Top SEO tips for 2013 – The Penguin & Panda aftermath

Top SEO tips for 2013The following is a compilation of top SEO tips for 2013. SEO has never been so easy! Intrigued? Offended? Read on…

What has happened to SEO lately?

Since the the beginning of 2013, it feels like the world of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) has turned upside down. With the mere mention of “Panda” or “Penguin” , many a web designer, developer and blogger will readily express dismay. Websites that once channeled a torrent of traffic have been reduced to a mere trickle. I believe that the simple truth is, although the way in which Google ranks and lists a website has changed, it has happened for the better.

Content is king

Now, more than ever before,  ‘content is king’, that’s my top SEO tip. If you write great content, you will achieve a great audience. And that’s how it should be. Let’s face it, when we use search, we want high quality and relevant results.

 

So, with this mind let’s turn our attention to the route to SEO success – our brilliant, original and enthusiastically composed content.

Improving SEO

So, you have a great subject matter in mind that you really want to tell the world about. Here are a few pointers to help you achieve better results with the major search engines:

Research keywords – Google Adwords

Google Adwords is a great place for finding and drilling down the best keywords.

  • Filter by ‘Local Monthly Searches’ and select results greater than 3,000 and below 10,000.
  • Don’t be afraid to use competitive words. In fact, ignore the competition column altogether (It’s not what you think it is!). In the long run, as you write more well written content, your ranking will rise and so will your hook on those top keywords.
  • ‘Google’ your selected keywords. If you don’t see any adverts on the results page, then this is a good indicator that you wont be making much money through affiliate or Adsense on those selected words.

Title your page

The title tag is very a important factor in your onsite SEO. It will also be the title of your page in search results, so make sure you write it for the human visitor.

  • Gently place your keywords or phrases into it. Don’t cram them in with spammy fingers! If you are trying to target for ‘scented candles’, then try ‘Buy scented candles – UK candle stockist’. Always think of how the link will look to human eyes.
  • Ensure that the title is unique for each page – short and to the point.
  • Try and aim for about 65 characters when possible.

Description is still important

Although it doesn’t have a noticeable impact on your overall SEO, the meta description is still important. It is the text that appears beneath you page title in Google search results. In saying that, search engines don’t always use your description, but include it all the same.

  • Write it in a way that will make searchers want to read more.
  • Keep it relevant.
  • Write a different description for each page.

Sum of your content

  • Write for the human visitor.
  • Make you content engaging with headings and images.
  • Search engines are not really interested in short pages. Write plenty of condensed content and avoid the kind of waffle that will put your human visitors off.
  • Consider adding a comments areas and/or a resource section.
  • If your page features a video, talk about it or even supply a transcript of it.
  • Do not duplicate your content from elsewhere. Remember, high quality and unique content!
  • Keep your content fresh. If you have a blog, write new content a few times a week.

Page structure – Think newspaper!

For a top SEO writing tip – think newspaper and you won’t go wrong! Feed people into the content. Start off big and concise – end in detail and further information.

  • Each page should have a single Heading 1 (<h1></h1>). Use this to summarize your page including a few keywords.
  • Break your page down further using headings <h2>, <h3>, <h4> etc.
  • Try and include your targeted keywords at the top of your page in the first paragraph. This should happen naturally as you enthusiastically write about your subject.
  • Add images to your page. Don’t over do it. A nicely place image can really sell. Ensure that you include an alternative description of your image (alt=”description of image”). This will help people with visual impairment understand what you are showing and will factor in your SEO efforts. Add your keywords into the alt tag in a way that will aid the human visitor.
  • Include outbound links. There is evidence that Google likes this. Outbound links may show that you care about your reader, offering further reading. Also, the websites that you are linking to might appreciate this and send traffic your way.
  • Let your keywords naturally bubble up throughout your copy. Don’t force your SEO. Write for the human visitor first!

Page speed

The speed in which your page loads has an effect on your SEO.

  • Keep it simple! Ensure that you don’t add code where it is not needed. Not too many bells and whistles!
  • If you are using WordPress (which I’d recommend!), disable features that you are not using and install a cache plugin like WP Super Cache.
  • Ensure that your images are optimized for your page.
  • Use server-side compression if your server allow it.

Summary of top SEO tips

  • Keep it concise.
  • Write it for the human visitor.
  • Think newspaper.
  • Make it compelling – add images and a description.
  • Keep it original and write content that people want to read.
  • Keep adding new content. Write twice a week if possible.
  • Social media plays a big part in SEO. If your friends like what they see, they will tell their friends and your popularity will increase exponentially. Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn are all useful platforms for talking about your content.

SEO Tip: You might want to consider establishing yourself as an online author. This will improve your relationship with Google.

I started this article by saying that SEO has never been so easy. Well, I stick by that statement. Long gone are the days of link building and technical manipulation of search results. Now, it’s all about you, your subject and a determination to succeed.

If you are not getting results from your current website, try to see it as a visitor would. Is the content appealing? Does it offer what it says on the tin? Get opinions from honest friends and colleagues. It is easy to become too close to your content in order to look at it objectively. Also consider whether there is a market for your content. If there isn’t, may be it is time to think about moving on to something else?

If you have enjoyed my top SEO tips for 2013, then please let other people know about it by linking to it or via social media. Big thanks!

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