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How to SEO your content

On-page SEO relies fundamentally on good quality content. You are just not going to rank rubbish using White Hat SEO so lets take a moment to consider what search engines will consider good quality and so what can be optimized!

Optimizing Quality Content

You can't polish a turd!

The On-Page SEO part of this guide will show you how to tweak:

  • URLs - the text after your domain name
  • Page titles - the contents of your 'title' tag
  • Meta descriptions - yes they still matter!
  • Headings - h1, h2, etc.
  • Images - via smaller file sizes and better descriptions
  • Keyword usage - where, how often and how to substitute
  • Internal links - how to make them clear
  • External links - why you should have them
  • User behaviour - how to get your visitors to stick around
  • Structured data - spelling out certain parts of your content to search engines

These all add polish to great content and they can have a dramatic impact on your rankings but ... "you can't polish a turd". So what do you have to achieve with your content?

Original content - a myth or two

Yes, if you just copied this website from top to bottom there is a good chance search engines would completely ignore you ... and can you blame them? They already have the content and they know it was published here first.

If you used an article spinner to take other people's content and produce something which appeared to be new ... well ... article spinners follow mathematical processes and search engines can pick these up over time.

You need solid content for SEO to work

But that doesn't mean some types of copying can't rank.

For example:

  • A website that collects together famous quotes from a particular person or about a particular theme doesn't contain anything new but it will be recognised as a curated collection and can rank.
  • A website that uses RSS feeds to pull specific articles from multiple websites relating to a particular theme like 'Outboard motors' will be recognized as a curated collection and can rank.
  • A page that takes a piece of content and changes its format (e.g. takes a heavy text and changes it into a video or infographic) can rank.
  • A website with a distinctive style - hey, this is not the only website out there that teaches people how to SEO but it clicks better with some users than others and hence its popular and ranks.

Duplicate content and Google

Copying isn't as evil as some paint it so long as it is done with care and creates value to a group of internet users.

Valuable content

What it all boils down to is, no mattery how pretty your site design or how fast it loads are you offering Internet users anything of value or are you just producing drivel in the hope of getting some visitors that will then click on adverts and make you rich?

Don't think that you can fool search engines in the long term. They simply consider too many signals for that including how real people react to what you offer. The more you try and fool and the more that clashes with how Internet users behave, the closer you skate to receiving an outright penalty and have your rankings sent to oblivion.

Creating awesome content

Creating original awesome content is not easy

I'd describe it as a gift. Some people are great at describing things with text, some with infographics, some by video, and so on. If that's not you but you have deep pockets there are plenty of freelancers out there who can provide you with content on almost any subject under the sun. Just remember really killer content is going to be very costly although might be a solid investment if you have an idea that just needs some value added to it in order to fly.

SEO works best with outstanding content

Is fresh content a ranking factor?

Most of the time - No! There are pages from years back that rank much higher than newer ones because they're simply better. If you keep hearing people say "You need to create fresh content" this is mostly nonsense.

However search engines like Google will pick up when a phrase is becoming newsworthy - its appearing in a lot of the news outlets. At this point freshness becomes a crucial factor.

When Lehman Brothers collapsed during the financial crisis it was on all the major news oulets. A search for 'lehman brothers' at the time would have bought up the latest stories making freshness essential.

But news cycles come and go and searching 'lehman brothers' on Google today doesn't list websites in order of their freshness.

Tim Hill SEO

I'm Tim Hill, a Search Engine Optimization and Online Marketing specialist. I created this site to help others understand that SEO is not a mysterious black art!.

If your a newbie try the Getting Started in SEO page, otherwise feel free to dig around and learn more.

If you need help simply get in touch.

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