There’s no getting around it – SEO is an arduous task. Hours of staring at a long list of keywords, calculating KEI and R/S ratios, typing in phrases with and without quotes into Google hundreds of times to find the competition can really fray your nerves.
There are times when I just want to start writing, but I know that without a good SEO strategy, my work will just lie at the bottom of search results and be discarded with thousands of others.
However, it must be remembered that SEO isn’t magic. Unlike the gentleman in the blue shirt in the cartoon above, I don’t do blackhat SEO. This means that I can’t miraculously improve your keyword rankings for popular keywords overnight. For common phrases, this process can take years – especially if your site is new.
However, there are many things that can be done to make your site rank better on Google. In addition to making your content more search engine friendly, these actions make your site more user friendly and easy to navigate. As search engine algorithms get better, they will reward sites that genuinely focus on the user, and that is what real SEO is about.
When I first come across a site that needs SEO, I examine it’s navigational structure – Does it allow easy access into broad sections of it’s site? Does it allow the user to go back and forth easily? I have often been surprised by content not being accessible by search engines, thus rendering them quite useless.
But beyond this preliminary overview, we have to get down to the real thing – keyword research. This is the bedrock of my SEO strategy. Finding keyword clusters and specific long tailed keywords. Then calculating the KEI and the R/S ratios. This takes some time and leaves the hapless researcher bleary eyed!
But when it’s through, we’re left with
a set of categories that we can divide the site into, a set of keywords in each category. We will look for keywords that users use in real life to find your services, as well as those keywords that have limited competition. This will maximize your exposure to users who are searching for what you offer.
We have the keywords – now what?
Once we have the keywords, it’s time to start writing content based around them. There are several guidelines to follow and one must be careful while writing not to overdo anything.
It’s a tricky balance, but one that must be met in order to play the SEO game. You have to write content that is not cheesy and actually helps the reader – in other words, we can’t do it just for SEO. Content writing has to be ongoing. Once the basic material of the site is ready, we have to think of expanding the content to keep it fresh and relevant.
There are many ways to do this – blogs being one of the best. But we must never forget our core keywords and keep focusing text and internal links around that.
There are many ways to build in links. One good way is to write content for article directories that link back to our content. I am a member of article submission services, but I’m very careful not to write duplicate content.
Other ways to do this is to participate on trusted forums and include links in the signature. This isn’t as easy as it sounds as most forums make their links “nofollow” (That dreaded word)! We also network and find blogs that talk about the services we offer and request them to link to us – but all this is touch and go. Getting high quality links is arguable the most challenging aspect of SEO.
I haven’t covered everything I do in SEO – not by a long shot. But this is meant to give you – My prospective buyer I hope! – a glimpse of what I have to offer you and your website. For your reference, here are some examples of SEO work that I have done in the past, showing how my articles have ranked on major search engines.