This video, from Google’s Matt Cutts, is a very useful indication of what to expect from Google in the next few months in the area of search engine optimisation.
Cutts refers to the next version of ‘Penguin’-Pengin 2.0- as being pretty significant.
One thing seems constant though from the video: quality content will be rewarded, and if your site is committed to publishing quality content you should have nothing to worry about.
If you are link spamming or buying links or involved in any other ‘black hat’ method of trying to obtain page rank and search position, it could, to quote Cutts, be an ‘eventful summer’.
Search engine optimisation (seo) should be a key factor in your content marketing strategy. If you have never heard of content marketing or you are not using content marketing in your digital marketing strategy you are sadly missing out on a great opportunity to market your business in a cost effective way.
You may be experiencing any or all of the following problems:
- Embarrassingly small traffic numbers
- Expensive pay per click advertising
- The electronic equivalent of tumbleweed blowing across your website or blog.
(You may need to read these articles to understand what content marketing is and how it can help your business, even with a very limited budget: content marketing versus traditional advertising; growing your business on the internet with content marketing; what is content marketing? )
Once you recognise the massive medium to long term benefits of content marketing you need to ensure that your website or blog is optimized for the search engines.
At it’s simplest, search engine optimisation is simply ensuring that the content on your site or blog is highly visible to the search engines and is ranking or capable of ranking well for keywords that are relevant to your business.
However there are a few critical facts that you need to understand about search engine optimisation from a content marketing perspective.
Firstly, and most importantly, the search engine crawlers (robots) can only read and “understand” text, the written word.
They cannot crawl or understand
- Graphic content
- Multimedia content.
All of these forms of content are vital for your website or blog. But the focus of your content marketing efforts should be on written text.
The keywords that appear on your website or blog are key. You should be targeting the keywords relevant to your business and market.
So the starting point of your search engine optimisation should be keyword research with the use of a free keyword tool from Google or Bing.
You need to focus on the keywords and phrases that searchers in your marketi are searching for. And these keywords are delivered up in large quantities by some simple research on the keyword tools mentioned above.
The characteristics of the keywords you choose to target on your site are as follows:
- Relevant-they should be relevant to your market
- Good search volume-there should be sufficient search volume to warrant the investment of your time or money or both
- The keywords should not be too competitive.
Good content on your website or blog should be the modus operandi of your digital marketing efforts.
Good content is unique, specific, and of good quality.
You should also optimize your multimedia content by tagging, descriptive titles and descriptions, and alt tags for your images. Providing transcripts of podcasts or audio files and comprehensive, contextual descriptions surrounding your videos are other ways to optimize the files which the search engines cannot read, watch or listen to.
Digital Marketing Options for Small Business
So, you can choose any of the following options to market your business on the internet:
- Buy traffic
- Generate free, organic traffic through content marketing and search engine optimisation
- Buy into the bullshit of social media marketing.
Choose your poison carefully.
And then only after seeing some demonstrable evidence supporting your choice.
Filed under Content Marketing
Search engine optimisation, also known as seo, is the task of ensuring that your website and it’s content is optimised to afford it the best possible chance of ranking well in the search engine results pages (SERPS).
Why worry about seo?
Clearly there is no point investing in a website for your business or for any other purpose if nobody actually finds it. Equally important is your site being found by targeted visitors, not just by random traffic/surfers who have absolutely no interest in what you have to offer.
Search engine optimisation therefore is an essential part of your online/internet marketing of you or your business because if your site ranks well in the SERPS for the best keywords and phrases for your business you will be guaranteed a steady pipeline of potential leads and new business.
Seo was seen as the preserve of techies and search engine optimisation experts, and best left to them, and this may have been true a number of years ago.
However some of the finest brains in the world are employed by the likes of Google and Yahoo to constantly improve their search engine algorithm (the scientific method by which the search engine companies rank web pages) and the result of this army of well qualified scientists’ work has been a huge improvement in the quality of their algorithm.
The result is that the search engines have become better and faster at finding, indexing and ranking the content of websites.
For this reason search engine optimisation is a much more straightforward task than it used to be and provided you follow some basic rules seo has been made accessible to ordinary website owners.
Off page seo and on page seo
There are broadly two aspects to search engine optimisation-on page and off page.
On page search engine optimisation
On page seo is what you do on your site to make it easy for the search engine robots to ascertain what your page is about and how it should rank in the search engine results.
On page search engine optimisation should see good use of
- good permalink structure
- title tags
- h1, h2, h3 tags
- alt tags for your images
- internal links
- including of keywords and phrases in your page content
- a relevant description of what your page is about
No rocket science there then..
(Read more about on page search engine optimisation)
Off page seo
Off page seo is what you or other people do away from your site to increase the likelihood of your web page being found and ranked well.
This essentially involves obtaining back links from other websites. Backlinks are seen by the search engines as votes of confidence in your website so the more votes or backlinks the better.
Better quality backlinks should be your goal as the value of huge quantities of backlinks from sources such as forums and article directories has been greatly diminished in the last 12 months by the search engines.
So, good quality backlinks from top sites with page rank (the higher the better) will see your site being boosted significantly in the search engine results pages.
(You might be interested off page search engine optimisation and 9 sources of backlinks.)
And ensuring that your investment of time and scarce cash begins to pay dividends and gives you a real and incrementally increasing return on one of the best investments you can make in your small business.
This video describes what exactly search engine optimisation is and why you need to use seo to ensure plenty of free or organic or natural search traffic to your website.
It explains why you need to structure your site from the outset and explains how seo provides a solution to the problem of traffic generation. (Take a look at search engine optimisation Ireland also for an overview of seo)
It also looks at why the search engines can help you to grow your traffic, provided you give searchers what they are looking for and the vital importance of carrying out good keyword research before publishing any content.
Optimizing each page or post on your site for 1 keyword or phrase is vital but latent semantic indexing, that is the use of related terms in that content, is also important.
It also looks at long tail keywords and the origin of the phrase “long tail” and what exactly it means for your site.