Improving Your Search Engine Results

Recently someone asked me about how to go about improving their website visibility with better search engine optimization (SEO).  Good question and obviously an important issue for anyone wanting to market effectively online.  Do a good job with SEO and you get lots of free traffic coming to your site; don’t do a good job and you may get overlooked entirely or have to spend a lot of money on advertising to attract visitors.

When working with SEO, an important thing to realize is that the big search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing are always tweaking and adjusting their algorithms so it is critical to stay up to date. The good news about this is that the changes are usually about encouraging better and more relevant content.  If people do a search and don’t find what they want, or only find empty content stuffed with keywords, they will try another search engine hoping for better results.  From the search engine’s perspective, then the more relevant the results the better.  That means  the most important rule of SEO is always to strive for high quality content.

Search Engine Optimization Keywords

When working with keywords, conventional wisdom says to select a good keyword and use it, but only so it is between 1%-2% of your total content.  That means use it 6 to 12 times in a 600 word article. However, you may find it difficult or awkward to do that, especially if your keyword is a phrase.  Recent changes in search engine algorithms have resulted in a concept called LSI (Latent Semantic Index) keywords. These are words which are highly related to but not identical to your main keyword.

For example, if you are writing about light bulbs, related words may be fixtures, lamps, lighting, dimmable, day light, incandescents etc.   Google looks for LSI keywords, which means you can have the kind of keyword density you need in order to be found by the search engine, but you don’t have to keep looking for graceful ways to say light bulbs over and over again to get there…and in fact if you do, not only will you have an awkward article or blog but Google may actually penalize you.

LSI keywords are part of an effort to give more weight to website content which is relevant; the idea being that relevant and well-written content naturally uses a variety of different but related words.  Bottom line, the concept is to reward authentic content which has real value to the reader.

Given this focus, you may be better off being conservative with your use of the main keyword.  In a recent online chat at Wealthy Affiliate, Kyle, one of the owners, stated that he now feels a keyword density of 1-2% can actually be too much.  He added that based on tests he has found using  LSI keywords to be just as effective for giving you a solid ranking.  He suggests you use the main keyword in the title, somewhere in the first paragraph and perhaps  once or twice more but let the LSI keywords that are a natural part of your content do the rest.

More Targeted Online Visitors is Just One Reason to Blog

To blog or not to blog. If you are asking yourself that question, you could be missing out starting with your bottom line.  Consider the following:

  • Blogging is interactive. It makes you into a good host, kind of like holding open house. You invite people to come for a visit and can encourage them to tell you what they think. They can leave comments and tell you what kind of information would help them. You can then respond by giving them more of what they need and value.
  • Content is what it’s all about. How many times have you heard that content rich sites are what the world and yes of course Google are looking for. Regular blog posts allow you to do just that…provide lots of content.
  • Variety. Google likes variety, originality and new content. When you write regular blog posts your site is often updated making your readers and Google very happy.  The result?  Your site ranks higher and you get more visitors.
  • Blogging brings people back to your site. If people enjoy your content (and why wouldn’t they?) they are more likely to come back for more. More exposure to you, your content and your services means more business.
  • Blogging lets you build a list of interested people who trust you and enjoy what you have to offer. These people will be more likely to respond to email marketing, tweets or facebook posts when they come from you.
  • Blogging improves your bottom line. In a study reported at Hubspot blog the author compared 795 businesses that blogged with 736 businesses that didn’t. The result? Companies that blog had 55% more website visitors, 97% more inbound links, and 434% more indexed pages. Bottom line, bloggers attract more business than non-bloggers.

Of course blogging works best when you are consistent and when you blog about topics you like and are passionate about. If people can relate to your passion and your interests they will be back for more.

Blogging doesn’t have to be difficult and you don’t have to be techy to maintain your site. If design isn’t your thing you may want to get help with design and set up. Once that’s behind you, your blog is easy to maintain and all you have to do is post regularly.