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SEO is like a semi-mystical art that seems to be at the core of all successful business ventures in the digital age. This isn’t too surprising when you consider the fact that SEO is all about increasing the visibility of your product or service, so that the many denizens of the Internet can find you.

SEO is, in other words, the ultimate form of marketing, since it brings attention to your business in the most fundamental way possible.

There’s a lot involved in a successful SEO strategy, including off-site link building, which can be conducted via guest blogging, and so on.

Before you get to any of that stuff, however, it’s important to get a handle on the most basic and fundamental elements of SEO – in other words, getting your on-site SEO protocol under control

Get comfortable with using 301 redirects

A major element of successful SEO is getting high-quality links pointing to the right pages of your website. These links will inevitably come, in part, from other pages on your site, but should primarily come from other websites that have a good ranking on Google, that are well trusted, and that don’t have any reputation for being dubious.

In theory, the more high-quality backlinks you have pointing to a particular webpage of yours, the more SEO-boosting “link juice,” as it is sometimes known, will be imparted, and the better that webpage will rank.

So, bearing all this in mind, you can see why it would be a potentially devastating thing to have to reformat or recreate a particular webpage, and have it become associated with a different URL. While this process is often inevitable, it can lead to a loss of all your SEO ranking if it’s not handled in the right way.

So, what is the “right way” to handle such a situation? Well, a 301 redirect, of course.

A 301 redirectis essentially a way of redirecting an old URL that has links pointing towards it, to a new webpage, while also signalling that all associations with the past URL should be transferred to the new one.

A 301 redirect allows you to recreate or redo your webpages, without having to start from scratch in the SEO sense.

Research your keywords carefully, and find the right niche to corner

All SEO starts with the right keywords, and those keywords aren’t just things that you think sounds cool, or that roughly correspond to your business idea.

To identify the right keywords to embed in your site and content, you’ll need to do some independent research, likely using Google’s external keyword tool, and other similar services.

Understand that every keyword you might choose to use will have a certain associated search volume. If your keyword has a truly enormous monthly search volume, the odds that you’re going to be able to rank for that term on the first page of Google search results is minimal. The competition is simply likely to be too strong.

What does this mean? Well, for one thing, it means that you can expect to remain in perpetual obscurity, at least when it comes to Google search results.

The other potential pitfall is that you choose a keyword term that has far too few monthly searches – perhaps none – and so end up optimising for a largely useless term that gets you no traffic.

Keyword research is something that you should take quite seriously, and do quite diligently. Keep in mind that even small variations in the keywords you use can result in significantly different monthly search volumes.

Understand that “Content is King,” and update your site often

A well-worn truism in the SEO world is that “Content is King.” This sentiment was largely developed as a pushback against the earliest SEO practices that developed, where trash content stuffed with keywords was enough to help sites to rank well on Google and other search engines.

Since then, the algorithms involved have become far more sophisticated, and trying to do this kind of unsophisticated “keyword stuffing” will get your website dropped off the deep end and never seen again on the search engine.

What Google’s algorithm rewards is, fundamentally, high-quality content, specifically of the written variety.

Ensure that your website features well-written content, that clearly and effectively communicates your core message to your audience.

In addition to creating high-quality content for your static webpages, you should also consider running a blog, or otherwise updating your website on a regular basis – as this also seems to be rewarded by Google’s algorithm.

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