Search Engine Optimization6:13 with Pasan Premaratne
In order to spread our content and reach more customers, we need to increase our visiblity on the web. To achieve this, we're going to look at search engine optimization and strategies that put us right at the customer's fingertips.
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the practice of optimizing your web pages so 0:00 that they show up higher on search rankings. 0:06 SEO isn't a magic button that you push once and leave it to do its thing. 0:08 SEO is an ongoing process that revolves around how you deliver and 0:13 link to content in its various ways. 0:17 But that's just the tip of the iceberg. 0:20 Let's break things down. 0:22 Improving your ranking on search pages starts with the content you create, 0:24 and how you link to this content all over the Web. 0:28 Content can come in various forms, from traditional things like blog posts, 0:31 to other things like artwork, music, ebooks, and so on. 0:35 Your first step is to make this content easy to find. 0:39 Links to various sections of your site, using links that are clear and concise, 0:43 and provide a logical architecture for your site and the sections within. 0:48 You should make it a point to link to as much, if not all, 0:53 the content on your site. 0:56 While this seems overkill, remember that search engines discover your 0:58 site by crawling through the links and indexing. 1:01 If a few pages aren't linked to, the search engine won't know that it exists. 1:05 Now you don't have to link to everything from the home page but 1:09 users should be able to find everything within a reasonable number of clicks. 1:12 Take care not to go overboard and 1:17 include too many links, cuz that can get you penalized. 1:19 And so the first step is linking to your content as much as possible. 1:21 The second step is actually including important and 1:26 relevant keywords within your content. 1:29 When a user is looking for 1:32 information on the web, they enter a search term in the search engine. 1:33 The search engine, then, matches words in the search query to words in your content. 1:38 These keywords are, therefore, a direct link between the content on your site and 1:43 the search term being entered by users. 1:48 So if you want to be found by specific people, 1:50 you need to start using these keywords within your content. 1:53 Selecting keywords can be difficult, 1:57 though, and you should start with some research. 1:59 Think about what products or services we offer. 2:02 What are our different areas of expertise? 2:05 Who is our target audience and what are they searching for? 2:08 Remember, we thought about these questions in other areas of our business model. 2:11 So how can we apply it here? 2:15 Communicate the unique qualities of your business and your product or 2:17 service and consistently write good content about it. 2:21 Before we conclude our short discussion about keywords, 2:25 keep in mind that while you should try and include relevant keywords in your content, 2:28 you shouldn't do it all over the place and on every single page on your site. 2:32 Like excessive links, 2:36 search engines can see this as you're trying to game the system. 2:37 And it might affect your ranking negatively. 2:41 Focus your keywords where they're relevant. 2:44 If you want to learn more about keyword search, 2:47 the folks at Moz have a great beginners guide. 2:49 Check out the note sections for a link. 2:52 All right. 2:54 Back to linking again. 2:55 There are many factors that influence the algorithms that power search engines. 2:57 And while linking content within your site is one of them, 3:01 another big one is when other people link to your site. 3:05 This makes sense. 3:08 When other people link to you, 3:09 it establishes you as a thought leader, a site with great content. 3:11 When you write great content, you have a higher chance of being mentioned on sites, 3:16 blog posts, and across social networks. 3:21 All of these backlinks, sometimes called inbound links, 3:23 are great because they really require no extra SEO effort on your part. 3:26 You and your company just have to continue being awesome. 3:31 Whether you're thinking about link building strategies, the keywords to use, 3:35 or how often you want to blog, the most important thing to remember is content. 3:39 Without quality content, you truly have nothing to offer. 3:44 Quality content is about solving problems, anticipating needs, and 3:47 delivering on expectations. 3:52 Research what your users want and what they'll share with others. 3:54 Make a plan, brainstorm ideas, and get on a publishing schedule. 3:58 If you can consistently create quality content and 4:03 meet the needs of your website users, those users will become customers and 4:06 clients and your SEO efforts will succeed. 4:10 Now, we can't conclude here without talking about some of 4:14 the tools that will help you with your SEO. 4:16 Analytics are extremely important to the success of your SEO efforts. 4:19 If you are not paying attention to how well your efforts are performing, 4:24 you leave yourself vulnerable to other sites trying to grab your traffic and 4:28 potential customers. 4:31 There are lots of great tools, including Google's Webmaster Tools and 4:33 Analytics platforms. 4:37 Google Webmaster Tools provides statistics about your site's SEO, 4:39 such as how many times your site has been seen in specific search results. 4:43 It can also give you insight into how your site is being crawled or 4:47 indexed by search engines and if you have links on your site that need attention. 4:51 Google Analytics, on the other hand, 4:56 provides some really useful data about how your users interact with your site. 4:58 Some of its most basic metrics tells us the number of times people visit your 5:02 site, how many pages they view, the average time on the site and 5:06 how many visitors are actually new to your site. 5:10 It can tell us if people visit the site by typing in the exact URL, 5:13 through links from other sites, or from results found in search engines. 5:17 There are other tools you can use for this process as well. 5:21 So check out the notes section for 5:24 a list of different services you can use to help you get started. 5:26 Managing a website, or its SEO, is not a linear process. 5:30 It's a cyclical one. 5:34 It should be constantly taken care of, and 5:35 new concerns need to be addressed as variables change. 5:37 But if it did have a final step, it would be to 5:41 monitor the website's performance and make improvements when necessary. 5:44 And there are so many tools out there, 5:48 lots of them free, that allow you monitor your site, validate it's code, and 5:50 check the content and code for specific, technical, and SEO-related needs. 5:55 Now, this was only a brief intro into the vast topic that is SEO. 6:01 To get a more in-depth look, 6:05 check out some of the other courses on our site including SEO basics. 6:06 I've linked to the course in this notes section. 6:10
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