SEO FAQs: Search Engine Optimization Crash Course
When it comes to SEO, the questions never stop.
Even long-time high-ranking bloggers have to struggle to keep up with the never-ending changes.
Here are five questions about SEO that frequently pop-up in my emails and comments.
I’m writing my fingers to the bone to produce tons of high-quality content, yet the sites ranking higher than me have nothing of value on their pages at all. What happened to ‘Content Is King?‘
This was one of my biggest complaints, too, until I started digging a little deeper.
Page-for-page, your content might beat that top-ranking site, but you need to look at the competing site as a whole.
In most cases it’s an older, better-established blog, with tons of content and overall link authority.
It’s also important to remember that “content” means different things to different people.
The pages you’re looking at might be nothing but that site’s product offerings or their archives or whatever type of content you deem worthless, but if it’s a strong brand then there could be thousands of natural links coming into those pages.
What’s the best way to automate the linkbuilding process?
These days you’re risking your business when you try to automate the linkbuilding process. Google’s algorithm keeps getting smarter and smarter and recognizes all those old schemes bloggers used to use to game the system.
Spun articles published on hundreds of low-quality blogs, hundreds of purchased backlinks from low-quality blogging networks, automated comments – it all still works and you can still build links, but don’t count on any lasting effect.
You’ll spend all your time and money buying and replacing these links as these sites all fall off the index.
The best links are those that come from high-quality, relevant sites and link to high-quality, relevant content on your own blog.
The best way to develop these links is to allow them to develop naturally by providing the kind of high-quality content other sites want to link to. And there’s absolutely no way you can automate that process.
Should I hire an SEO company that says it has a special relationship with the search engines?
I get emails all the time from these SEO companies that tell me they can get my site to the top of the index because they have a “special relationship with the search engines.”
First of all, if they really did have that “special relationship” that allowed them to work this magic, they’d be overloaded with business and wouldn’t need to send out their hyped-up emails.
More important, there’s just no such thing as a special relationship with any of the search engines, particularly Google.
There are no shortcuts.
If you want your site to rank well, you need to do it page-by-page by providing top-quality content that brings in natural backlinks.
How often should I bold or italicize my keywords?
In general, you should use bold or italics sparingly, and only to highlight content you want your readers to remember – not the search engines.
Bold and italics are distracting when used too much and the last thing you want to do is distract your visitor after you’ve gone to all that hard work to get them to your content.
Instead of using bold or italics, try using stronger language that sounds more natural.
For example, if you’ve read much of my blog, you’ll see I’m fond of using phrases like – “It’s important to remember…” or “More important…”
How many times should I use my keywords in my posts, and where should they be placed?
Keyword frequency and placement aren’t really a huge concern these days. Google’s algorithm recognizes more synonyms every day.
I try to get my specific keyword in the first and last paragraph. As for everything in between – I just write whatever comes naturally.
The key to search engine optimization is to craft compelling content that “speaks” naturally to your reader.
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