Thanks for following along with our SEO Basics Mini Series. So far, we've covered how to get started by choosing the right SEO-optimized platform, the importance of a mobile-friendly site, keywords and more. After today, you'll be one step closer to mastering the basics of search engine optimization!
CREATE FRESH CONTENT
We talked about the quality of content in the last SEO Basics - Mini Series Post (2 of 4), and how you should be including your keywords carefully throughout your content. Your site needs to stay fresh and updated, and therefore relevant to readers. One way to achieve the task of generating relevant content is through blogging. You might be thinking, "I've heard this before," but it's for a good reason! Blogging allows your site the opportunity to be updated frequently while also providing a great reason to build links.
I love this article found on Moz about how fresh content can influence your search engine rankings. Shepard explains that "Google measures all of your documents for freshness, then scores each page according to the type of search query. While some queries need fresh content, Google still uses old content for other queries..." According to Shepard, these types of keyword searches are most likely to require fresh content:
- Recent events or hot topics: “occupy oakland protest” “nba lockout”
- Regularly recurring events: “NFL scores” “dancing with the stars” “exxon earnings”
- Frequent updates: “best slr cameras” “subaru impreza reviews”
One of the marks of a successful site is a decent amount of traffic. One way to generate traffic to your site is through link building. Link building can be both inbound and outbound, and both affect your SEO. With Yoast's SEO plugin for Wordpress, I've found that the plugin was consistently asking for at least one outbound link in blog posts or pages. Sometimes adding one was the final step it took to go from 'good' to 'great' on the plugin's meter.
- Outbound Links
If you're going to be linking to other sites from your page, make sure they are absolutely relevant. When choosing what sites I link to, I think about what will provide the most value for my audience. I'm not going to include a link to my puppy's picture on Facebook (although he is pretty cute!). Instead, I read through my content with a careful eye to see if anything could use a supporting link to help clarify the subject.
I don't recommend going too crazy with outbound links if they aren't necessary to your page's objectives. Even just one outbound link per page seems to be enough for Google. However, if you're creating something like a round-up, it would make more sense to have a list of links. You'll be the best judge in determining what your audience will find most relevant and appropriate.
- Inbound Links
Inbound links are an important aspect of your SEO strategy, and should not be neglected. They refer to the links that are found on other sites that mention and link to your website. I know I've said this before- high quality content contributes to the SEO, with inbound links! Having valuable content will help promote inbound links to your site by other quality websites. For example, if you're seen as a resource in your field, maybe a blogger will want to include a quote of yours in an article. Or maybe you're a new jewelry company, and a high-profile lifestyle blogger mentioned you (and your website) in their latest post. Awesome! You're link building!
It's certainly worth mentioning that you'll want to be very precise with your link building efforts. Blasting your site up on hundreds of directories, or throwing it up on spammy websites won't win you any favors with Google. Focus on building quality links with key influencers in your field and you'll also notice referral traffic as an added bonus to boosted SEO!
AVOID FLASH LIKE THE PLAGUE
In the year 2015, there is no good reason I can possibly think of to have a site in flash. They load painfully slow, are rejected by Apple devices, and do nothing for your SEO. Flash sites don't appeal to search engines. When the name of the game in SEO is to make your site as attractive as possible to Google, you're not doing yourself any favors by choosing a flash site. Still not convinced? Check out this article on Digital Doughnut for 5 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Flash On Your Website. If your site uses flash, it's time to upgrade to HTML5. Squarespace sites are all HTML5, so if you're on SS, you're one step ahead already.
Missed any of the other posts in the SEO Mini Series? Read them here: