Heard the buzz-phrase “content is king” before? Well, it is true for SEO. Content building is a great (and cheap) way to attract organic traffic from search engines.
Just like all SEO and PPC fundamentals, content building requires good knowledge on your keywords. A good guide is to use your keyword at least once per paragraph, in your page title, page URL and meta-description. Use it everywhere! If you are finding your keyword difficult to use, think whether it is really relevant and what you want to be appearing for on search engines.
Content building comes in a range of formats, all as useful as the other. Here is a list to consider adding to your website:
- Product/service pages – Yes, it’s likely you already have these, but make sure they contain all the right keywords so they act as both a PPC landing page and SEO content.
- Articles – This can consist of interviews with staff members and industry experts or news stories about your business and industry.
- Guides or How-To’s – Detailed explanations or instructions on how to do something
- Lists – A simplified form of an article that is good for quick, easy reading. For example “10 ways to build content for SEO!” They often get good responses from social media.
- Blog posts – Great for flexibility, and can feature other formats mentioned in this list.
- Videos – Often accompanied by some text, videos can be a great way of attracting people to your website or demonstrating guides, again, popular on social media.
- Infographics – These must also be accompanied by text as they are usually in an image format.
- Directories and glossaries – A very easy way to get lots of keywords onto a page.
Content building should always be on the mind, trying to update old pages and add new ones. However, constantly adding new pages for the sake of it won’t help. Think about recent trends and what is currently popular.
We know it can be difficult to always think up new content, and it can also be quite time consuming, so let us help you! Get in touch with us to find out how we can work together building content for your website.
Backlink Building and Control
Backlink building is extremely important within SEO. It represents a ‘vote of confidence’ in the eyes of Google. If lots of other websites are directing to your website or one of your web pages, Google thinks it must be worth-while.
Backlink building doesn’t mean you should just get as many links as possible to your website. You want to be targeting popular, high-authority sites, such at the BBC or highly regarded industry sites. Even if people don’t click the link on to your site, it is still valuable and can at minimum help with brand awareness.
A good place to start when considering backlink building is viewing your competitors. It is especially hard for new websites or expanding websites. Find out where their backlinks are coming from and the keywords they are using. Your backlinks must also be natural, Google is very clever is working out what is legitimate and what isn’t, and remember, it is better to have one backlink from a high-authority site than lots of backlinks from low-authority irrelevant sites. Quality not quantity! Bad practices can be buying or selling backlinks, or link exchanging. Again, Google is clever, and if they suspect any of these are happening, you will be penalised.
So how do you go about backlink building? Well, you need to create an asset, something that people are interested in and think is valuable, whether that’s because its informative or funny is up to you. It could be a great infographic or a how-to guide. Common themes of web pages that gain backlinks are: interactive, engaging, applicable to lots of people, clean and simple designs, and easy to use. Next, you need to reach out to people and get your content out there to try and build links. An easy way to approach other websites is asking them to write guest post for you, normally a blog. That way, there is a chance they will add the link from their website to their guest post on your site.
Typically, backlink building isn’t a quick process, but over time it will get easier. Get in touch with us at Monster to find out how we can help you!
Web authority can be split into two sections: page authority and domain authority. Combined, these improve your website’s value according to Google, causing your rating to increase and your search results to jump up the rankings. In simple terms, this means more clicks to your site!
The first thing to tackle in web authority is your pages. These are rankings of an individual page within your website. Factors that influence your page authority include having external links from other pages with a high authority, this acts as a “vote of confidence”. For example, having a link from an article on The Guardian newspaper website. Other factors can be: having lots of Facebook shares, comments and likes linking to a specific page, having lots of subdomains linking to the page, and having lots of unique IPs linking to the page.
The next thing to taking within web authority is your domain authority. This is the ranking of an overall website on search engines. Typically, websites that have a lot of high-quality external links will have a strong domain authority. The best way to increase domain authority is to improve SEO across the whole site, as well as some of the tips mentioned above, such as having lots of unique IPs linking to the domain.
So how do you know which websites to target for links? Well, its probably ones you have heard of, such as BBC, The Telegraph and other popular industry blogs, but niche websites can still be highly regarded. Having one link from any of these high authority sites is better than having lots of links from low authority sites. Who decides which sites have authority? Yep, you guessed it, Google (other search engines are available!)
So to conclude, improve your overall web authority with valued links from external sources and high quality SEO throughout. If you need help creating a strategy to improve your web authority, and then implementing it to get optimal SEO results, get in touch with Monster today to find out how we can work together to get your website up the infamous Google rankings!
Content and Page Relevance
Content and page relevance is really, REALLY important within SEO. It makes sure the page appearing in the search engine is actually relevant to the keyword searched by the user. You can choose single keywords, a phrase or use multiple keywords (but this is a bit trickier). There are lots of ways to make your content and page relevant:
- URL – The keyword should appear in the page URL.
- Page title – The keyword should appear in the title of the page, ideally at the start.
- Meta description – Put the keyword in the meta description, so when the user sees the search results they will have confidence your page is what they want to click on.
- Alt tags – This one is often forgotten. If you add an image to your page, add an alt tag within the IMG tag using the keyword, so search engines will find it when crawling through.
- Headings – Less important and slightly harder to do. It can be difficult to add your keyword into every H1 and H2 tag without reading weird, but bear it in mind.
- Text – Aim for adding your keyword into each paragraph, and have at least 3 paragraphs to help with keyword density. The text still needs to be reader friendly and not sound forced to keep people engaged. Search engines are clever enough to pick up pages stuffed with keywords. For example “We have lots of dog bowls for sale, red dog bowls, green dog bowls, plastic dog bowls, metal dog bowls, big dog bowls” will not do well!
Content and page relevance is extremely important throughout your whole site, but if you are going to focus on it anywhere, focus on your landing page. If you can get people onto your site you stand a greater chance of achieving your long term goals.
Content and page relevance might seem simple, but realistically it isn’t. Content still needs to be interesting, solve a problem and suit current events. The length of your content doesn’t really matter, as long as its relevant. And always remember, Google is clever! Monster knows the importance of relevance, so get it touch to see what we can do for you and how we can work together for optimal results.
We’ve spoken lots about ways to improve SEO on a website, but there are some extra factors to really improve technical aspects. These are more than just keywords and relevant content.
- HTML sitemaps are crawl friendly for Google and users- This is a page on your website that has a list of links, and can also appear at the bottom of every page so Google can enter your site from anywhere on the whole website. Its a win win, both humans and search spiders use it to navigate the site.
- XML sitemaps are purely for search spiders – It can just be a text file listing your website pages, so doesn’t have to look good as users won’t see it, but do make sure its kept up to date. It helps ensure the search spiders are crawling your important pages.
- Make it snappy – How many times have we said Google is clever? It works out site loading speed and this contributes to your rank. Slow websites are infuriating, and Google knows this, so won’t list them at the top. There are loads of ways to make your site faster, from clean code to the number of calls its making. Contact us at Monster if you need help speeding up your site.
- Errors – If search spiders find lots of web server errors, Google will lower your rank. A good house keeping tip it to check your server regularly for errors.
- Images with text – Search spiders can’t see text that’s hidden within images, neither can it see Flash content, so if you are trying to convey important information or keywords, avoid these. Or if you can’t avoid them, use Alt tags.
- Responsive websites – Google is all about usability, and therefore with the increased use of mobile devices, responsive website are a plus in Google’s eyes. Monster are experts in responsive technology, so let us know if you want to convert your website to be responsive.
- Site structure – Ensure your site’s structure is methodical and logical. Link pages within your own website, especially important ones.
- Duplicate content – Not good! Keep content, pages and URLs original, both within your own website and using content from others.
The list above isn’t easy, but really helps improve technical SEO, and puts your site a cut above the rest.
If you need help to improve technical aspects of your website, get it touch with Monster to see how we can work together to get you up the ranks.
Duplication handling is a very important aspect of SEO. If the majority of the content on a page is copied from somewhere else it will receive a very low rating from Google, even if the content is cited to the external source. It should be noted that Google distinguishes between ‘copied content’ and ‘duplicated content’. Copied content can be penalised, as it is seen to be malicious, whereas duplicated content is much more common and not meant to be manipulative. Regardless, neither are good for SEO. Basically, Google rewards individual content, believing that it is adding value. A lot of websites have duplicated content, but as long as there is a decent amount of unique content on the site, you should be OK.
Duplication handling needs to be considered for both your own website and other websites. You will get penalised just as much for having duplicate content across your own website as taking it from others. This type of content can be called ‘boilerplate’. For example, if you use the same boilerplate block of text on lots of pages, Google might start to ignore them entirely. So try and mix it up. For example, if you have the same coffee cup available in 5 colours, with the same url (plus the colours on the end), title, meta-description product description, this could be detrimental. So although it is very time consuming, try and re-write each description, and not just spin the text around!
If you are already an established website with lots of content, the first phase of duplication handling should be to check if you have any duplicate content already on the site. The easiest way to do this by taking a bit of text from a page on your site, and searching it on Google when it is in “quotation marks”. Then Google will return all the pages that have this exact content too. Of course, there are lots of third party companies that will do this for you too.
Here are a few tips to avoid duplicated content:
- Disable session ID’s in your URLs
- Disable comment pagination in WordPress
- Order parameters within your script in the same order
- Use a print style sheet instead of duplicate printer friendly pages
Bloggers will often end up writing about the same topics, especially in a niche industry. The best thing to do is link to the other article instead of duplicating it.
Duplication handling can be quite an in-depth and sticky concept, so get in touch with us if you need help to decipher the do’s and dont’s.