Search engine optimization (SEO) has evolved significantly over the past few years. Search engines like Google and Bing have been updating their algorithms and machine learning processes to focus on theexperience. Mobile optimization, site speed, site structure and content, along with dozens of other signals are prioritized. Gone are the days when simply focusing on keyword density will earn you a spot on the first page of the search results. Read on to learn three SEO basics you may be missing, including creating engaging content, building a sitemap, and writing great headlines.
Engaging, comprehensive content is the most important part of SEO today. Unfortunately, fewer than one-third of companies describe their content marketing as mature, according to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2017 B2C Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends.
Additionally, only 40% of B2C companies know how to define success with content marketing. That means marketers are wasting a lot of effort on content that might not offer value to their business. So how do you create content that earns engagement and helps fuel your search engine optimization efforts? Here are some tips to help you along the way:
Web crawlers or spiders crawl the web to index content. The best way to get your site indexed and move further up the SERP results is to regularly produce fresh content and to build a sitemap. Websites with sitemaps are crawled five times faster than those without.
A sitemap is basically just an outline of the pages available to users and crawlers on your website. It’s a simple task that yields results.
It’s ideal to build your sitemap before your site ever goes live, though it can also be added any other time. A sitemap can be an effective planning tool for designers and marketers to clarify the content that needs to be available on their company’s site. It can also help you eliminate unnecessary pages.
How Do You Do This?
2. Embed an image and other maps.
3. Add the indexation date, priority and update frequency.
4. Add your map to Google Webmasters.
The Importance of Robot.txt:
Of course, every project can run into issues. According to Business 2 Community, 95 percent of site indexation problems will disappear with properly configured robots.txt.
What Should You Do?
1. Test your robots.txt using the on-page SEO audit.
2. Choose pages and sections of your site that should be indexed by search engines and those that shouldn’t.
3. Add the main mirror and sitemap.xml data.
A Note About Duplicate Content
Having duplicate content on your website is a waste of time and resources. It’s also harmful to SEO because it prevents search engines from identifying the right page to index. This can be detrimental if the search engine ignores a page that is designed to convert visitors into customers. Why rewrite or republish something when you can simply link to it? If you don’t have a sitemap, you may be duplicating content without knowing it. You’re simply creating pages as you need them and not keeping track. In addition to duplicate content, you could also be posting conflicting information on your website.
Without a sitemap, you may spend a lot of time creating unnecessary pages, or designing sites that are more complicated than they need to be. Sit down with your content team and figure out what content is necessary and what isn’t, which pages are interrelated, and how you can clean up your site to offer the best SEO-optimized content on each topic for which you want to rank. The earlier you can do this in the life of your website, the better. It’s less time-consuming to add or eliminate content in the early stages than to have to do so when your site is already built; your content will continue to pile up.
The body of your content can be amazing, but if you have a terrible headline, odds are you won’t see your piece rank on the first page of Google. Algorithms don’t appreciate wit, irony, humor, or style, but they do see keywords and topics. At the same time, you can’t only writing with search engines in mind; you must also write for humans.
Examples of Bad Headlines
Terms that appear early in the title will be attributed more importance. If a page talks about repairing a broken hard drive on a HP Stream laptop and your major keywords are “HP Stream” and “repair,” a title like: “DIY: How to Repair a Broken Hard Drive on a HP Stream Laptop” this can be revised to: ”Repair a HP Stream Laptop's Broken Hard Drive,” to put the most important words first. Remember that both readers and search engines want to comprehend what your content is about quickly.
Here’s an example: “Black Rifle Coffee Company - Coffee Rounds (Single Serving)”
Examples of Great Headlines:
A compelling headline seamlessly blends creativity with SEO power. They are both catchy and self-explanatory. Here are some examples, using some of the most popular headline elements, including listicles, using “how,” “why” or “what, and using phrases such as “everything you need to know about ____”:
Don’t forget to fill out the meta description of your site to enhance and accompany your title in the search engine results. This is where Google gets the two-line “snippet” it displays for each webpage.
SEO is an ever-evolving and much-debated field, but focusing on these three basics elements will give you the head start you need to outrank your competition. Learn more about SEO best practices and grow your expertise. Start earning your Professional Diploma in Search Marketing today.
Did you know that 91% of our graduates were satisfied with the training they received? Download a brochure today and find out where a Professional Diploma in Search Marketing will take your career.