If you have ever tried to organize an SEO strategy it is easy to feel like Dorothy, Toto, and her friends when they travel through the Winkie Country. As they are making their way through the Winkie Country that is ruled by the Wicked Witch of the West they are attacked by wolves, Winkie soldiers, birds, and bees but they are still successful until the Winged Monkeys take them over. A search engine optimization campaign can feel a lot like this experience if you are not aware of the hazards of the Winkie Country.
The SEO Cyclone
Although the journey through the Winkie Country describes what it is like to try and navigate through SEO, the story really begins with the SEO cyclone when you are attempting to figure out where to begin and you are trying to survive the cyclone of SEO information. If you search Google with the term “SEO” you are bombarded with a dizzying storm of information, all of which claims to be the surefire way to succeed with SEO. Before you know it, you are like the Wicked Witch of the East when the house finally lands on you.
The Road Through the SEO Forest
To make the road through the SEO forest a little easier, let’s break down the most important information into a nutshell.
- Robots: Robots.txt is a file that you place in the root folder of your website directory. The file is an important part of your SEO strategy because it provides you with control over what pages in your site are indexed with the search engines and in some cases, your pages are indexed faster if you include a robots.txt file.
- Ranking: Your website’s ranking with the search engine is another important element in your overall SEO strategy. There are over one hundred different factors both positive and negative that affect your website’s position on the search engine results page in Google.
- Relevance: When you create your SEO strategy all of the SEO elements must contribute to your website’s relevance. For example, the keywords you choose should relate to your content. The sites that are pointing to yours should relate to the topic of your website.
- Results: SEO involves a series of trial and error strategies but the ultimate goal is to get your website on the first page of the search engine results across a variety of different keyword combinations. Real SEO results happen when you are successful with driving highly targeted organic traffic to your website.
Deadly SEO Poppy Field
There are a few things you should be aware of that can kill your SEO ranking chances before they are out the door:
- Don’t Ignore H1 and H2 Tags: H1 and H2 tags point out the most significant parts of your web page to the search engines when the spiders crawl your page for indexing. The tags tell the search engine spiders what the page is about and why it is significant.
- Failing to Do Keyword Research: If you do not know what words your target market uses to find your website you may still attract traffic but it will not be the right kind of traffic that converts.
- Content That Does Not Deliver on the Promise of the Link: If you create links solely to earn points with the search engine this will not help you in the long run. If you provide links to additional content make sure the content delivers on the promise you made in the link.
Winged SEO Monkeys
Quality content will help keep visitors on your site and protect you from the Winged SEO Monkeys. If you provide inferior content you will be unable to retain your visitors not to mention getting captured by the search engine spider monkeys. Quality content is information that is useful to your readers and relevant to the topic of your website.
There’s no place like home when your homepage design has an opportunity to help your SEO with Google Instant Previews. This is a feature offered by Google that allows your page to be previewed in the search results when the visitor clicks on the image of the magnifying glass to immediately see a preview of your page.
If you imagine an SEO strategy in terms of the yellow brick road and focus on the elements we have outlined here, this will guarantee that you get to see the SEO wizard and he will drive targeted traffic home to your website. This post was inspired by The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
Debra Leitl is the Mentor in Residence at eMentormarketing.com. You can find her on twitter@MentorMarketing. Her specialty is interactive marketing with a focus on ecommerce and online marketing strategy. She has over 15 years of professional work experience in online retail business management, strategic management consulting, as well as new business development.