SEO Strategies for Entrepreneurs (Part Two)Elance_Keith | Jun 17, 2011
This is the second installment of Andrew Masanto's two-part article on search engine optimization for entrepreneurs and Elance clients. For part one, please visit the Elance Blog here.
Step 2: On Page Optimization
This is where hiring online with Elance can be extremely helpful. You can explain the process below to any web developer that you find on Elance. They can then implement On Page Optimization for you.
On Page Optimization isn’t difficult, but it does require you to execute technical changes to your website which your Elance contractors can help with.
There are many elements of On Page Optimization. However, here are four main factors which have a significant effect:
Title: Have the keywords that you want to rank for in the title of your website, but also make sure that the title is compelling to potential visitors. Having a keyword-inclusive compelling title will not only ensure that your website will rank higher, but also that it has a high click through rate. For example, if you look at the title on one of our clients - www.RubySource.com - you will see the following:
<title>RubySource » Everything About Ruby On Rails Development and Database Programming</title>
RubySource.com seeks to rank for “Ruby on Rails”, “Ruby on Rails Development”, “Ruby on Rails Database” and “Ruby on Rails Programming”. The title is both compelling and includes these keywords, which is ideal.
URL: It is helpful to have the major keyword that you are trying to rank for in the URL of the page that you are ranking for. For example, if www.altitudeshoes.com wanted to rank for the term “Taller Shoes”, for example, it would be useful to create and use the URL www.altitudeshoes.com/taller-shoes (which they have done). This is not essential, but from our research, it can help in rankings.
Headings: Include major Keyword(s) in your headings (H1 tags) if possible. Never compromise the user experience to “stuff” or “force” keywords into your content or headings, but keep in mind that the presence of keywords in headings does help your site to rank for those keywords.
Content: There are no hard and fast rules for this and once again, the user experience is the first consideration. However, in our experience, you should aim for about 700 words of unique content per page (again, so long as it doesn’t hurt the user experience). Do mention the keywords at least a couple of times in your content but contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to spam keywords so that they appear x% of times. If your site is mostly a picture site, then ensure that Image Alt Tags are used, or consider putting content below the pictures or at the bottom of the page. Remember – search engines can’t see pictures so you have to help them determine relevance by including content that they can read.
Making the changes above is a combination of technical and non-technical work. You can outsource almost all of the work to a good contractor. The key is to find someone who has good technical skills and to ensure that that person has top feedback and expertise in your CMS or HTML (if your site is a HTML site). It should only take a few hours for a good coder to make the technical changes listed above to the title, header and URL of your site, depending on how large and complex your site is.
As for content, if you outsource this step, consider hiring a SEO content writer. These writers typically know how to write content based on keywords, as well as where to position each keyword in the title section and body. You should instruct the writer to:
- Write a minimum of 700 words (provided that this much content does not harm the user experience – otherwise, the user experience takes precedence)
- Ensure the content is unique and based on the selected keywords
There are other aspects to On Page Optimization not covered here, but the above points should make a significant difference. For a comprehensive guide to On Page Optimization, see the Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide by Google.
Key Element No.3: Off Page Optimization
Now that you have selected your keywords and executed On Page Optimization, it’s time to get onto one of the most important steps in the SEO process – Off Page Optimization.
Off Page Optimization is one of the most important aspects of SEO and it’s very important that it is executed correctly. The wrong type of link building (i.e. “Black Hat” link building), or link building of the wrong keyword to the wrong page, can get your site penalized or even worse, create a situation similar to the recent JCPenney SEO debacle.
Below are just two “White Hat” Off Page Optimization strategies that Elance contractors can assist you with:
Social Sharing - This is a very basic technique for Off Page Optimization. You should ideally use social sharing sites such as Tweet, Digg, Facebook, etc. to promote your site and then encourage others who are interested in what you are doing to share it too. This way, you also get genuine links reaching a genuinely interested audience. Encourage visitors who are interested in what you are doing to share your website on social sites by providing buttons which make it easy for them to do so. Also communicate with your audience enthusiastically and create interesting content – the more excited that people are about you and your company, the more they will share your website. You can use Elance contractors to assist in setting up your social sharing accounts and putting the buttons on your site. You can also harness the wealth of contractor skills to create compelling content, videos, images etc., which encourage people to share.
Guest Posting - Guest posting is a fantastic way to get higher quality links. With guest posting, you write a custom blog post for a website and in exchange get a link back to your website. When your post gets published, you gain an automatic link from that specific website. For guest posting, you will want to write high-quality and compelling articles, as most high-traffic blogs won’t accept poorly written posts. You can outsource a writer who is familiar with guest posting. This will give yourself the highest chance of having your article accepted. On top of this, most providers who are familiar with guest posting already know of a few places they can get links from.
Optimizing your website is an important part of online promotion and marketing. The techniques listed above outline just a few of the key steps in the SEO process. It is very possible to find a contractor on Elance to help you with the various elements, even if you are not technically minded. Using an Elance contractor to complete each element, or a SEO Management Company, can help save you time, make you money and avoid costly errors in the SEO process.
About the Author
Andrew Masanto is the CEO of Higher Click SEO Management, a SEO agency with offices in London, Los Angeles and Budapest. Higher Click specializes in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for business and individuals.