Use These Advanced SEO Strategies for More Exposure
How is your search engine ranking?
Your website is “the” prime real estate for branding and visibility.
How search engines rank your domain is vital for the success of your business. The right optimization ensures that your website will be seen and not become lost in the midst of inferior content that is all too common on the Internet.
It’s important to know the right way to point signals to your website on search engines like Google that will provide a higher ranking. While algorithms are not clearly defined it is still possible to prepare On-Page strategies that encourage visibility.
Currently there is not an absolute method for all websites, but here are some techniques your business or brand can experiment with in order to improve your search engine ranking. The following are a few advanced methods that will help you bring better search results online.
Avoid ‘keyword stuffing’
Before Google updated it’s algorithm called Hummingbird, the use of keywords throughout a website’s content was widely popular in order to rank high on the search engines. Today all that has changed, and these old methods can actually prevent your website from being seen on search results. A rule of thumb is to research a list of keywords that apply to the topic of your content and your niche. It is still a good idea to include top keywords in your headline, alt tags for images, sub titles and the main body of your page or post.
For example, if you are writing an article about home buying, that should be the first keyword combination in your headline, such as “Home Buying Experts Weigh In.” It’s still okay to have a usage of this in your body and image, but to include other keywords that branch off of your concept to create a more organic post the search engines will love. In the SEO world this is known as TF-IDF or term frequency–inverse document frequency, which means that the importance of keywords is being measured more than the frequency.
Make synonyms a regular part of your writing
As search has become more conversational online due to social media there has been a large shift toward to use of words that are closely related to one another. Google in particular measures the actual meaning of words, and due to the large volume of search synonyms become a big component in that process. If a user conducts a search for job search other phrases that might be similar could include:
• Job Hunt
• Search for Jobs
• Job Openings
• Employment Search
Alternatively if a search was conducted for ’employment statistics’ this would mean something else entirely and present different results. What does this mean for the content producer? Organic phrases are the new king of content for search engines.
Using the same keywords throughout your pages and posts is the old method for SEO. Today we utilize a combination of similar phrases and synonyms to create a natural flow to our work. It is equally important to place these words and phrases in key areas on your pages and posts. The body, for instance, carries more weight than a sidebar or footer for example. This is especially important to remember as more people conduct search on their mobile devices.
Check your semantics
Have you ever wondered how a word like “Persian” can produce results for phrases like “cat breeds?” This is because search engines today look at the relationship between a particular keyword and phrase within a sentence. The distance between a word or phrase that matches a concept is measured inside the HTML code of your content. It’s a good idea to keep your words and phrases within the same paragraph, otherwise they may not produce the right results in search. For those webmasters who have knowledge of markup language, schema.org is a helpful tool to determine whether content is producing the right results in search.
How relevant are your phrases?
Search engines like Google will also rank your website according to the types of phrases being used in your content, and whether these are relevant to your topic. The process, known as “phrase-based indexing,” is actually a patented idea from Google, and looks into related phrases. Google describes it this way:
“An information retrieval system uses phrases to index, retrieve, organize and describe documents. Phrases are identified that predict the presence of other phrases in documents. Documents are the indexed according to their included phrases. Related phrases and phrase extensions are also identified. Phrases in a query are identified and used to retrieve and rank documents. Phrases are also used to cluster documents in the search results, create document descriptions, and eliminate duplicate documents from the search results, and from the index.”
Incoming links play an important part in this process as they relate to the words and phrases in your content.
In order to help your brand or business rank higher on search engines it is important to understand the changing algorithms that affect user-driven search. Keyword research should always be the starting point of any good SEO strategy as well as having a full understanding of who your target market is and what their needs are. The goal is to write content that includes a variety of related keywords and phrases that produce organic results. Take the time to conduct your own search to find out what people are looking for and the search results for your topic and niche.
A well-crafted article or page will appear high in search results when it is not presented as ‘robotic,’ and appears natural to the search engines. Focus on the important elements of your copy first such as the headline, alt-text for images, and body, then include your other keywords in the remaining portion for best results.
As SEO transforms the future of search engines could mean much less of a focus on keywords, and more on ‘entities’ that are distinct and well-defined, as described by Google in this recent report. Even more reason to focus on the meaning and context of your content rather just the main words that are being used.