Google is in a state of constant change, with the algorithm constantly changing in an attempt to improve the quality and relevancy of its search engine rankings. Search Engine Journal reports that the latest update targets advertorials, large scale article campaigns and optimized anchor text. This update focuses on reducing the ability for these strategies to directly impact search engine ranking, since Google views it as a form of ranking manipulation when websites utilize large guest blogging pushes simply to build backlinks. Organic search engine optimization is a must to survive through Google’s countless waves of ranking changes. Organic methods include creating high quality content for your visitors, building your authority in your niche, and promoting discussions and social interaction with your content. Other ways to improve your search engine optimization resides behind the curtain of your website, in the script and coding itself.
The Elements of Quality Content
Your website’s search engine optimization and overall visitor satisfaction lives and dies on the quality of your content. Without quality content , you don’t give your visitors a reason to stick around and come back again and again to see your updates. The Content Marketing Institute also notes that quality content allows you to stand out from the mediocre web content crowd. When there’s a high signal to noise ratio as your visitors browse the Internet, useful and well-written content catches their attention more than an article that is simply trying to appeal to Google. Along with being technically correct, it’s essential for your content to be relevant to your visitors. Maybe it’s a resource on how to solve a common problem that your customers face. Maybe you want to let your visitors know how a client has used your services to increase business. Perhaps you have a great set of data that is dying to be turned into an infographic. Keep your content noteworthy, relevant and viral-friendly when possible to take advantage of the social media crowd.
Delving Into the Code
The second part of on-site search engine optimization involves your backend scripting. Many websites rely on some form of content management system, whether it’s a blog script or a full blown website portal, in order to manage all of the content of the site. Content management systems make it easier to add and change articles on the site, as well as building your site from a framework instead of from scratch. However, not all CMS code is created to be search engine friendly. If the script developers aren’t keeping up with the latest changes at Google, it’s possible that they started out meeting SEO demands but became obsolete with the latest algorithm changes. Look into plug-ins, add-ons and modules for your content management system. The popular blogging script WordPress has a large number of plugins available, according to WebHostingBlueBook.com. One example of an SEO plugin is created by Yoast. It creates more friendly titles, XML sitemaps, video SEO modules, local search features, permalink cleanup and other features designed to keep up with Google’s demands. (photo source: Flickr user Carlos Luna)