Last week we covered what exactly SEO and SEM are and how search engines work. If you missed the article check it out HERE.

This week we are going to cover some SEO basics.

SEO and SEM Basics: Part 2

SEO and SEM Basics: Part 2

1. Create Engaging, SEO-Friendly Content

As you develop your Site you need to focus on SEO from the beginning. So engaging content is the most important part of SEO. With thousands of blogs, videos and new websites being created every day, Content Marketing is something every business needs to invest in. 

Centering your content around a primary keyword/ idea from the start is best practice. DON’T fit your content with keywords after it’s already been written. This will appear forced and awkward to your readers. Beware of keyword stuffing as this can be detrimental to your SEO efforts.

Apply readability standards, and optimize title tags, subheadings, meta descriptions, images and text according to current SEO standards. Utilize SEO tools like YOAST and UberSuggest.

2. Diversify Your Content Formats

When creating content it is important to decide which media will best convey your message, engage your audience, and reach people across multiple platforms. Repurpose your content into different formats specific to the platforms you’re posting on, to yield the best results. This will allow you to appear in different types of search results and platforms (Google Images, SlideShare or YouTube search,etc.)

3. Answer Your Audience’s Questions

Remember that people pose questions to Google and Google searches for the best answer to these questions. Create your content with this in mind. When your content gives the best answer to a readers question it will rank higher. Your website should be your online sales pitch. So create content as if you are having a one on one conversation with your audience.

Great content is about providing great insight and value to your audience. To do this, you must first get to know your audience. Find out where they spend time online. Determine the keywords for which they’re searching. Learn how they interact on social media.

4. Research The Competition

Being online is an endless competition for views and clicks. So once you’ve learned more about your audience, it’s time to do research around your competitors and the content they’re creating. You need to know how topics have already been covered and then build content that takes a different spin on that topic. Also, identify the content gaps not covered by your competitors and create content with less competition.

5. Build A Site Map

Web crawlers or spiders crawl the web to index content. The best way to get your site indexed and move further up the SERP results is to regularly produce fresh content and to build a sitemap. Websites with sitemaps are crawled five times faster than those without.

A sitemap is basically just an outline of the pages available to users and crawlers on your website. A sitemap can be an effective planning tool for designers and marketers to clarify the content that needs to be available on their company’s site. It can also help you eliminate unnecessary pages.

How Do You Do This?

1. Create an index map in xml-sitemaps.com or Screaming Frog.

2. Embed an image and other maps.

3. Add the indexation date, priority and update frequency.

4. Add your map to Google Webmasters

6. Avoid Duplicate Content

Having duplicate content on your website is a waste of time and resources. It’s also harmful to SEO because it prevents search engines from identifying the right page to index. This can be detrimental if the search engine ignores a page that is designed to convert visitors into customers. Why rewrite or republish something when you can simply link to it? If you don’t have a sitemap, you may be duplicating content without knowing it. You’re simply creating pages as you need them and not keeping track. In addition to duplicate content, you could also be posting conflicting information on your website.

Figure out what content is necessary and what isn’t, which pages are related, and how you can clean up your site to offer the best SEO-optimized content on each topic for which you want to rank.

SEO is ever-evolving but focusing on these basics will give you the head start you need. Interested in becoming an SEO specialist check out our Professional Diploma in Search Marketing.