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The Fundamentals of a Successful SEO Strategy

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Canadian SEO Strategy SEO used to be about manipulating your website and its relationship with the other websites for the sole purpose of pleasing Google’s algorithm. In some ways that is still the case, but as Google’s algorithm becomes more and more advanced the focus of SEO is shifting to a more authentic purpose of pleasing the user and engaging them in natural and organic ways. It is important to understand that Google’s fundamental goal is to deliver the most valuable and relevant content for each search query. This too should be the underlying goal of any SEO strategy.

The following touches on some of the essential aspects of on-page and on-site SEO, providing insight into some of the fundamentals of a successful SEO strategy.

Keyword Research

Keyword research and selection lie at the very core of any SEO strategy. The goal is to select key words and phrases that have high traffic volume, strong commercial intent and at the same time are competitively reachable given the current state of your website’s rankings and authority. Once selected it is generally best to be committed to the successful ranking of the chosen keywords and build on their success.
Website Back-end

The platform and code with which your website is built needs to be SEO friendly. The website needs to be easily crawled and indexed by the Google bots and ideally easy to mange in order to optimize the URLs and other SEO elements of the website. The URLs need to follow best practice, be customizable, and not duplicated. Any old web pages that are of value, whether from a previous website or from within the current website, need to be 301 redirected to their new location.

Target Pages

There can be great value in selecting or creating designated target pages within your website that can be the focus of specific keywords and phrases. Depending on the semantic and topical relationship between your selected keywords it is usually best to only target 3-5 keywords per page. Keep in mind that the home page is the most important page of the website so it is often best to focus this page on the most important keywords.

Keyword Targeting

There are certain aspects of each web page that need to be specifically targeted for keyword inclusion.

URLS: The main keyword or keyword phrase should appear in the page URL. This assists the search engine from determining page relevancy for the search query.

Page Title: The most important keyword for the page should feature in the page title at least once and ideally be as close to the start of the title text as is appropriate.

Headline (H1): It is considered best practice that the primary keyword phrase for the page appear in the main headline (H1) of the page.

Images and image alt attributes: It is also considered best practice to have at least one image on the page. An image infers a comprehensiveness of the information on a page and also provides an opportunity to optimize the image with the page’s main keyword(s) through image title, filename and alt attribute.

Meta description: Although the content of the meta description isn’t considered to be a a direct factor in Google’s algorithm, they are incredibly important in determining click through rate and user engagement. The meta description is your advertisement in the search results so it needs to be keyword relevant and also appealing and engaging.

Page Content

Each target page should be at least 400-600 words, contain the target keywords at least twice and also include any appropriate semantically and topically related keywords and phrases. The content should be unique, valuable and more than just self promotional. The page content should be appropriate and relevant such that a visitor would be unlikely to go “back” to find an alternative and more relevant page or website. Ideally the content of the page should be of such value to the visitor that they share it socially or link to it.

Site Wide Content

The selected keywords for the SEO strategy and their semantic and topically relevant keywords and phrases should also be appropriately placed throughout all the pages of the website – directly in the content and in the page titles. From a more organic and authentic perspective the content of your website should be rich in valuable and useful content that relates to the target market and industry that surrounds your chosen keywords. The content should establish the website as a credible and authoritative resource within it’s industry and address the intrinsic needs and questions of the target market beyond the products and services that your business provides.

Internal Linking

The quantity and quality of internal links to a specific page and the anchor text used in those links can assist in determining the authority of that page relative to the other pages within your website. This can help build the authority and power of certain pages and also assist Google in selecting which page it delivers in its search results for particular queries. Ideally each of the target pages should have a direct link from the home page and the footer. Additionally, there should be a high proportion of contextual links to the target pages from other pages within the website with anchor text that closely relates to the target key words for the page that is being linked to.

User Experience

Google is not just assessing the content and code of your website, it are also measuring how visitors are interacting with the website – the user experience. The website navigation needs to be clear, logical and intuitive. Information should be easy to find and easily understood. Ideally you are trying to present the visitor with the information they need before they know they need it. The web design should be aesthetically pleasing and attractive, and the website should display well on any browser and any device.

Social Sharing

Signals from social networks are increasingly becoming an important component in SEO. Social signals have a direct effect on the search results but they can also play an important role in getting links to your website. For these reasons it is important that it is easy for visitors to share your content. This primarily means having obvious social sharing buttons on the page. An important precursor to social sharing is ensuring that you have content valuable and worthy enough to be shared.

What I have covered here are some of the fundamental on-page and on-site SEO strategies and factors that make up a successful SEO campaign. On-page and on-site factors (including domain name components) only make up approximately 35% of the total weight of factors that contribute to ranking in SEO. The remaining 65% involve “off-site” factors that include the quantity and quality of links to your website, social media metrics, traffic and user signals, and brand name/domain name mentions.

It’s important to be aware that when it comes to SEO doing too much of something can be just as bad as, and in some cases worse than, not doing enough. A good SEO professional will always ask themselves these questions: “Does this appear natural and organic? Is this providing a good user experience?” Funnily enough these are the same questions that the Google algorithm is asking itself.

Keep Building Your Social Media Marketing – Great Tips

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Keep Building Your Social Media Marketing

Getting yourself set up online with social media is now becoming an absolute necessity for any business, whether based in a physical location or explicitly online. This article will show you how to effectively market your company using this new marketing outlet. It’s not as hard as you might think it is.

Use the questions and answer feature of LinkedIn. LinkedIn’s Q&A works like a large discussion forum: look up questions related to your products or industry and write useful answers to them. You could also post a link to one of your articles if you do not have time to write something.

People primarily use social media sites for fun, and if you can find a way to make buying from you entertaining, they’ll be much more likely to purchase something. For example, offer a discount on your products to anyone who follows your page, but make the discount they get a mystery. Some followers might save only 5%, while others get a huge discount. People will encourage their friends to see what results they get, and you’ll build up followers in no time.

If you need to establish an email mailing list, using a social media site is a great way to do it. Get your followers and fans to provide an email address to you for future mailings in exchange for an entry into a contest where prizes and discounts will be given away.

To make sure your social media page appeals to your target audience, research books, magazines, and other things you believe they’d enjoy. Try to match the tone of the content you see in your research, and incorporate popular phrases. Doing this will help your target market to trust you and will make them interested in what you have to say.

Never dismiss advice just because it is coming from a competitor in your niche. People that have been involved long enough to establish their company aren’t often worried about their glory being stolen. If someone has useful and relevant experience, always lend a listening ear. In the end, this could help you and your company become better as a whole.

During the holiday season, present your products as gifts. This might not be a good approach for your website, but it is relevant on social networks. Post updates about your products as Christmas presents and wait for your readers to accept this as a possibility rather than pushing this idea on your website.

Make sure you post new pictures regularly on Facebook or Twitter. Your friends and followers probably have a lot of content appear in their feeds, and they will be more likely to notice a picture rather than a text. You could very easily create different photo galleries for your products.

As you can see from this article, while social media can seem intimidating for someone who hasn’t spent much time on it, it is really quite simple. As far as marketing goes, social media is actually something that is free and simple enough to do yourself without having to hire a professional.