Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is nothing new. Millions of searches are performed daily in the USA and more around the globe. The methods of being found in a search engine result are dependent upon the quality and content structure of your web page. When you are getting ready to publish your content, make sure it has these elements in order to strengthen your basic SEO foundation.

Content above the fold

Most web sites today are using an image at the top of the page, so “above the fold” means the top half of the page underneath that image which begins the page. If you are not using an image on the top of your page, “above the fold” means the top half of the page.

This content should contain key words. Key words are what you want to be found by in searches performed in a search engine. Be sure to use your key words in normal conversation tone, don’t repeat them over and over.

This content should not contain any links going off your site. If you do put a link in this content, don’t change it for a year or more. That means, don’t change the link and don’t change where the link goes. For example, let’s say you are selling apple carts. And, you have a feature page describing the specific benefits of your apple carts. One link in that top half content could be “apple carts” that links to the features page.

Relevant links

The goal of every search engine is to provide the end user with relevant and useful results to a search. To do this, they must separate the wheat from the chaff. Links are one of the factors that search engines use to determine the authority and quality of a site.

Google’s latest updates are taking a closer look at links, evaluating their worth, and weighing the content relevancy of the documents or websites to which those links connect. In an effort to provide the end user with the most effective and rewarding online experience, Google has downgraded sites with an abundance of irrelevant links via their most current Penguin algorithm installment.

A relevant link is a link that matches the content from the source of the link. For example, let’s say that you have a page that talks about hammers and wrenches that auto repair folks use. Be sure that any link from that page, going to a page off your site, contains similar content – auto repair tools. For example, you don’t want to put a link from that page to a another site covering paint supplies for a vehicle.

The best rule of thumb on links are these three rules:

#1 have links coming into your site containing a higher PageRank than the Pagerank of your site.

#2 manage the ratio of links into your site vs links going out of your site.

#3 build reciprocal links whenever possible.

Accurate meta tags

Every web page has meta tags that help the search engine decipher the content on your page. Those tags are for title, description, key words, and author.

Make sure that every page on your site has as has least a meta description. This should be a concise statement, maybe containing key words, that exists in the web page content.

Differentiate the descriptions for different pages. Identical or similar descriptions on every page of a site aren’t helpful when individual pages appear in the web results. If you don’t have time to create a description for every single page, try to prioritize your content: At the very least, create a description for the critical URLs like your home page and popular pages.

Content Rich Snippets

Rich Snippets (RS) provide a small sample of a site’s content on Search Engine Result Pages of search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. They enhance your search listing, making it more enticing for users to click on and easier for search engines to extract information.

Adding Rich Snippets to your site won’t affect the appearance or content of your pages; rather, everything is done behind the scenes in your site’s HTML code. To display RS, you just need to tweak the code of your website with some additional tags. You need an understanding of HTML to create or edit a RS.

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