Whelp, if ever there was a secret to decipher the labyrinth of search engine optimization, that’s it. There are no secrets to SEO — only best practices. I applaud Google for one thing: The Web juggernaut is forcing PR pros, copywriters and Webheads to become better writers.
Sure, the sundry grammatical issue will sneak by a copy editor and land on a website, but thanks to the Google Zoo — Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird — there are no tricks to keyword spamming and stuffing. It’s all about content, content, content.
That said, there are a few things you can consider when writing your next release, press kit or website. Here we go…
1. Links are Still Relevant. If Google algorithms were a suitor on the prowl, public relations links would be its booty call. Links equal PageRank. With relevant links comes a page with some of the highest rankings. If you understand how to write intriguing copy, dense (but not spammy) content and good links, Google will reward you with a midnight caller of your own.
2. It’s Called “Social Media” for a Reason. Social signals attract Google spiders, like they were doused in whatever the equivalent to Spider catnip is (sorry, I’m a little rusty). Retweets to likes, posts to faves, they are all considered “social signals” to Google. It shows activity on a website (even yours), which can also be considered new content. These signals are good for any optimization strategy, even if you don’t have one at the moment.
3. Choose your Keywords Carefully. Again, no secrets. More like reminders. Some Web development strategies include a list of keywords like a dictionary had the stomach flu. Puke all over the H1 and H2 title tags. Use your keywords effectively, and Google digs it. Try to manipulate Google with keyword stuffing and we will catch you on Page 19 of the ether. Keywords and its respective synonyms should be all optimized because they all have a source of importance in search. Your query equals relevancy. Your keywords equal ability to find your website.
4. Multimedia is Your Friend. It is also Google’s buddy, too. Multimedia has been one of the largest alterations to PageRank, Spiders and all of the aforementioned Google pleasantries. Text-only websites are passe. Flash websites are detrimental to traffic. A website that is going to have any chance on the Web must have photos (that are tagged with cutlines), videos (that have the same) and proper links to folks bigger than you (or even if it just means hitting the CEO of your company). Google puts weight in those things. And for the New Year, this weight is actually your friend.
5. Linkbait, anyone? Before you swear this list off, linkbait is not some black-hat, surreptitious practice. Ever wrote something online and some “guru,” “ninja,” or “expert” comments on the piece? What did you do after you screamed like a fourth-grade girl after receiving the check box marked ‘yes’ to “Do you like me?” You showed it to everyone you knew. Linkbait is the same thing. You know what else is linkbait? This list. Yes, you haven’t been tricked but if you are digging this list, I encourage you to tweet, like or share it. Yes, it gives PRNewser traffic but it also give you credibility. (Even more if you cite your sources. Mmmmkay?)
- The New York Times Experienced Premature Publication on Keystone XL
- Oxford English Dictionary Publishers Think We Yanks Are Vaping Idiots
- COPYWRITER ALERT: 10 Words with Some Very Odd Origins
- The Top 5 Things Overheard in PR Agencies Today