Getting Your Content Seen

My most recent post was all about content. This update is about getting that content seen. Now, let me also say this is not an in-depth, techie powered post. If you’re new to online content creation, you will be able to take something beneficial from this page.

screenshot from Wikipedia, captured by Shane Goad 9/26/13
screenshot from Wikipedia, captured by Shane Goad, 9/26/13

What is SEO?
SEO is increases traffic to your website by being listed high among results when one enters a query on a search engine. Google even provides a guide (background and advice) for those new to SEO here. As pointed out in a Cramer-Krasselt  presentation this week, search engines use “web spiders” to gather content then use ranking algorithms to determine how to display content.

What You Can Do
A top Google engineer has provided the following SEO tip in many forums: “never sacrifice the quality of your copy for the sake of the search engines.” Google frequently changes its algorithms (several times a year) and poor SEO strategies lead to content being written for machines rather than people. The Cramer-Krasselt team went on to say “good SEO is providing a good user experience and compelling content.” In addition, your content should do 3 things: be beneficial to your customer, reflective of your brand, and optimized for Google.

Additionally, you should be able to add meta tags to your site using your content management platform. These meta tags are essentially keywords explaining to Google what type of content is on your site.

How Does Google Evaluate Your Site?
1) Technical Architecture
2) Keywords and Content
3) Linking

Recent Changes To User Experience
1) Load time continues rising as a key metric used by Google. You want your website to load within 3 seconds. Research suggests every 1 second delay in load time leads to a 7% loss of users. Google offers a SpeedTest service that gives you a load score and other observations. The Cramer-Krasselt presenters suggest taking corrective action if your site’s load score is below 70.

2) Use responsive design for viewing on multiple devices. A web developer friend’s design firm recently re-launched their own site touting responsive design. The goal is to provide users a similar experience regardless of whether they access your website from a laptop or mobile device.

3) Google values authentic content. The best way to get a leg up with this is by being a Google+ user. Make sure your byline and Google+ name are the same. Also, be sure to utilize the Contributor function of Google+ and make sure to link the account with your authoring sites.

4) Notice that Google lists in-depth articles on its main search results page? 10% of all searches now are from users seeking long-form content (a big change from previous web trends).

5) As in personal relationships, trust is important to Google algorithms. Google places more trust in websites containing numerous links. Links can come in various forms, but less than 10% of links should be an exact match to keywords found by a search engine.

Other Notes
– Google does pay attention to image file names. This gives further reason to appropriately name images prior to uploading them to the web (DSC53249.jpg is not useful and makes you look lazy).
– Link shorteners (like bit.ly) do not affect SEO.
93% of users never move past the 1st page of search results.
– Yahoo and Bing search algorithms are similar to Google, but with less emphasis on links.

The Wrap-Up
I’m not an SEO genius, never claimed to be, and never will. I wanted to share these tips with you in hopes of helping you build traffic to your site. I’d love for you to share below at least 1 thing that benefits your site. More Social Media Week insights to come!
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This is part of a series of posts featuring information presented at Social Media Week events happening this week in Chicago. After attended some of the SMW sessions in Washington, DC events last spring, I am participating in the Chicago sessions remotely.

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