SEO Best Practices 2016
SEO & Content Marketing Best Practices
An SEO view of content
Historically how SEO Agencies look at users and bots never really overlapped at all, they would treat each as a standalone entity. SEO Agency Edinburgh have put together how SEO should be approached in 2016 and how we need to respond to an ever changing SEO landscape.
An SEO view of content
to infinity 2016 and beyond
Nowadays SEO Agencies find themselves having to wear two hats at the same time, we have realised that we need to be bot and user friendly all at the same time.
The 2 Sides of Ranking in Search Engines
Search engines have to first be able to find and crawl a webpage to understand what it is truly about.
From there, search engines need to understand the ranking signals of a page and how popular and rank-worthy it truly is. In general, most of your webpages will be crawled, but only a few will actually rank.
How we can Influencing Search Engine Rankings
Putting keywords on a page will only get you indexed – rankings comes from inbound links, social activity and online PR. It’s difficult to generate an online buzz with sales type content. For that reason, great content is a cornerstone for SEO. There are 4 pieces to content SEO:
1. Keyword planning / idea generation
2. Content creation
3. Content optimisation
4. Content distribution
An SEO view of content… Content should be focused on keywords that generate a high volume of searches. This not only ensures traffic potential, but interest level as well. Keywords that people are searching for (primary and secondary)
Example Primary – Higher Exam Guide
Example Secondary – Higher Exam prep guide, higher exam test papers, Higher exam 2015 past papers
Find keyword search volume
Simple head straight over to Google Keyword Research Tool https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner
Build on your keyword list with suggestions
Let Google do all the hard work for you and expand on the variations of keywords you can target by using the suggestions tab. You can also head over to Google, begin search a keyword in your niche and Google will throw up even more suggestions.
Dig into Industry and topical trends
www.google.com/trends Check out Google trends to find some juicy keywords that are on the up!
Find keywords with lower competition
A large part of Google’s algorithm pulls from overall trust and authority of a website. The higher the trust + authority, the higher a site will rank. Axiom operates in a highly competitive field, often competing against high authority university sites and Wikipedia. They key to success is finding keywords that align with Axiom’s business goals and have lower competition in the SERPs. Look for scores less than 50% (the lower the better)
Moz Keyword Difﬁculty Tool – https://moz.com/researchtools/keyword-difﬁculty
Creating the right type of content. Content comes in various forms – each has their own benefit in regards to SEO. Short form, Long form QA, Glossary, Infographic, Image gallery and Video Guide are some of the most popular around.
<h2>Cater, to your Audience when Creating Content</h2>
<h3>Creating content that your customers need. How can you help?</h3>
Heather Holness is a stay at home mother in Edinburgh. She currently has 2 children (4 and 7) all of whom attend Royal High. She’s very active in the community and her children’s education.
CUSTOMER NEEDS • What are her top priorities?
PAIN POINTS • What keeps her up at night?
YOUR TURN • How can we alleviate Heather’s pain points? • How can we effectively reach her? • How can we be of service to her (without selling)?
Making a page SEO friendly
Elements a page must contain:
• Title tag (should contain the page’s primary keywords towards the beginning and be less than 65 characters long, including spaces)
• Meta description tag (should contain the page’s primary and secondary keywords and entice the reader to want to click onto the page. Typically done by a call-to-action at the end. Also the description should be less than 165 characters, including spaces)
• Keywords in URL separated by hyphens
• An H1/H2 tag (the H1 should contain the page’s primary keyword and the H2 should contain a secondary keyword)
SEO Elements a page should also contain
• Social metadata:
• Facebook OpenGraph – https://developers.facebook.com/docs/opengraph
• Twitter Cards – https://dev.twitter.com/cards/overview
• Google+ Snippet – https://developers.google.com/+/web/snippet/
• Keyword anchor text
• Images/videos with alt attributes and keyword-rich titles – this is a code change to the way images and videos are embedded onto a page.
Poorly optimised content does not perform well in search engines. This can be detrimental to brand equity as other websites can infringe on branded queries and steal traffic intended for your site.
You can check how well you have optimised your page at Moz Keyword Grader: https://moz.com/researchtools/on-page-grader
Getting a page to rank in Search Engines
Ranking a page takes more creating content with the right keywords. This might get you indexed, but not ranked.
Ranking a page takes signiﬁcant off page signals. Tweets, +1’s, Shares and links to content are the top signals Google looks for.
Ideally, these signals happen naturally. You post a piece of content, send it through owned channels (social + email) and fans amplify it.
That’s not always the case. Sometimes, generating these signals takes signiﬁcant effort on the part of the publisher.
Relevance and Authority
What determines relevance?
• URL Structure
• Title of page
• Keyword contained in content
• Relevant images/media BASICS of what ranks a page:
What determines authority?
• Number of links pointing at site
• Number of links pointing at page
• Quality links pointing at site
• Quality links pointing at page
• Social media signals +
The majority of web activity takes places on sites like Facebook, Reddit and Twitter. If your links aren’t being posted on these sites, it’s hard for Google see your site as relevant.
There are thousands of highly active social media groups and web forums related to farming. While these participants may not be your direct customers, they server as potential ampliﬁers, inﬂuencers and ambassadors of the brand.
Getting your content in these groups pushes highly relevant social signals to your site, honest feedback and potential ampliﬁcation (shares, links, etc). Examples of engaged communities can be found on:
• Web forums
Links are still the #1 factor Google looks at when ranking pages. When one site links to your content, it tells Google that your site has something worth seeing. Ideally, links come from:
1. Relevant sites in your niche/location
2. High authority (DA) sites
Some link strategies include:
1. Targeted link outreach
2. Blogger outreach
3. Guest blogging
4. Press release
5. Broken link building
6. Resource page outreach
Putting all of the above into Action
STEP 1 – Research keyword topic
STEP 2 – Pick top keyword to focus on (primary and secondary) – have multiple options q
STEP 3 – Narrow down based off of difﬁculty
STEP 4 – Determine the best type and amount of content you will need to rank (search Google)
STEP 5 – Determine resources and time you have available to meet this objective Writing
STEP 6 – Begin writing and producing content
STEP 7 – Write a custom title and meta description tag (titles <65 characters/descriptions <165). In general, your title will likely be the title of your article/blog post, and your description will be a catchy 165 character or less description of the page that attempts to catch the readers attention and entice a click onto the desired page.
STEP 8 – Ensure the URL uses the right keywords
STEP 9 – Ensure page properly links to other pages
STEP 10 – Spot-check all SEO best practices Publishing
STEP 11 – Review tracking is accurate and publish article Optimizing (post–publish)
STEP 12 – Check the “targeting” of the page using the keyword grader tool
STEP 13 – Check the ranking of the page using the ranking tool
Keyword Research (ﬁnd search volumes, competitiveness, and trends):
• Google Keyword Research Tool – https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner
• Google Trends – www.google.com/trends
• Ubersuggest – www.ubersuggest.org
• SEM Rush – www.semrush.com
Link and Social Research (just add the URL of the page you want to check):
• Moz Open Site Explorer – https://moz.com/researchtools/ose/
Check rankings for a particular keyword
• Moz Rank Tracker (200 limit per day) – https://moz.com/researchtools/rank-tracker