Sharing your content and optimizing your website for search engines are the best ways to attract visitors to your site. It’s important to incorporate all major search engines into your optimization strategy, not just Google. Yahoo, Bing and social networks like Tumblr and Facebook also have powerful search engines.
If you only focused on Google you’d be ignoring a large portion of the market. Nevertheless Google has grown to become the biggest player in the game when it comes to search engines. Having a high ranking on Google search can be one of the most valuable marketing assets for your website.
You’ve heard the saying, “The best way to hide a dead body is on the 2nd page of Google’s search results.” While we shouldn’t take this saying literally, we should take this message to heart. Ranking on the first page of Google can draw an enormous amount of traffic to your WordPress site.The best way to make sure you rank high is to follow best practices for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). There are a lot of factors at play here so when it comes to SEO and there’s more than one way to skin a cat.What are the best practices? To figure that out you can do some research and consult with those with experiential knowledge. No matter what path you take, you will will no doubt have to experiment on your own and see what works for you.
Create Quality Content
We discussed this in our article on SEO Basics for WordPress. If you want to rank high you should create content that is legitimate, detailed and authoritative. You shouldn’t ever published copied or redundant content to your site. Creating high quality content is great way to get noticed by web crawlers and draw traffic. There’s no easy paths to making good content. It requires time and work. Keep the following tips in mind
- Make sure you include plenty of detailed information in your posts
- Google gives better ranks to long form content
- Invoke your users to take action
- Make lots of references to trusted authority websites
- Add new content often. If you blogging useful content daily, then you won’t have much to worry about.
In the past couple years, Google has revamped the way bots evaluate backlinks. Page Rank is not as important as it once was. The future of links and sharing is all about integration with social media. User engagement and relevancy within a social community is much more important. Having credit on social networking sites means that you need to be relevant. This is something that isn’t easy to fake.
- Websites that contain too many backlinks from sites that are not credible or relevant can spell SEO disaster.
- Keep high quality links.
- If you have a links from spammy sources you can be penalized by Google. Make sure that your profile is clean and free of low quality links.
- There are plenty of plugins to monitor your links
- Get a list of your links ever two months and remove the lower quality links
Be Careful When Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is great for marketing and exposure. You can build trust and authority and create social proof for your services. One thing you want to avoid is using a guest blog for is to build backlinks. The whole practice of guest blogging is rampant with spam and irrelevant links.
Google has reacted by scrutinizing guest blogging harshly and penalizing those using blogs for the sole purpose of link building. The new algorithm updates come down hard on any site using “decietful” tactics with backlinks.
- You shouldn’t ignore the idea of guest blogging all together, but you need to be cautious when you do. Mind the following:
- Don’t guest blog on websites that don’t have anything to do with your site. Relevance is important. If you are blogging about tech, and you guest blog is on sports you won’t be doing yourself any favors.
- Linking to the authors biography doesn’t hold a lot of weight with Google’s web crawlers. Using links that are contextually relevant will be much more lucrative.
- Backlinks shouldn’t makeup more that 20% of your overall links. Anything higher than that will be suspect.
- Blogging should be used primarily for branding. Doing so will keep your blog off of Google’s radar.
Diversify Your Anchor Links
- Many SEO experts still try and focus on keywords for anchor text and backlinks. This method is used to rank higher on target keywords. Since last year, Google’s new algorithms now flag keyword rich content and may penalize sites for using keywords for backlinks.
- Make your anchor text more interesting and natural. Always make sure it’s relevant to your page and not forced in there.
- For instance, instead of using the keywords “WordPress real estate plugin” over and over for your links, find more creative ways to describe the real estate plugin with synonyms and similar words.
- If you are linking to a plugin like Yoast’s SEO plugin, try and use branded keywords to link to it such as: “WordPress SEO by Yoast.” Using unique phrases for your website will give you more authority than using a cookie cutter brand name.
Also make sure that a large number of your links have branded anchors that are unique to your website. For example, for this particular blog “TipsAndTrickHQ”, “www.tipsandtricks-hq.com” and “Tips and Tricks HQ” are all branded keywords
Employ a Responsive Design
If you haven’t already, switch your WordPress site to a responsive design. Having a responsive site makes browsing better, and Google will reward responsive sites with higher rankings. Nowadays, over 60% of all web traffic comes from mobile devises. Having a mobile version for your website will help get better search engine rankings
Recently Google launched a new algorithm update that prioritized websites with mobile versions. To make sure that your site is optimized for mobile, use a responsive design that adjust based on the device it’s viewed on. You can use tools like Google’s Mobile Friendly Test to see whether you site is mobile friendly or not.
Promote your brand
It’s a good idea anyways to promote your brand in terms of marketing. Increasing your brand presence will make it tough for Google to penalize you. If you have a well established brand Google’s is less likely to penalize your website, even if it doesn’t follow their recommended SEO strategy. Following are some tips on brand management.
Maintain a professional and responsive website. Dot the I’s and cross the T’s. Be diligent and make sure you have all the components that a first class website should have. Things like custom logos, a physical address and a contact phone number are all things that should be included on your homepage.
Social media integration is not an option, it’s now something you must do. It’s not only a cost effective tool to promote your brand, it’s a good way to engage your audience and pick up new followers. The more people you can connect with, the bigger your brand will be.
Be careful on these sites , you don’t want to alienate any social communities or trick Google’s web crawlers. Fake followers and botnets are easily detected by Google, and you can face harsh penalties for using these black-hat techniques. Building authority and trust is the key to establishing a brand online.
When you are optimizing your site you need to make sure that you don’t break any rules or recommendations set forth by Google. If you break any rules you can face penalizations. Most of the time “penalization” means that you will have a lower ranking. In extreme cases you will be de-indexed from the site. If you stay away from penalties you can maintain high search quicker and easier than you might think. Check out these tips to keep in good standing with Google’s web crawlers.
Google’s goal is to fill their index with relevant and high quality content for their users. You can have great success and rank high if you put your nose to the grindstone and put in the proper time and effort. It’s a good idea to look at Google’s recommendations and guidelines first.
Then to experiment with your strategy. Try out one of these great SEO plugins for your WordPress site to make things easier. The main thing you need to remember is that your content should be helpful and relevant.
Even with helpful and relevant content it takes some marketing and diligence to connect with an audience and solidify your brand. Combine these tips with the other SEO strategies we’ve mentioned to market your website and avoid any penalties. Has Google every hit your site with a penalty for any reason? Let us know in the comments section and feel free to share any thoughts, tips or ideas.