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The 5 Fundamentals of SEO

Having recently read why SEO is important, you're now probably starting to wonder how you can go about optimizing your website. Search engine optimization is a skill that takes years to master, but you can do a few simple things to improve your website's search engine ranking. Today, I’m going to share five basic SEO tips that will serve as a great introduction to improving your search engine ranking. After doing these five simple things, schedule a call with me and I'll be happy to share a few additional ways to improve your search ranking. For those who are newer to SEO, I'm going to explain each of these SEO elements in the way that they would relate to running a pizza shop.

Writing Great Content: Because the Best Pizza is the Best Advertisement

This tip is pretty straightforward: if you write great content, you will see a boost in your search engine ranking. The reason for this is that your search engine ranking is largely determined by the amount of time that the average visitor stays on your website, how deeply into your website they travel, and how frequently they return. While not always accurate, Google assumes that the more time someone spends on your website, the better the content your website contains. While there may be other factors at play, having customers who come into your pizza shop every week is a pretty good indicator that you serve good pizza. Tools like Google Analytics enable you to measure this data to determine you’re how doing, and will help you to see potential flaws in your website.

A really good test for content quality is to look at 3-4 different articles that are published on your website, and identify the amount of time that the average website visitor spent on that page, as well as how many pages they visited after reading your article. The best performing articles with have a much higher number of pages per session and average time on the page. Once you identify some of your best and worst articles, look for trends in the articles to identify what your reader likes and dislikes in your writing.

External Links: Referrals from Others

Having others include a link to your website on their own website is an SEO trick referred to as external linking. Think of this as other customers telling their friends about your pizza shop, and, the more well-known the customer is, the more people will go to your shop. Similarly, a link to your website from the New York Times would boost your search rankings more than a link from my inbound marketing blog. While there is little that you can do to influence this, the best trick is to write great content, and hope that other websites will link to you.

Social Media Marketing: Posting Your Own Fliers

Traveling through your town hanging up fliers about your pizza shop will encourage people to try it out. Similarly, posting links to your website on social networking sites can also boost your search engine ranking. Links from social media sites don’t count for as much as a link from the New York Times, but they have become increasingly important to SEO over the past few years, and are valued based on their level of engagement. For example, a link to your website on Twitter that is retweeted 5 times will be more valuable than a link that is only retweeted once.

However, keep in mind that consistently posting your links in one place can be seen as spam, and can actually hurt your online reputation. You wouldn’t post 10 fliers on the same telephone pole, so don’t share the exact same link to your website repeatedly on Facebook thinking that it will improve your search rankings. When posting links on social media, make sure that the links are relevant to the conversation, and post links with the intention of providing valuable information to viewers. You wouldn’t recommend your pizza shop to a friend searching for sushi, so don’t post a link to your pizza shop on a Google Plus page about sushi.

Inlinks: Promoting Your Specialties Within the Shop

A good pizza shop helps their customers to find what they want. The owner might suggest the meat lover’s special to a fan of pepperoni pizza, or hang up a sign about their famous margarita pizza within the store. Search engines reward websites that do this. This tactic, called internal linking, will boost the ranking of a subpage on your website when you link to it. For example, linking to the my inbound marketing resources section will slightly improve that page’s ranking, as long as some of my website visitors click that link. One reason for this is that, as discussed in the first tip, Google assumes that when customers explore other pages of your website, they do so because you have good content, which boosts your ranking. However, a pizza shop that has its walls covered in “specialties” just leaves its customers confused, so try to limit the internal links on one of your pages to 3-5 – excluding links on your navigation bar, or those at the foot of your page.

Increase Use of Relevant Keywords

The last tip for today is to determine what keywords your potential customers are likely to search for, and focus on increasing your use of those keywords. If you are serious about improving your search engine ranking, I would suggest trying out SEMRush. SEMRush is an extremely useful tool that will help you to see how highly your website ranks for relevant keywords, along with how many monthly searches those keywords will receive, and how easy it will be for you to improve your ranking for each keyword. Whether or not you choose to use this tool, determine the relevant keywords that you want to focus on, and work towards including those keywords in the title of your pages, or even the subtitles of blog articles. In addition, increasing the use of those keywords in standard text will also improve your ranking.

In the future, I'll share additional insights on online marketing, but for now, work on implementing some of these suggestions, and be sure to come back soon to continue to enhance your understanding of SEO and online marketing.


all the best,

pat ahern

Is your company in need of search engine optimization? Send me your website name, number of employees, and monthly marketing budget and I'll be happy to run a free SEO audit for you and your team.