Tenet #9: A Short Tutorial on SEO
Walking past storefront windows featuring beautifully attired mannequins and cleverly appointed displays is a favorite pastime for many, including me. Whether a small boutique, or Nordstrom’s floor to ceiling window dressings – I stop, look, and admittedly, crave. In fact, I enjoy searching for them every season to see what’s new. I’ve even found some inspiring displays in out-of-the-way spots, though could never figure out why they were placed where no one would see them – such a waste.
I find this experience akin to websites, except that websites go beyond the storefront window. They act more like living entities that can answer questions, and spur imagination (not to mention ship your latest purchase with the simple act of clicking a mouse). And, the really good sites are always easy to find – they seem to pop-up first at the slightest hint of a search. What makes a website good? Read further for a short tutorial on SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
According to Robin Burton writing for SEO Site Checkup “Every update made to a website once it ‘lives’ on the internet plays a part in its interaction with visitors, customers, and the powerful search engines. However, a static website without updates of any kind may be viewed by search engines as a ‘dead’ entity – with no life and nothing new to offer.”
In basic terms, websites must be pretty. They must be visually appealing, responsive (mobile) and easy to navigate. And, they must be practical – pertinent imagery, streamlined menus, and quality content. Regularly updated websites are fuel for search engines which continually hunt for fresh information and sources based on the requests typed in by users. When websites are updated with content that matters, search engines flock to see what’s up. According to Burton:
“Search engines use web crawlers (a.k.a robots, bots, or “Googlebots”), which are simply high-tech programs that scan the internet for websites. The web crawler ‘indexes’ a site based upon algorithmic factors determined by the search engine company…
For instance, a site may be indexed based upon a combination of the number of incoming links to the site, the number and type (relevance) of subject keywords used, and how often a site is updated. Every time you make an update to your website, the search engine takes notice and re-arranges your site’s ranking. Thus, if you want to increase the chances of your website getting a higher ranking, update the content frequently so that a search engine will reassess your position on its index.
Keep in mind, more content is not the key here, quality is. So, yes, it is a good idea to update frequently, but keep content standards high. If you blast your page with a ton of low quality articles stuffed with keywords, you are going to be penalized.”
Quality Content = High SEO Rankings
When publishing new content, it’s important to review for key words and terms that distinguish your message, your services or your product line. In the SEO Site Checkup article by Burton “Keywords are high on the algorithm chart for search engine indexing and ranking. Frequently added content, such as blog or article postings, allows you to optimize the article with pertinent keywords that can attract visitors to your site.
Google Loves Them Updates
The mother ship of all search engines – Google – has tremendous influence on how websites are constructed. When Google shows its love for websites that are updated frequently, it’s a strong indicator of why you should refresh your content as often (and as reasonably) as possible. To be clear, however, this is not to suggest posting something new every twenty minutes.
Burton goes on to state that adding content a couple times a week is considered a frequently updated site. She writes:
“The ‘Googlebot’ that crawls the web is constantly searching for web pages that are new or updated and then adds the fresh content to the Google index. If you update your content often with reliable and valuable information, then you have a better chance of Google ranking your site higher with each update…
So, add an article, an image or just make some change on your site to get noticed. The easiest and most effective way to stay fresh is to add a blog on your site and continue to add articles that will get noticed by your viewers. If they comment on those articles, that counts as an update on your site. So, write something that will get the attention to begin helping with your frequent updates…
… The more frequently you update your website with articles, downloads, and new web pages, the more frequently a search engine will stop by to visit your website. When search engines look at your site more frequently, you have the opportunity to achieve higher rankings based on the content provided… The more informative, valuable content you can publish that pertains to your industry, the greater authority potential your website enjoys.”
Remember that search engines do not base a ton of weight on how many key words your website has. Rather, they scan for top quality content instead of “keyword-stuffed crap content” (Burton’s terms). In other words, don’t think that by adding more of the same to that window dressing is going to capture the attention of the passerby, compelling him or her (or me) to stop, look and head inside.
Bottom Line? Keywords are typically the first level of any SEO strategy, but subsequent levels (like a campaign) must go beyond a word or phrase. Write content that (according to Burton) “answers a question, explains how to do something for the reader or provides quality information that they want. Do not write content around a keyword; write it around what the reader wants. Use your Meta tags, title tags and descriptions for your keywords, but leave the content in a more natural state.”
Source: 5 Reasons Why Fresh Content is Critical for Your Website and SEO, by Robin Burton
Co-Founder / CEO, ZBglobal, Inc.
Victoria Tucker is the Chief Dreamer at ZBglobal, where she lends her 30+ years of experience on pivotal topics like workforce collaboration, engagement, mentoring and project management. She also plays ukulele…but not very well. Reach out to her!