Expert Strategies for SEO
Optimizing your site for search engines can be challenging and time consuming. It’s a game where the rules are always changing and there is no shortage of outdated and just flat out bad advice readily available. So, what should you be doing? How should you be approaching the whole search engine optimization mess?
When creating your SEO strategy, due diligence mandates that you not just take the word of the first self-styled SEO expert that just ‘shows up’ in your inbox one day. Beyond that it’s an even better idea to look for consensus viewpoints among established and recognized experts in the field.
So, where would an SEO expert start with a site? That’s what we wanted to know. What are some of the common themes, concepts, ideas and practices all of these guys would agree on? We put these questions to four leading SEO guys.
We got some good ones too.
- Rand Fishkin, CEO of SEOmoz.org, sure he wears funny shoes, but he’s an SEO rockstar of the first order by anyone’s definition.
- Eric Enge of Stone Temple Consulting, a regular and veteran of the SEO conference scene.
- David Brown of Top SEO Consultants. SEO, forums, podcasts, blogs – if you know a buzzword, David’s probably been there and done it already.
- Brian Mark from Toolbarn.com. Brian is an admin at WebProWorld forum and last year Toolbarn made the list of top 100 Internet retailers. ‘Nuff said.
Obviously, you can watch the video to get the info first hand, but for those of you who prefer to stick with the text here are some of the more interesting points made:
All of these guys agreed on the importance of having a crawlable site. Dump the pull down navigation windows, take it easy on the java script, don’t get nuts with Flash dominated pages. Always use distinct titles and descriptions from page to page. Watch your achor (link) text – you don’t want to use things like ‘click here’ or ‘home’ for your navigation because they don’t mean much to search spiders.
David Brown specifically mentioned the concept of the KEI, or Keyword Efficiency Index when thinking about and choosing keywords you want to focus on. KEI is important and it’s one of those things you can show off to your non-SEO friends to make them understand how smart you are because it has a very impressive looking formula:
KEI = (DS^2/C) = (DS/C * DS)
It’s actually not as complicated as it looks, and there is a great definition of KEI at StrictlyCSS.com.
Eric, Rand and Brian all mentioned how important the content of your site is to your SEO efforts. This is particularly true in terms of garnering those all-important inbound links to your site. As Rand observes specifically, search engines rank based on two factors; relevance and popularity.
Relevance is fairly self-explanatory, but the popularity angle is more interesting. You want your on page content to be popular – not necessarily with engines themselves (because they don’t care) and not necessarily popular with your customers — you want your content to be popular with other people in your field. Similar sites with similar topics, targeting the same kind of areas Links from those kinds of sites/pages are extremely valuable inbound links.
Obviously, this isn’t to say to ignore your customers and end users when you create your content. Simply that you should also be thinking about the attractiveness or linkability of your content to other people sites within your subject area. At the end of the day, nothing will move you further, faster than quality inbound links.
Speaking of inbound links, the general consensus of all of our experts in the video is basically the more the merrier. They all stress the importance and value of having relevant inbound links with good, keyword specific anchor text, but none of them seem to have any qualms or issues with HOW you go about getting them. A couple of guys just flat out admit that they will, and have, paid for sites to link to them.
That said, they also all agree that if you do buy links, you should be smart about it. Be selective about the types of links you buy – make double sure they are relevant etc and just basically keep it under your hat.
There’s plenty more info in the video. Be sure to check it out. If you feel like we left some major point unexplored or have suggestions or ideas for future video interviews, let me know about it and we’ll see what we can come up with.
>>> Watch the Video!