This One Article Will Make You Fantastic at SEO
Okay, so thats a bit of a bombastic click-baity title. I apologize.
But I do genuinely believe that you can learn the basics of SEO and master them in a single post. So, lets dive right in.
SEO Then and Now
SEO is Search Engine Optimization optimizing a website or page for Google, such that it appears at the top of the search engines for a particular keyword or keyphrase.
This involves building links and it involves writing content on your site. Writing content is important, because content is what Googles spiders will look for when they trawl the web. They will look for keywords and other notable signals and they will add your site to an index. Then, when someone searches for a particular thing, Google refers to its index and then pulls up the most relevant sites.
Links pointing at your site are important because they a) help spiders to find your content and b) act as testimonials from Googles perspective.
Once upon a time, good SEO meant using as many keywords per article as possible and building lots of links, regardless of quality.
As you can imagine though, these werent behaviors that Google was keen to encourage. Remember: Google is there to serve the users and not the writers. Its objective is to ensure as many people as possible are able to find the useful, interesting or entertaining content theyre looking for. Why, Because that way theyll be likely to come back and that means people keep using Google!
So if you want to climb Google, then you need to align your goals with Googles. If you are creating great content, then Google wants to help people find your site.
Conversely, if you try and trick Google by writing low quality, generic content and spamming links, then youre going to end up getting penalized. Even if Google doesnt spot the difference right away, each improvement to the algorithm will bring you one step closer to having your position adjusted accordingly.
How to Do it Right
So, with that in mind, how do you do it right,
The first thing to ensure you do is that you write content that is for the reader and not for Google. That means it should be well written, it should have something new to say and it should be presented in an attractive manner. At the same time, you also need to ensure that you do this in a way that Google can recognize though. And so that means trying to make your content a little longer (1,800 words) and it means using a keyword with very low density (about 0.5-1%) and including synonyms and related terms naturally where possible.
In terms of links, the key is to look for authorities and sites that Google already trusts. These include sites like the BBC, Forbes, anything with a .edu or .gov domain. Your objective is to get links from them and if not them, then from other sites that do have links from them. Its like a game of degrees of separation!