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How to SEO Your Site for Top Rankings: Winning in the Search Results

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by Lindsay Valdez

When it comes to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for new and existing websites, content creators are often left scratching their heads, attempting to sift through the huge piles of digital information and guides — an intimidating feat. Without the help of an experienced SEO guru, creators oftentimes abandon their efforts and the site is left with quality content, but low traffic from search results.

Site SEO

The History of SEO

In order to understand what we’re talking about, it’s helpful to get a sense of when and why SEO came about. In the late nineties, Google began to understand the need to connect searchers with valuable content that satisfied a users search query.

Webmasters would use tactics such as:

  • Keyword stuffing
  • Buying backlinks
  • Duplicate content

Because Google’s algorithm updates moved slowly at the time, these tactics remained effective for over five years. But these requirements increased over time as more and more content entered the web.

Looking at SEO Today

We’re almost two decades removed from the advent of SEO now. With billions of content data added to the web every day, there is more content than ever. When creating and publishing content it’s important to consider these important factors:

  • Create content for your readers, not for search engines
  • Focus on user experience: Is your site slow on mobile, is there an abundance of broken links and errors messages, does your website shine?
  • Are you writing about things your audience is interested in?
  • On-page optimization

Make Your Website Stand Out

On-site SEO

Your Website Title: The HTML title tag (not your blog post headline) is one of the strongest weighted on-page SEO elements. Google relies on this tag to connect your brand name with the type of content living on your site.

  • Include the main topics covered on your site.
  • Include your brand name.

Meta Descriptions: Put your sales hat on! This is your chance to write an interesting description for your website.

  • Unique & Interesting – what will the user get if they click through to your website?
  • 150-170 characters.

Additional Sitelinks: Having sitelinks available can increase your CTR up to 50%.

  • Make sure Google can access the top level navigation.
  • Include anchor text + alt text for navigation.

PRO TIP: If you’re using WordPress for your blog, install the latest version of Yoast SEO plugin. This will allow you to optimize every individual blog post for SEO.

 

 

This presentation originally appeared at #BlogHer18 Creators Summit at Pier 17 in New York City, delivered by Lindsay Valdez,  SheKnows Media, Director of Search & Syndication Partnerships. BlogHer U is the premiere destination for women content creators, entrepreneurs, and small business owners alike to gain business insights and elevate their business through curated multimedia e-learning content. 

 

 

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