Maapu’s Candles

Uploading a useful and well-crafted article on the Net without search engine optimization is like getting ready for your Oscar debut and remaining hidden in the closet. Unless your clients come to your house, peek inside the closet to find you and spread the word, the chances of you being seen are slim. The same can be said for your well-crafted article. However, a well-written page can ensure organic traffic that can last the test of time.

One must understand more than just the basics of SEO. It’s 2010 and we are dealing with different search engines, as well as a more educated and savvy users. You must first find optimal keywords and phrases to lead a maximum campaign that results in organic and targeted traffic. All marketing decisions for the SEO campaign have to be made on hard data, not educated guesses. Tracking is also very important, so make sure your website tracking provides important metrics.

When a user keys in a search query, regardless of what search engine used, web pages come down like a tsunami. Inevitably, search engine results and users’ requirements do not always meet in a hand-in-glove manner, but web crawlers manage the selection process to give you optimal results… or so it seems. The way pages are selected and offered from those floodtides in seconds would look like a miracle, and this miracle is made possible because of a strong SEO keyword campaign.

Keyword research, keyword use, and link building are some of the more important aspects of successful SEO.

Keywords are extremely important for any SEO campaign, because matching keywords with content is the only bait that search engines will swallow. As of now, the web crawlers that select the pages are blind to the beauty of the rest of the page, such as beautiful graphics. They do their job by matching the keywords visitor type to the content found on a particular web page. Not to beat a dead horse, but let’s repeat: the first step for any successful SEO is research, test, and data mine keywords user/ customers are likely to use.

Okay, so now we have that out of the way, what’s next?

Keywords have to be progressively narrowed; often they may need to be twisted out of shape to make them effective in an SEO campaign. For example, if you want to advertise a holiday villa in Canberra, you might have to coin different keywords like “holiday villa Canberra”, “Canberra holiday villa”, “holiday villa Canberra Australia”, or “villa holiday Canberra”. Since these keywords can’t all be naturally squeezed into the same page, the promoter will need different articles to use each keyword phrase.

Since there is no end to the idiosyncrasies of those searching things online, a keyword can be anything in order to satisfy SEO campaign requirements. For example if, by keyword research, it is found that too many people refer to Australia as “down under”, then you may have to write new content integrating the phrase “holiday villa down under”. Some of these keyword phrases may be linguistically unacceptable, but a successful SEO campaign often requires that we say goodbye to the Queen’s English. Now, this doesn’t mean your content has to suck, nor does it have to have every keyword on a single page. On the contrary – be creative and natural!

How can I find the perfect keywords for my business?

It is clear to anyone paying attention that search engines have not been the only ones to change; people have changed the way they search. In its simplest form, think of the search engines as the dealers of information – the middlemen. They bond customers and sellers with keywords. In turn, those keywords become part of the language, modified to bridge the two.

Once the right keywords and phrases are short-listed, the next step is to weave these keywords into content of the site, blog or article, together with researched material and relevant data. This marriage between data and keywords might often be a marriage of convenience, but it is up to the writer to make it a real marriage. The right keywords in the title, as well as natural placement through the articles, are a must for successful SEO.

Link building is another aspect to consider when building this campaign. Link building is as much a part of your reputation as it is part of your user’s experience. Understand that true, useful link building is not about sending out a generic “let’s do links” email to just any site owner. A strong campaign must be well thought out, with a researched (“researched” is the key word, here) list of potential partners that can enhance your credibility.

In reality, link building is more about a connection: social proof, reputation, accountability – and, of course, R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Turns out, respect is important, even in the business world. Link building doesn’t have to be a full time job, but it will take some active participation on your part, as well as the ability to say “no” to the wrong type of link invitations. Always focus on quality, rather than quantity.

Before accepting a link, ask yourself:

  • Will these links really help my visitors?
  • Are these links from relative, upstanding Web, blog or article sites?
  • Are there tons of links on the suggested page (the more outgoing links from a page, the less link juice you get)?
  • Is the linking site getting traffic?

Guest blogging is a great way to build links. For instance, when writing a guest article, you are typically allowed to include a few links, as well as your biography. Guest blogging provides several benefits, such as:

  • Increased exposure
  • Increased chances for recognition
  • Links back to your site from the biography
  • Increased authority

As well, linking out to good blogs will help, although not (necessarily) with your SEO. By linking to other great, relevant blogs or articles, you increase the value of your own blog for your readers. Increased value means increased recognition, which, in turn, means increased readers. For SEO, however, the more willing you are to spread around the glory (i.e. posting relevant links within an article whether they’re your links or not), the more likely other bloggers will be willing to do the same with your blogs.

Finally, while managing your SEO campaign remember the ultimate goal. Ultimately, you aren’t building a website, working on a blog or writing an article to attract search engines. Ultimately, you’re trying to attract clients. If you can’t decide whether you’ve overdone the linking and keywords, always err on the side of caution. Search engines may find you, but populate your website with improperly written SEO content and you’ll lose the visitors (i.e. potential customers) you worked so hard to get.

In conclusion (there is an end to this I promise) everything you upload on the Internet will hold value for the success and future of your business. Things like trust, experience, influence, connection, reputation, credibility are what will solidify your place on the Internet, no matter what search engine people use. SO maybe you should ask yourself, is your SEO campaign missing something?