In recent years, an entire industry has developed encouraging businesses of the importance of SEO. Many SEO companies have tried to create an air of mystery, with the aim of convincing companies of the need for their services.
There are a lot of technical challenges involved in SEO. For many businesses, employing the services of a top quality SEO company will pay dividends many times over. Not every company is in the position of being able to afford this additional expense, and even if they can, the challenge of finding an efficient and professional SEO company can be a huge problem itself.
One of the best ways of mastering SEO for yourself is to dip your toes in the water and get your feet dirty. With that in mind, there are certain ground rules that you can follow, which when properly implemented will help your site to rise within the SERP and give you the confidence to keep learning. Here are some of the golden rules of SEO that you can start implementing today.
Focused and Targeted Content
Why do people visit websites? In general, the answer is to find information, or maybe the answer to some questions they may have. One of the most essential elements of SEO is to provide top-notch content, that is focused and relevant to your visitor.
Perhaps the biggest and most fundamental mistake people make is to employ a scattergun approach, trying to cover too many topics with insufficient depth. Rather than being seen as a source of authority and knowledge, your risk being seen as a jack of all trades and master of none.
Your aim should always be to become the number one source for information related to your niche. One of the most successful examples of this in the past was Crackberry.com. When Blackberry devices were at their peak, Crackberry.com was the primary source of knowledge relating to Blackberry devices and software.
Ensure That Your Site Has Strong Internal Links
Internal links are essential in spreading the link juice of your website, providing some structure to your site, and are widely recognized as an excellent SEO technique. Internal linking assists the search engines spiders in understanding the site layout better; think of Internal links as a roadmap of your site.
Speed Is Of The Essence
Web designers have been known to go overboard in a bid to make your site visually appealing. While this might be great in theory, it has the potential to be suicidal for your website. Flash based loading pages, or anything that causes a visitor to wait, is just as likely to cause them to leave without even reading your content.
People make the decision to remain on a site within seconds; they simply don’t have the patience to wait. This presents two problems for your site, firstly any visitors you do manage to attract will leave, never to return, and secondly your bounce rate will be horrible.
Google and the other search engines monitor how long people stay on your page, the longer, the better. The theory is that the more engaging and relevant your content, the better the experience for the visitor (This is known as the bounce rate). If virtually all your visitors leave in seconds, the search engines could demote your site assuming that the content is either of a poor standard or totally irrelevant. In this situation, faster is always better.
Regularly Update Your Content
People have an insatiable desire for high-quality content, but in the vast majority of cases, they will only need to read that information once. To encourage return visitors, you need to regularly update your content, adding new information that will draw your readers back time and time again.
The optimal situation would be where your users are regularly visiting your site for new information, in other words, they automatically visit you on a weekly, daily or even hourly basis. That is exactly what Facebook experiences every second of every day.
There are thousands of tweaks and tactics you can use to improve your rankings in the SERPS. However the four mentioned above should always be your number one priority, as they will give you the biggest bang for your buck. SEO is a challenging and time-consuming activity, but master it and you have a virtual license to print money.