2011 was an epic year for Google, with well-publicized changes to the search engine giant’s algorithms. However, as Google continues to tweak the way it ranks a website, it is important for business website owners to take a step back from traditional SEO and remember the importance of offering content that is written for users first and search engines second.

Business owners need to remember that there is no one trick that can ensure a great search engine rank. A great online marketing strategy is one that pulls together a number of disciplines and great pages are the foundation of any great strategy.

In other words, website owners need to build from great content and on-page SEO.

Here’s how:

1. Search-Friendly URLs. Although a small part of the algorithm, search friendly URLs should be part of your overall strategy. Apart from the obvious benefit of having keywords in your URLs, they can also help by providing anchor text for people linking to the page.

2. Heading Tags. Although the effect that heading tags have on rank is also quite minimal, it is no excuse to ignore them. Not only do the heading tags allow the SEO to flow through your page, they also help users confirm that they are on the right page.

3. Optimized Copy. Although you shouldn’t over-optimize your copy, some level of optimization is necessary. However, as the search engines become more sophisticated, businesses need to avoid blatant optimization and trickery.

4. Image Use. There is strong evidence to suggest that images and Alt text play a role in the way a web page is ranked. Do not include images just for the sake SEO. Well chosen images can enhance a web page by helping the user understand what it is about.

5. User-Led Copy. Make sure you know who your visitors are, what they need and what they want. Your website is the most valuable marketing outlet you have, so be sure to give it the attention that deserves.

6. Video Use. Videos have been turning up in search results for years, but so many businesses still fail to see the benefit. Featuring videos on your web pages allows you to better communicate with customers and also diversifies your search visibility.

On-page SEO is about creating useful, sharable, rich web pages that deserve rankings based on their quality. As such, business website owners must combine tested SEO techniques with usability, marketing and psychology to create websites that will rank well among the search engines.

Copyright 2011 dzine it, inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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The white hat SEO mantra tells us that content is king. Of course, this is true and creating content that is engaging, relevant and link worthy takes time, skill and, sometimes, a lot of money.

Whether the cost of great content is associated with your own time or an actual line item expense to hire someone to write for you, there is an expectation that great content is going to offer some organic benefit to your business website. Unfortunately, he notes, that doesn't happen automatically and great website content still fails or is outperformed by inferior content, because it wasn't marketed properly.

Great content is simply an asset. It is an opportunity to utilize its SEO benefits in a link, increased rankings, more sales or organic traffic.

However, content needs to be nurtured so that it can grow and work to a business's advantage.

Pushing Your Content

The idea behind nurturing content is to work to have it linked repeatedly.

Let's say you have a great piece of video content. Just uploading it to YouTube and hoping that it is found isn't going to work.

Whether it is a video, an infographic, a how-to guide, or any other form of content, businesses need to get the word out. This can be done by sharing the content on social media websites, with industry bloggers, journalists, on content directories and with customers themselves.

The bottom line here is that when you publish a piece of great content, you need to link to it from every social media site possible, to ensure that everyone in your network is aware of it. It should also be mentioned in press releases, forums and on industry blog. This is the best way to ensure that your great content doesn't go unnoticed.

Copyright 2011 dzine it, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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The beauty of having a business blog associated with your website is that it can rank in the search engines right along with your company’s main website and social profiles. In fact, individual blog posts can rank extremely well for long-tail keywords, if set up properly. Your business blog, when combined with all of your company’s other online real estate, will help build your brand.

In order to make this a reality, of course, your entire business blog, as well as every post, needs to be properly optimized the same way every page of your website is optimized.

Here are three ways to make your business blog more search engine friendly:

  1. Optimize each and every post. It is important to make sure that your blog posts rank well for related searches. In order for it to rank well, each individual blog post needs to be optimized the same way you would each page of your company’s website.

Try writing your post first and then revisit it to see if you can naturally fit more targeted keywords into the content. In addition to making sure there are keywords in the body of the post, you should also try to work keywords into the URL structure and H1 or H2 tags.

The key to optimizing your blog posts is to make sure that they read naturally. If a keyword doesn’t sound right in a particular sentence, don’t force it. There is nothing more annoying to readers than content that is “stuffed” with keywords. Without readers, your rank means nothing.

  1. 2. Link related posts and pages. Once a reader has made it to your blog, the idea is to keep them around for as long as possible. One way to do so is to create an easy-to-follow linking structure. This will help you to link posts together and also link them to other relevant pages that you own and provide the reader with more in-depth information.

With a good internal linking structure you can show your audience that you are an industry expert, encouraging them to delve deeper into your blog. Links are a great way to drive blog traffic to your website, but don’t incorporate too many links. A few useful links are enough to keep users interested without overwhelming them.

  1. Use unique Meta descriptions. Many website owners don’t take advantage of Meta descriptions. Although they are not as important to search engines as they once were, that doesn’t mean they can’t help.

Meta descriptions are actually like little advertisements in the search engine results pages. Use 150 characters to help convince a searcher to choose your blog post over every other listing.

After you write your blog post, come up with a quick optimized meta description that will help that post stand out.

 

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