- Keyword strategy
It all starts with the keywords you choose. You can have the best SEO strategy in place for your website but if you dont put enough time and effort into the keywords you target everything else is useless. You need to choose the keywords that your company and website truly focuses on so that a natural relevancy is created. You also need to make sure you understand the ranking opportunities for the keywords you choose – everyone wants to rank for high-volume / generic keywords but the odds of that happening are slim. Target keywords that not only drive traffic but are reachable.
- On-site content development
The old saying still remains true today – content is king. Combine a solid keyword strategy with deep related content and you are on the path to SEO success. Just make sure you write content for the website visitor that incorporates, in a sensible way, related keywords. SEO is all about relevancy.
- Inbound links
We all know that a big piece of SEO is about getting external links coming to your website with related keywords used in the anchor text. However, when it comes to linking I go with the quality over quantity theory. The old SEO way was to get as many inbound links as possible regardless of where they was coming from. Honestly, the old way is a waste of time – even though there are plenty of people that would disagree. The most successful link building campaigns I have ever run focuses on targeting the leaders in a given topic and building direct relationships with them. I would take 10 links from targeted, contextually relevant, solid traffic websites over 1,000 random sites any day.
- Internal links
Take your inbound linking strategy and focus it internally. Create a contextually relevant internal linking structure that focuses on content flow and the semantic relationship between pages.
- Title Tags
Title Tags are another key part of a SEO strategy many websites overlook. Writing Title Tags isnt rocket science – keep it relevant to what the page is about, work off your keyword strategy and make sure every page is unique.
- URL structure
I am a big fan of using keywords within the domain whenever it makes sense from a branding perspective. However, since most companies have little primary domain flexibility a good area to focus on is the URL structure. First keep it simple & straight forward (use a URL re-write tool if needed) and name files / directories with related keywords.
- Image / Video optimization
With the growing focus of universal search there is a huge opportunity for companies, especially those selling products, to focus on Image and Video SEO. Image SEO is fairly simple – name image files with keywords, use ALT tags, etc. Video SEO can be a bit more complicated – check out my Video SEO Guide for more detailed information.
- Optimize code elements
By code elements I mean everything other than Title Tags, which include Header Tags (H1, H2, etc), Meta keywords & descriptions and ALT tags.
- Avoid Technological limitations
- Robots.txt / Site Map
Site Map: As with Meta Data, there is a lot of discussions about the true SEO value of a Site Map. Like with Meta Data we might question the actual impact but considering it is a fairly easy task to build a SiteMap.xml file and it will help search engines crawl / index your website why wouldnt you build one? Robots.txt: There is a long list of ways you can use your Robots.txt file, however my #1 reason is for what you DO NOT want a search engine to find. By using a disallow command you can prevent files and folders from being crawled.
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