Google SEO: Keyword Research, Link Building, Marketing

We’ll continue our summary of the SEO Site Review 2010. In this part, you will learn tips covering keyword research, link building and marketing as provided by the panel of experts in the SEO site review session panel headed by Matt Cutts.

Keyword Research

Tip #14: "Think about what users will type when searching for your services and make sure that your content contains those keywords."

Keyword research does not only mean looking for the best keywords to target from an SEO point of view.  In fact, Google recommends that you research potential keywords that your client will actually type into the search engine. The company offers a free tool, https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal, which every webmaster can use to research keywords.

If you need more details on how to use this new/updated keyword tool from Google, you can read a tutorial on using the Google Keyword tool.

Do your keyword research every time you write new content for your website, whether it is a blog post, product-related copy or something else.

Tip #15: "Do not put too much information in a blog. Instead, for better results, limit the blog topics to a well-defined niche."

It is suggested that you have a close association/relationship between the keywords that can be found in your website or blog contents. This association of keywords should be defined as belonging to a specific niche. Log in to your Google Webmaster tools account, and then click your website in the Dashboard. Look under "Your site on the web" and click "Keywords."

What you will see is the list of keywords found by Googlebot in your website. According to Google, this set of keywords "reflect the subject matter of your website."

For example:

 

The list above obviously shows that the website is highly relevant to PHP web development. This is the specific niche to which this website belongs. A domain like this can be easy to rank in Google by establishing "authority," because the topic is well-defined in a specific niche.  

Tip#16: "It is not all about getting to be number one for a particular difficult and hard phrase, where most competitors are competing to take advantage of high search volume. Instead, get some traffic from other great sources such as Facebook, Google map listings, Twitter, etc." 

Google is not the only common source of targeted traffic. With the popularity of social networking sites, you can get targeted traffic as well from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Map listings etc. This is much easier and more fun to do than spending a lot of resources to get a difficult (sometimes impossible) keyword to the number one position in Google.  

You can check the next link for more tips on social networking and SEO.  

Tip #17: "You need to analyze your server logs or even Google Webmaster Tools report and determine for what phrases your website appears in Google. Instead of developing and concentrating on a single difficult keyword, you might as well diversify your strategy to put more content in your website for better long tail results. 

This technique has been proven to work. Take, for example, a lot of article websites like eHow, Associated Content and even SEO Chat. These websites do not depend on a single competitive keyword to earn income or drive conversions on their site. Instead, lots of quality content drives massive amounts of traffic because of the long tail effect.

If you are interested in maximizing your site’s long tail traffic, you can read this tutorial.

Tip #18: "One aspect that defines a high quality website is that it gets substantial traffic from long tail queries. This type of website will rank better in Google.

A good example is Wikipedia.org. The editors working there are not concerned they did not rank Position 1 for "encyclopedia", because they know they are getting  and estimated of 15 times more traffic as compared to encyclopedia.com.

Google loves to rank quality websites, and once you are trusted and a domain with authority; Google continues to send you more and more traffic as you continue to add quality content for your readers in a continuous basis.

  

Tip #19: " The easiest links that you can get to your own site are your own links- Matt Cutts." 

It was explained in this tutorial that canonical issues resulting from an inconsistent linking strategy (such that you have pages in your website that link to default.aspx and "/", instead of having everything point to "/"), will lead to dividing your link juice, and that can affect rankings. In this case you need to implement 301 redirects or apply the link rel canonical tag.  

Tip #20 : "One of the best websites to get links from are those websites that belong to a highly targeted/specific niche." 

This just means that relevance ratings favor domain relevance as opposed to page relevance. The reason is simple: trusted websites that belong to a specific niche (not just a website that offers content about everything) are symbols of "authority." Their "specialization" or "expertise" in that specific niche can surely add points to your website if you are getting links from them, as opposed to links coming from multi-niche websites (such as article directories).  

Tip #21: "Make sure you are careful with your external links. Do they relate highly to your website content? Do that help your website users? 

You need to pay attention to your website’s external links (who you link out to). You can read this tutorial  for tips about improving further your external links using Xenu Sleuth.  

Tip #22 : "Think twice before allowing web developers or SEOs to link to your website. It might look suspicious to Google; some SEOs or web developers might include some spammy anchor text that could affect your website’s integrity." 

This is a sensitive matter. A lot of SEOs and web developers request that their clients include a link to their own website. It might be good for promotion, but think twice. If it appears that they violated some rules in the Google search quality guidelines, then your website rankings will be affected.

Tip #23: "To keep more search engine value and link juice on your website, limit the number of external links to only those that your users really need. Do not use them frequently as part of your normal website navigation menu. Instead of including too many external links, develop a good internal linking strategy.  

Matt Cutts provides a good explanation for this: if inbound links to your website add value, then why should you place a lot of external links pointing to other domains? Instead of having those inbound links to help rank your site better (because of the reputation and value your website has earned), all of that value will be gone and credited to others.

This is not to say external links are bad. There are some websites, however, that use external links extensively as part of their navigation menu to show pages which are found in another domains.

  

Tip #24: "Instead of developing and launching several blogs or websites, why not concentrate all the effort and work into a single website?" 

The point is the "completeness" aspect of the website. Say you have 30 websites. Will you have the time to make sure all of them are 100 percent polished and complete in terms of content, SEO, etc?

If you cannot manage this many websites to the point where they all appear complete, it might be a good strategy to just concentrate all of your work on a single website and market it as a single entity.  

In this way, you can save a lot of marketing costs by promoting only a single domain instead of managing too many domains which might NOT be as complete and marketable as they should be.  

Tip #25 : "Think about branding. How you can differentiate yourself from the rest of the competition? Think about branding your website so that it will stand out from the crowd, or if you are buying a domain, think of something brandable."

Branding is important. It helps to provide your own identity on the Internet. This is very valuable; some big companies are willing to protect their brand by applying for trademark protection.

If you are the owner of a well-recognized brand in a specific niche, the marketing implementation will not be as hard as it would be for an unknown brand.

Tip #26 : "If you are managing or marketing a website, make sure your website offers some compelling value to your visitors. What do you have that is so cool and great that people want to link to your site?"

It is easy to answer why Google has lots of traffic and links; their search engine offers compelling value that helps a lot of visitors. What does your site offer?

Tip #27 : "Think of things that people want to come back your website."

In your marketing plan, make sure you formulate ways to offer services that makes people want to come back to your site. Consider the following questions, answered for some wildly popular websites: 

a. "Why are you using Google everyday?" Because I search for information each day using their search engine.

b. "Why do you need to visit Yahoo everyday?" I need to check my mail daily.

You can likewise ask the same questions for your website and come up with answers in the services you offer that will make your visitors want to come back regularly. 

Tip #28 : "For business websites, it is extremely important to put the address on the page. This should be the physical address, including zip codes. Include the city, state and even country."

Google recommends that you place the complete physical address on your website. This is not only beneficial for geo-targeting, but in fact very useful for your visitors. Make sure you include more than just the town name, as that town name could be found in other states or even in other countries. You can easily market a website if your business address is well-defined and stated completely in your website.

In the last part (part three), we’ll summarize the onsite SEO tips that were discussed during the SEO site review session.

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