Let’s face it, SEO isn’t dead. You can’t consider it one foot in the grave and another on a banana peel. It’s here. It’s alive. The End.
What is dead are those slimy, backhanded tactics some used to game the system. If you want to know the right way to SEO, start with understanding these 5 basic ideas:
There are actually 3 types of SEO
Just when you thought things weren’t complicated enough, there are THREE of them: On-page, Off-page & Technical. On-page SEO has to do with content and page optimization. Making sure your pages are reflecting the keyword, terms and phrases that are relevant. Off-page SEO has to do with link building, which is NOT easy and therefore pretty valuable to your site. Having good, healthy relevant links to your content goes a long way to building up link juice. Technical SEO is about laying a good structural foundation for a site with the use of sitemaps, robot.txt files and other technical aspects. It’s rare and highly valuable skill all around.
Titles and Meta-Descriptions Still Matter
While it’s not about page rank anymore, it is about being answering a user’s query. In content marketing, we call it relevance. If your title and meta descriptions have related terms as well as good context, your page has a better chance of coming up in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). This is what you want!
It’s not about keyword repetition anymore
Trying to manipulate keyword density was a very common tactic among webmasters to game the search engine and as a result it is now a dead practice. These days, algorithms and machine learning are more sophisticated and will catch those tired techniques. While they (and by ‘they’ I’m talking about Google, which is the most popular engine around at the moment) don’t state the exact method to achieving better SEO results, it’s best practice to keep your content natural and relevant by optimizing your page to answer a particular question. Context and relevance are the only way to do this properly.
301 redirects are better than 302s and meta refreshes
302 redirects are meant to be temporary and pass no “link juice,” which is an off-hand term used to describe the trust your page has built up over time. Meta refreshes are worse in that regard because they don’t tell the search engine exactly what’s going on and the user actually sees the page being redirected when the process should be invisible. 301 permanent redirects pass on approximately 95% of the authority of your old page to your new one and tells search engines to look at the new page from now on. The problem comes with some pages using 302 as 301’s. While there is no penalty (yet) for keeping temporary redirects longer than what can be considered “temporary,” you want to fix this as soon as possible before ‘they’ do something.
Google Search Console can help you see warnings
Do you have crawl errors on your site? Maybe a redirect was missed? Or worse yet, you’ve got a warning or even a penalty assessed by Google. These are the kinds of issues you can track with Google Search Console. If you’re the webmaster of your site, you want to pay particular attention to GSC. You will thank yourself later.
Check this out. Course instructor Rebekah May gives us a look at what being hit by a penalty may look like and from what I saw, it took a lot of work for the client to get back from it:
If you’re serious about becoming a content marketer, understanding SEO is a must. Consider adding the 4-week Intro to SEO course to your roster