Basic Search Engine Optimization: Part 1- Basic Strategy
The next step after you get your website up and social media pages ready.
It’s no secret that the positioning of your website, social media page, or blog on Google has become more important than ever. Reaching page one of Google can make or break your business. According to Sean V. Bradly in his book Googleopoly, only 6% of searchers make it passed page one on a Google search. Utilizing Google AdWords isn’t particularly effective either for increasing traffic. According to that same book, only about 4% of searchers click on Google AdWords. Although that number sounds astounding, it makes sense when you think, “When was the last time I actually clicked on an AdWords link?”
The best way to gain traffic is to utilize a practice called search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is all about increasing organic visibility on the search results pages on relevant search engines (To note: This is different from using AdWords. AdWords is part of a practice called Search Engine Marketing (SEM), a worthy practice in its own right, but does not yield as much fruit). Although the term SEO is intimidating, the practice itself is really quite simple as a whole. Most of SEO is really about creating is actually relevant. So, pretty much, if you are being genuine, you are on the right track. However, here are some tips to ensure your SEO is top-notch.
Note: This article is just briefly touching on overarching SEO strategy. More specific topics such as tagging, schema, and content SEO will be tackled in a later article. I will not be going over anything about indexing your website on Google. If you want help on that, please check out this link or talk to your company web programmer.
Focus Only on Google
As of October 2017, Google has dominated the search engine industry with 86.87% market share with Bing placing in second at 5.11%. Some people in SEO believe that Bing is an untapped area and that by optimizing your sites for Bing you could gain significant traffic. This point can be subject for debate, but in my (and other expert)opinion any time taken toward optimizing for Bing is time taken away from optimizing from Google. Sure, you could see some bump in traffic coming from Bing, but remember, you are only getting a tiny sliver of that 5.11% market share pie. Yes, in Google you would also get a sliver of that 86.87% but the sliver on that pie would be more significant due to the pie’s size. Furthermore, Google has only been increasing their market share, while Bing’s has only been decreasing.
Utilize the 75/25 Percent Rule
If you want to increase your chance at getting on the first page, it helps more to place down multiple pages, rather than just a singular page. The 75/25 percent rule is the utilization of your time toward SEO offsite and onsite. As the names imply, offsite SEO is optimizing your pages off of your website (e.g. social media, blog, video etc.) while onsite SEO is optimizing your website itself. Seventy-five percent of your time on SEO should be devoted off of your site, while twenty-five percent of your time on SEO should be devoted to your website. This may not sound like much time devoted on your website, but remember offsite SEO encompasses many different pages including your Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, and perhaps even more.
Internal and External Linking
Linking in general is useful because Google’s conception was heavily based around the idea of finding the most relevant cited sources in scholarly articles. In order to find what was more relevant, they would often draw from the sources that were cited the most in different articles. This same concept can still be tracked to linking today. A helpful way to increase the traffic to your pages is to link all of your pages together. This can be referred to as internal linking.
External linking is similar except that it is done by sites that are outside of your control. One of the best uses of external links are external links by news sites. Google takes the weight of news sites incredibly seriously, so having a news article link to your site would be useful in increasing your SEO clout. However, if you don’t have access to any media at the moment, I recently learned that a good strategy would be to register your company on your local Chamber of Commerce sites and the White Pages. It would also be helpful to register your company on Google My Business. Although it may be tempting, I do not recommend paying people to link your site since it could potentially lead to your site being deindexed, a fate worse than death for your SEO.
Create Relevant URLs
In SEO, you will find that the word relevant is used constantly, and you URL should be no exception. Therefore, your URL should never look like this:
epochlyapp.com/32421rj34hut34123414 (Note: Not an actual URL, I’d never subject a website to a URL like this unless it was to be used privately).
But instead should look like this:
epochlyapp.com/about (Note: This is an actual URL, and I recommend you check it out).
Having informative URLs is helpful for the Google index to parse the information and sort it into whatever relevant search any searcher makes. Furthermore, it is also simply helpful to the searcher, so really Google is only taking part in what you should already be doing. You should also ensure that your URLs are canonized (we will be going over that in a later article).
These initial tips should be what you keep in mind when you create your SEO strategy. Next article I will be going over how to correctly utilize tags and schema within your code to totally annihilate your competition.
Define a canonical page for similar or duplicate pagesSummary If you have a single page accessible by multiple URLs, or…support.google.com