Content strategies rewarded by major search engines

typing classAlthough creating a detailed SEO-friendly blog post in WordPress does take some time (which is typically necessary to create a post that’s detailed, full of links, highly relevant, and genuinely useful to readers), the extra time investment is well worth it a bit later — when the content begins and continues to receive lots of attention from Google and other search engines!

The actual title of the post (the top heading) should also be in the filename of the post, the META title, and the META description. This is best accomplished in conjunction with excellent free WP plugins like SEO Ultimate and Google Sitemaps.

Include generous but not excessive subtitling for the discernable sections within each post

Repeat crucial key words and phrases throughout your post, within reason

Include key words and phrases in the blog post’s title, subtitles, etc.

Ensure the blog post is at least average/medium or longer in length (short posts usually lack sufficient content to rank highly)

Include relevant, highly ranked hyperlinks throughout the textual content

Include relevant images throughout the content

Ensure that each image takes advantage of its titling, ALT tag, filename, link, etc.

Conclude the blog post with a useful Resources section including five or more of the top ten links for the given keywords/phrases per Google search for primary keywords/phrases (however, it’s probably best not to repeat a link already present elsewhere on the page)

Use the following WordPress plugins (all free):

  • SEO Ultimate by Yoast
  • Google XML Sitemaps
  • WordPress.com Popular Posts

Writing

This document will eventually be a detailed, high-value, priority, customized list of the best Internet marketing/content marketing advice I can presently offer on the subject of driving visitors to your web property through improved search engine rankings. I have already communicated to clients many of these strategies — either in person, via email, or in other related web consulting advice given in the past; however, some of it is new. In any case, it should serve you well in terms of giving you better ideas of where to target any related marketing efforts, how to prioritize those efforts, etc.

It would be wonderful if I could finish this document in one sitting, but I have too much other work due in the morning – so I will have to go ahead and send you what I am able to finish in the next hour, and then send you new sections as I am able to write them.

On content

One simple phrase I have repeated to folks ad infinitum – probably including you – which represents a long-standing web marketing truth is this: Content is king.

There is nothing one can do to more positively affect the ranking of a web site[1] than to add a respectable quantity of high-quality, fresh, relevant content on a regular basis. Usually, the higher ranking of any given two web sites that cover the same subject matter is given to the site containing the higher quantity of relevant content.

On backlinks

Coming in second as being critical for web sites in terms of ranking importance is the number and quality of backlinks. A backlink is just a fancy term for a link to your web site from any other site (or blog, or ad, or list, or Facebook page, et al). A backlink is basically any hyperlink that leads the clicker to your site.

Google has a feature that lists all known backlinks to a given site. Open a new Google search page and type in link: http://www.yoursite.com/. For example:

link: http://www.stephenfrasier.com/blog/

The results consist of backlinks: inbound links from other sites to your site. This Google feature may also include links to a site that originate from different pages within the same site, and those items are not true backlinks. The backlinks you want come from quality external sites/pages that rank well themselves.

NOTE: At present, it seems a space is required between the colon after link and the h in http.

Two categories of web site visitors

From one perspective, there are two categories of web site visitors:

  1. Those who already knew of you, and set out to visit your web site or blog directly
  2. Those who have never heard of you and landed on your content in some other way (referrals)

Number one above is the most common, by far, for 1) Relatively unknown sites and 2) Sites with little or advertisement or other marketing exposure.

My favorite examples of general marketing strategies (as opposed to web marketing strategies) costing little or nothing are outlined by Seth Godin in his excellent book Guerilla Marketing. I believe Seth discussed no fewer than 64 free or almost free non-tech, non-web related marketing techniques in the original version of the classic marketing bestseller. I strongly advise anyone engaged in marketing efforts to become familiar with his list of guerilla marketing tactics. [2] Although most of them are common sense, it certainly helps to have the list.

The number-one strategy

Add more quality, relevant content to your site and blog. Web content should include a healthy number of outbound links (links to other sites); images, which are fantastic ways to add search strength to your content; internal links (links to relevant pages on your own site).

Images come with multiple ways to include keywords and phrases. Many overlook this. Think (1) filenames, (2) the names of folders including those images, and (3) ALT tags.

If you want to see examples of an effective way to structure your content – a method that Google very clearly loves – then look at the way some existing blog posts (posts you know to be popular & high-ranking on Google) are structured. Take a moment to examine the structure and features of this blog post, which is among the most-visited content on the Another Day, Another Digression blog:

Examples: Blog posts ranking well for their keywords

Other webpages, blog posts applying working strategies

An SEO-maximized blog post or web page might contain:

Quality, relevant, original content
Generous sub-titling (Each subtitle adds weight to the keywords used)
Images (must be effectively titled and tagged)
Links to related resources – especially popular, well-ranking ones (Wikipedia is the best example; link to Wikipedia every time you can without getting ridiculous)
A Resources section at the bottom for more links

Additional topics to address later

Why are images so great for SEO?
How to fill out extra post fields (SEO Ultimate plugin)
Detailed instructions: Optimal blog post

Notes

[1] Website
Generally speaking, my references to websites also include blogs posts, Facebook pages, and other web properties.

[2] Guerilla Marketing
Undoubtedly, Seth Godin and others have released updates and newer books that include technology-related marketing methods; however, the classic book I remember actually pre-dated websites.

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