Ever since Panda update rolled out in 2011, we knew the days of link farms and keyword stuffing are behind us. Unfortunately for many who wish to see overnight results of their digital marketing strategies.
Regardless, you would be surprised to hear there are still those who rely on the unethical practices to get ahead. Now, fortunately for us who obey the rules of search engines, such actions do not take them long way. Actually, it quite often happens that it takes them out of the online world for good.
While your backlink portfolio and off-page SEO tactics should be a part of your inbound marketing strategy, first you are advised to resolve all issues you might be experiencing on your website; in other words, to enjoy all the benefits of off-page SEO, your primary attention should be on on-page SEO efforts.
Before we get all technical, we wish to address the issue of optimizing your content for a relevant keyword, because there is a thin line between ambiguous and spammy. In a post-panda world, we are finding it quite difficult to establish the perfect percentage per page, but here’s an advice from Green Web Marketing SEO experts who have successfully optimized a fair share of websites:
“Take advantage of Google AdWords Keyword Planner to define the most relevant keyword for your business, and make it your focus phrase. But to avoid stuffing, always define one or two additional related keywords and synonyms to mention in your content as well. This way, search engines will get a clear signal on what your pages are about, without going overboard and risking penalization. “
Now that you have conducted keyword research, you get the gist of what your potential clients and customers search when in need of your products or services. Content on your website should provide straightforward answers to their queries, with your primary and secondary keywords in focus. Your product/services pages should, if possible, contain 200+ words, but only if the subject allows – if not, do not fill your pages with tons of filler content.
Furthermore, you are advised to incorporate a blog on your website, since it will help search engine crawlers recognize your website as a reliable resource – in fact, websites with blogs have on average 430% more indexed pages. And those who blog receive 97% more backlinks. This just goes to show that on-site SEO practices help boost everything you have planned for your off-site strategy. Ensure the content you publish is relevant to your niche/industry and that it contains both up-to-date and evergreen topics.
Finally, we have to talk a bit more about the technical issues. Namely, accessibility refers to enabling user who arrives to your website to easily navigate, interact and understand what you are all about. This means you need to take care of all redirections, canonicalization, warnings, dead pages, etc. In addition, you are required to optimize all URLs, tags and Meta descriptions – ultimately, these actions will not only make you look good in the eyes of users, but search engines as well. Since the list of technicalities that have to be taken care of is (almost) endless, you might want to check out tools like SEOmoz Pro, Whatfix, or Google Webmaster Central.
Robots.txt is a file which you will usually find among other website files on the hosting server. Setting it up means you have an ally to help you protect certain areas of your website from Google crawlers. Actually, what it does is communicates with crawlers and informs them which areas should not be scanned.
This enable crawlers to have a quick view of the website, help them interpret what the pages are about faster, and as a result – get those pages indexed in the shortest amount of time possible. Once it is added to a website, update Google website tool to include XML sitemap link and hasten the process of crawling and indexing. If you are one of those people who find it difficult to create your own XML sitemaps, you can always take advantage of a generator which will provide you with one automatically.
Regardless of the amount of time, energy and funds you invest in your off-site SEO strategy, you will not yield fruitful results if your on-site elements are not optimized in accordance with search engine guidelines. Technical aspects of the website like URL, Meta, tags and sitemaps help get you higher in rankings; content, as well, helps build your reputation among search engines, however, it also boosts your status with your website visitors.
In the end, note that properly-optimized website and high quality content make your pages much more linkable – in other words, paying more attention to what happens on your website will affect all activities that occur off it (in a positive way, of course).