I am a few weeks into this venture and while I am excited to see some return for my work I have also realized that I need to be patient and learn how to improve a page rank and my domain authority (DA). A page rank is a google search result which is determined by the use of algorithms and the DA is the quality rating it receives. If I want to have any chance of marketing I am going to need to understand the rules google search engines play by. There are some established laws of governance that must be adhered in order to build your brand.
Google redesigns its algorithms frequently so that the user can find the best information in the fastest time possible.
When I was a lifeguard they taught me to swim with the current and not against it. Sometimes people panic and fight the stream and that’s when you drown. Might as well go with the stream and relax all day by floating down the river.
Matt Cutts, Google- ” if you’re aligned with those goals, then we’re going to want to return the high quality pages that you are making. If you’re not aligned with those goals, if you’re trying to do fly- by- night, churn and burn, black hat, spam, stuff that only lasts for a couple of weeks before we catch it, you’re always going to be working in opposition to the algorithms, and you’re always going to be working in opposition to regular users and what they want to see.”
I not a fan of conformity (too much) but the main goal of Build Your Own Web Business Now , is to examine the methods of acquiring relevant material and putting it into the hands of anyone seeking to build a website for their business. Doing this will mean relying on search engines and seeking to capitalize on their uses.
The top three search engines are Google, Bing and Yahoo with google having a commanding lead. Because of this popularity we will be examining the Google protocol.
Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird and Pigeon, WTF?!
A few years back the first major update was released called Panda and that was designed to prevent sites from ‘spam farming’. This put an end to creating cheap, repetitive and spammed content. Since then, three more major updates have been release called Penguin, Hummingbird and Pigeon.
Ben Gomes, Google- “…just answer the user’s information need. Get them to their answer faster and faster. So that there’s almost a seamless connection between their thoughts and their information needs, and the search results that they find.
I wasn’t paying attention to algorithms when these updates happened and I didn’t even have a website. So to go into detail about each update would be a huge history lesson. You can study these later but for now lets just focus on what we should do to work with the system. Google has openly declared their mission and as long as it maintains its popularity, our website will have better page rankings if we tailor it to the protocol Google has established.
Content is King
There’s no way around it. Google favors content. This is good because it keeps things fresh. It will force people to elaborate on their thoughts and ideas. It’s alright if what you have to say has already been said (as it probably has). Just say it fresh and original from your mind as you create it. Do your research but keep it raw and honest the way you understand it to be. Read my page on writing attractive content and follow these guidelines when conforming to Google:
1. Use a Heading 1 headline once.
Avoid using it more than once. Simple.
2. Your Headings should be longer than 16 characters.
I think this is because it adds to a description of the information presented and it can filter out common single word headlines.
3. The longer your content the better.
Longer content consisting of over 2000 words is the desired length. This is what all the top level sites do. Again this goes back to the descriptiveness and flavor you are bringing. Neil Patel says the average length in the top search rankings is AT LEAST 2000 words with some having 3000. Being able to flesh out what you have to say will likely mean you have considered various possibilities and your topic will be on point. Which is what google wants – to get people the answers faster. Do not take the easy route and write short content.
4. Avoid Duplicate Content
This is the worst for your site. Avoid having duplicate content on your website and especially avoid duplicate content among other websites. I had created a page and a post with the same title and by default it linked to the same URL. I’m not sure if this would make a difference but I changed the title name and created a new URL because I wanted one separate post and page. DO NOT dot this. This counts as having duplicates- multiple pages with the same information is bad.
Create original content within your niche. You know your niche, you’ve done the research so just type away naturally and it will inevitably come out as unique. When you begin talking like rest of them your voice becomes repetitive and the copy will be begin look like duplicate content. Be different than other websites.
Text that can be reused in multiple context. One repeat instance is acceptable and discard the rest. It looks like spam content and will be picked up by the engines. A boilerplate is repetitive and therefor duplicate.
5. Sticking to the topic
Keeping relevant will keep your message on point. This keeps everyone happy. Your readers will find their information faster and Google will favor your writing. Have your research done before your post and stay on topic within your post. You should know ahead of time what the message is you are sending with your post so lay it out clearly. Eventually you will have multiple pages of content rich information.
When people stop finding the content interesting they close the window. You can increase your rank by having people stay within your domain. Having multiple page views and repeat visitors is the goal.
6. Publish Frequency of Content
Post frequently to keep your audience engaged. Having a post from 2016 is going to trump a similar post from 2011. The date of publish and the update of your information keeps your website relevant. A page gets an initial rank index and then drops over time.
Making use of Keywords
1. Keep your keywords contained to the first paragraph
This is the cleanest most reliable way of making sure you are on point. Your keywords are like the introduction and will focus the rest of the article. Keep it simple and insert them into your opening segment. As the page length increases, the words have less an impact on the search engines. Hyper focus in the beginning and then branch out from there.
2. Non- Related Keywords
This is like inserting keywords that have no place in your article just so that you can generate more traffic. Before the Panda release this was the norm but now it doesn’t work. Avoid stuffing your paragraph with multiple keywords. Just focus a couple in regards to your content and still keep your sentences in proper English. Writing sentences in broken English just to capitalize on keywords isn’t good.
Building a Brand
Establish a vision for yourself. This mindset will root your business with a solid foundation because of the approach you will need to take- spare no short cuts. Everything you create reflects on you and many of the search engine updates favor brand establishment because of this. A brand is built on integrity.
People used to spam the heck out of everything but that won’t get you anywhere now. In the beginning there were no established networks so anything was acceptable but as the networks strengthen so does the quality and the garbage gets filtered out.
Repeat visits create a higher page rank
This tells the engine your site is useful. The longer someone is on your page, it is assumed they are finding the information useful. A high bounce rate means people aren’t staying on your website- so be sure your site is appealing and easy to navigate. That means your page is designed to deliver relevant content to the search the user enters- its not just random.
Focus on getting recognized by reaching out to others established in your niche. This means your niche is familiar and you are sticking to it. When people return they come to expect a certain quality repeatedly.
Matt Cutts, Google- ” We want to return really good search results to users, so that they’re happy, so that they’ll keep coming back.”
Google itself is a brand and has a clear objective.
Speed kills- are you fast enough?
I’ve used public library computers and there was only so much I could tolerate- the loading times were unbearable. Accommodate your guest and fix your site speed. No one is going to put up with a site that takes too long to load.
Linked IN or OUT? Managing your link profile
This category is huge. I could’ve put this category at the top because if you don’t get this part right you can run into some trouble. Assume that content is of primary importance but the way your links are setup is the way you market yourself. These are how you direct traffic and get referrals from outside domains. They act like your street credit.
There are in depth strategies for creating and establishing all your links. It tells the algorithm the quality content you’re linked to and from and the trust from other established websites. Your links have to be organized and clean. I would even suggest drawing out a map of how you are linking and keeping yourself organized.
Before establishing your links however, focus on your content and your brand and then work the links in afterwards. This will give you more clarity.
I will focus the DO’s and DO NOT’s in this page because this section could be broken down even further as part of your marketing and traffic strategy.
1. Your internal links navigate your website
An internal link sends you to another page within your own domain address. But use these sparingly and when relevant. These are a good way to navigate users around your website and increase the time spent and clicks generated.
If your inbound links lead to weak pages on your site this can effect your rating. Keep your strong content strong by only linking to strong domain pages.
2. Quality Inbound links
These are all the links from outside sources sending to your page. This is a good way to boost your traffic. These are like your referrals and they are better acquired through ‘word of mouth’ as opposed to automating. You want to work to get referrals from other high Domain Authority (DA) websites. When another high ranked DA website sends an outgoing link to your website it can improve your page rank significantly. Some ways you can acquire good inbound links are from:
Directories– I asked google if DMOZ.org was still relevant in 2016 and the nearest answer I found was September 2015. Assuming it’s still valid, this has been a popular FREE directory for getting a high quality link backs. Please do more research as I’ve never actually used it yet.
Blogs- you can post your content on a blog and have a link sending it to your site.
Social Media- Attach a face to your brand. Facebook and Instagram are good ways to promote your business especially when people begin sharing your content. Apparently Twitter has NoFollow links on outbound links so you won’t get the DA validation- but its still good to get visitors.
YouTube- youtube.com is another way to reach your page rank. this is like an entire new search field where you can answer the popular questions and there is less competition. At the end of each video you leave a link to your website.
Remember to target your niche and not randoms. Backlinks are just links backing up a page. Particularly a centralized page where you can redirect. A strong page with with strong backlinks will be a root foundation for your web site.
3. Don’t use keywords in your anchor links
Keep your anchor links clean and free of keywords. Instead use a phrase when you want to redirect the user. Alternatively you can use the exact web address domain when sending outbound. i.e., Quick Sprout or QuickSprout.com.
4. Stay within your niche
Its better to keep your outbound links within your niche. Only focus on related websites if you’re linking someplace else. This creates credibility and you will find the market for your niche by staying within it. There are creative ways to cross reference a niche to bring in more visitors, as I was trying to do with my shark tank article. A person new to SEO is going to need some time to make adjustments. You have to create a way of explaining to people they have a problem they don’t even know about- in a way that they can see the benefit of using your solution.
6. Follow/ NoFollow
You are able to edit links from within your website so that a link becomes ‘Follow’ or ‘Nofollow’. This simply tells the search engines if they want to mark that link as part of the algorithm. You can do this in your HTML text.
Every game I’ve played has a design to it and within that design there are pathways to victory or pathways to break the game. A thorough understanding of all the components has to be grasped before you can use it to your advantage- ftw.
When you get familiar with google algorithms you will be able to leverage them to your advantage. In the meantime- focus on building a brand and let it grow organically.
Do you know of anymore ways to improve SEO? Did I leave something out? Leave a comment below and I will consider adding it to this page.