Thursday, June 19, 2014

Understanding SEO Content

This material is very useful for any individual looking to learn and understand SEO concepts more efficiently. We are going to breakdown SEO concepts starting with the three main building blocks: Relevance, Importance, and Popularity.

Relevance is the most crucial and basic question in SEO; is the content you are covering relevant to what the consumer is looking for. Here are 6 ways of determining your content’s relevance:

You will start with the title tag. The title should be the clear indicator of the relevance it has to what the user is looking for. Next you will need a semantic analysis of the content. Analyze the general relevance of the words and phrases being used in your content. Always use anchor text in your content. Anchor text is a link you click on that acts as a label which directs you to what you would expect to find once you get to that page (in example the phrase “moving company” would have a link to the All My Sons Moving and Storage website). Look at the topics of third party web pages containing links to the page. Ensure that your pages about moving to Denver link back to your page discussing child friendly neighborhoods in Denver. That is exactly the result you are working for. The topic matter of the site where your page resides should match. Your SEO efforts should all be focused on providing the most relevant information on your page and overall website. So on your child friendly neighborhoods in Denver shouldn't be a page on a website about focused on growing tomatoes. Analyze how users respond to content in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). Look at your metrics to understand if there is a problem with your landing page; if you are seeing patterns such as a high bounce rate (when someone clicks on your site and then hits the back button to go back to the SERPs page) that is a problem that sound be addressed quickly. Your page should be relevant to the search query being performed, if your bounce rate is high, that means the page the user is being sent to, is not the information they are looking for.

Search engines use a system ranked by importance to determine where a page should be placed in a particular search query. Page importance is defined by a combination of things, with inbound links and content being the heaviest hitters. Although many believe that social is a major contributor of page importance, it is believed in the SEO community that inbound links are more valuable in the eyes of any search engine. The Impact of Importance is a direct correlation between the content offered on your page and websites wanting to link to this content because they believe it is important.

Last is popularity. Popularity in SEO is very different than importance in search queries. Popularity is a very powerful factor for trending topics such as breaking news, social topics and trending hashtags. As with relevance, a search engine can try ranking certain articles in particular order based on the click patterns by users. Many factors can influence the popularity of something. We see a great example of Facebook stories that have 100K+ shares of a photo that has created an emotional reaction of the viewer such as a dog being rescued or a soldier coming home. Images and videos are strong ways to tell stories and create popularity on social networks.

Although relevance, importance and popularity are the foundation of SEO other important SEO concepts include segmentation, diversity, quality, and trust.

Segmentation is an interesting concept in SEO because you are changing the search results based on what is known about the user. Localization is the most common form of segmenting users on search engines. You can segment a user through personalization; when someone have been to a page before so the search engine shows them higher in the results because they believe the user is looking for that page again.  Google+ connections can also alter search engine rankings by ranking a related search query to something you previously +1. Time of day and time of year can influence your results.

If the user does not find interest in the first or second results, they’re most likely not going to find interest in the third if it is of the same relevance. Therefore you need to diversify your search queries so your webpage can stand out.

As we all know, search engines have algorithms to measure the quality of a page. Your website’s quality could demote the rankings in search queries.  Make sure your page is useful, accurate and informative. When optimizing go through the 6 steps of relevance to ensure you are creating relevant pages that will promote a good website experience to the user. Double check spelling and grammar perform publishing content.

It is very important that you are not violating any search engine guidelines or your page cold be demoted. Gaining your audience trust is crucial to your business. Read the Google Webmaster Guidelines to guarantee you understand what is considered valid practices. Get a second opinion; have others review your site and ask for feedback. This is also a way to developing a relationship with others in the SEO industry. Hint… Hint… your Tandem team! :) 

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