The fads and trends of marketing are constantly in a state of flux. What’s hot today may be cold by sunrise tomorrow. Search engine traffic, however, is always in style. A simple web search can yield millions of results, most of which never see the light of day. Indeed, a whopping 1/3 of all web users click on the top result in any search engine. The majority of the rest divide their time between spots two and three. Only 2 percent of web users make it to the 10th spot, according to repeated studies that have been conducted over the last three years. What does this mean for your site? How can one achieve better search engine placement you ask? Basically, if you don’t have excellent search engine placement, you may as well be nonexistent. Luckily, there are ways to achieve this task fairly quickly whether your site is old or new.
The Keyword Strategy
If you’ve been online in the last 10 years, you’ve probably heard the term “keyword,” but you may not know what it means. Simply put, a keyword is a word that a user will place into a search engine to find their desired results. Your job, when trying to drive traffic to your site, is to determine the appropriate keywords that people may use to find your products or services. The next step in your keyword strategy is developing content that includes an appropriate number of keywords in locations that will be seen by search engines but will not interfere with readability. Page text, product descriptions, page titles, and even images should include natural sounding, yet traffic-driving keywords.
Keeping it Real
The hardest part of keyword usage is content relevance. It’s tempting to practice keyword stuffing, which involves placing as many keywords as possible into a page in order to create a higher ranking. Keyword stuffing does occasionally work, for a short while, but it’s an ill-conceived effort at driving traffic. Likewise, search engines like Google use metrics to attempt to keep sites with too many keywords out of the top results.
The Elusive Backlink
One of the ways Google determines search engine ranking is based on the number of sites that link back to yours. The best way to get high quality sites to link to your site is to build high quality content that is deemed worthy of sharing. Another way that many site owners use to garner backlinks is to provide content to other sites, always linking back to their own. Being a guest blogger used to be an easy way to achieve this goal, with both sites benefiting. However, the practice was so abused that Google began penalizing one or both sites for spammy practices. If you want to guest-blog on other site or allow others to guest-blog on yours, be sure that both sites, as well as the post in question, are highly relevant to the same general topics and that the post is of good quality, offering true value to readers.
The Evolution of a Website
Content development is not a one-time process. Websites that remain static lose interest and search engine ranking over time. Keeping your website current allows you to refresh your information on a regular basis and helps keep your visitors interested. A solid content strategy is key to ensuring the healthy evolution of your website. You can plan where and when changes need to be made, giving yourself or your team deadlines for generating new, relevant content. Part of that strategy should include new images, as well. You should also pay attention to your keywords. As your products and your users grow and change, their search terms are likely to change as well.