You have just spent an hour or more creating another post for your blog. You know that it’s totally unique, quality content – the same as all your other posts, so why is it that the only people reading it are you and your parents?
When you decided to start your site you knew that you HAD to create great content – what you forgot along the way (or perhaps just don’t know) is that Google has more boxes for you to tick than just writing a good post!
Great content IS something that you should create, if it’s not something that you’re aiming for – why bother?
Google already has a lot of friends who are working in your niche and in order for you to take the top spot in the search results, you have to push one of them out the way – here’s my top ten tips for making Google your new best friend.
1. Have A Clear Plan Of Action For Your Site
When you first decided to create your site it was for a reason, perhaps you wanted to share your passion with others or maybe it was there to promote your products. No matter WHY you created it, you need to know where you are taking it and how you are going to get there.
Keep on track and if you find yourself losing focus, step back and see where its going wrong for you. If your main goal is to promote your products (or affiliate) then make sure that you do that but keep a balance between promotional posts and helpful posts.
2. Know Which Keywords Will Get You Found
Getting found in the search engines is all about thinking about WHAT someone is searching for and WHY. Put yourself in your readers shoes and think about what you would type into the search engine to find what you’re looking for.
Understanding your readers is vital to your success. Know who is looking for you and know why they are looking for you and you’ll find keyword research becomes much easier.
3. Stop Going After Too Many Keywords In A Post
Posts that attempt to put multiple keyword phrases in end up looking messy and cluttered and are far less optimised. A well crafted post that concentrates on a single keyword phrase is targeted and at the end of the day Google wants to give the searcher exactly what they are looking for.
4. Checking For Broken Links
Broken links do nothing for your readers experience and can actually harm your SEO efforts. Google will see a site with lots of broken links as badly maintained and won’t send their traffic there.
5. Your Site Has Duplicate Content Issues
If you use articles from other sites (even your own) then your content isn’t unique. Google loves unique content and will reward sites that publish it – don’t ever get tempted to scrape content – it’s going to do you more harm than good.
Outsource your content? Always check that their work clears Copyscape or similar before posting it – even if you have been using the same writer for a long time.
6. You Have Ad’s All Over The Place
Google hates sites that are cluttered with ad’s – even Adsense! With each update that takes place, they seem to be cracking down on sites that have lots of adverts, seem to promote everything and not produce content and have irrelevant ad’s. Consider cutting down and concentrate on the content
7. Not Making It Easy For Readers To Share Content
With so much importance being placed upon social media in the advertising world it clearly wasn’t going to be long until Google started using it as part of their algorithm. Just like word of mouth advertising, social media is just as powerful and Google knows this – make it simple and easy for your readers to share your content and don’t be afraid to make it prominent on your sites.
Some sites are getting some serious growth with the likes of Google + so ignore it if you want to fail – take a look at Google’s case study of Mashable for some great advice and tips.
8. You Have Little Or No Outbound Links
You want to keep your readers on your site and outbound links seems like a sure-fire way to let them escape – sharing is a powerful thing and Google will reward you for doing it!
Make sure that you link to content that is worthy, relevant and helpful to YOUR readers. Finding a great article and linking to it is only part of what you need to do – always check that the site as a whole is in good standing. There are lots of link building tools and advice out there to help you.
Site owners (good ones anyway) will generally monitor links to their sites and you could find that they return the favour – a win, win situation!
9. Buying Heaps Of Backlinks That Are Actually Worthless
Anyone can buy thousands of backlinks for next to nothing – don’t bother, you’re wasting your time and likely to get on the wrong side of Google because of it.
Backlinks are still important but they need to be relevant to your site – getting links from all over the net overnight isn’t going to help you either. Quality links from relevant sites count and social media links are seriously important for your ranking.
10. Not Posting Enough Or Posting Too Much
This one I left until last because I am so guilty of it myself! I don’t post often enough – I had no clear plan of action and found posting to a schedule hard. At first I aimed at posting once a day but realistically that just wouldn’t have happened. Now I am aiming to post at least twice a week – enough that people stay connected but not too much where it can become too diluted.
Getting the right balance depends on your own commitments, audience and niche. Make sure you get the balance that fits in nicely with all three.
This list could go on and on – Google is ever changing and you need to ensure that the basics are covered before you move on to the more advanced reasons. Getting in their good books is vital to your success so make sure that you stay on the right side of them and never try and take the short route – the results generally don’t last too long!