce the
message throughout the story. The title is the first reason for reading
Many sites use images for titles. This allows you to design pages with
fonts and typography not usually available to your average web browser.
This looks great, but always make sure that you are using tags. These
are ‘alternative text’ tags embedded in the HTML to make the image
readable by search engines, browsers that don’t support images and for
handicap features. These are very important, so always verify with your
designer or programmer that every single title on your site has an ALT
tag. Many times you can test this yourself by leaving your cursor over
the graphic for a few seconds. A plain text version of the title should
appear over the image. If this doesn’t happen don’t panic. It might be
that you have this feature turned off in your browser preferences.
Search engine spyders cannot read ‘pixels,’ so do be sure to ask your
developer to confirm that they are in fact there.
So by now your are getting all kinds traffic to the site.
Your next step should be to learn how to make heads or tails out of this traffic and how to use
that information to further improve your rankings and web traffic, and
more importantly your conversion rate! That is are you turning your
sales leads into actual clients?
SEO Basics by Joseph Steck is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.