Quick note: As I’m writing these posts, I refer a lot to WordPress as it is my publishing platform of choice. One of the reasons I love WordPress from an SEO standpoint is because of how well I can talk to Google and the other engines. XML sitemaps, ping notifications, ya know just more reasons you should be using it. 😉
I‘m a visual person, so a lot of times when someone takes an idea and paints a pretty picture for me, I catch on instantly. With that being said, try to picture this. 😉
What’s Happening Behind the Scenes is what Matters
Now remember, we’re talking about creating killer content for the search engines, not your readers. Forget about how pretty your site looks for a moment. You know, the fancy Twitter badge, cool logo and tricked out colors that you love so dearly. You’re now a mighty search engine spider or bot and you’ve just landed on one of your most recent posts. Does the content look like you need to be Bear Grylls to survive? Or is it tightly constructed with a nifty road map?
From start to finish the search engine spiders need to crawl through all the content. Without it being laid out in nice Semantic Web Markup, it’s sayonara. It’s adios. It’s later dude. It’s peace out. I think you get the point.
So what Exactly are the Search Engines looking for?
How about Semantic Web Markup for $1,000 please.
What’s Semantic Web Markup? Simply put, it’s what gets your site humming the way Google likes it. What you’re shooting for is to lay out your content to the search engines by using XHTML tags (
<strong> and so on.) When these XHTML tags are used properly in a clear, well-organized manner, you’re golden.
In other words, the search engine spiders are doing something like this as they “spider” your content:
The spiders initially come to your site from the
<title> of your post via the search engine results. (having a compelling & keyword targeted
<title> tag is a absolute must.) It then hits the headline of the post (which should be an
<h1> tag) and ask’s, “is this relevant?” Moving along, it then crawls through the contents of the post looking for sub-headlines, bolded keywords, lexical keywords, keyword density, etc.
TIP: For your sub-headlines be sure to use
<h2> tags or
<h3> tags. Don’t ever have more then ONE
<h1> tag on the same page. This goes back to presenting those XHTML tags in a hierarchical model.
Then of course making its way to the posts ending. It arrives in hopes to see the same keyword or phrase that originally pointed it there. Bolding the keyword again always helps.
TIP: Bolding the keywords you’re focusing on, does in fact tell the engines — “Hey, these keyword(s) or phrase(s) are more important. Be sure to write that down.”
For the most part, if your running a platform such as WordPress, this is pretty much taken care of to an extent. But there are plenty of Free & Premium themes that don’t execute this in the right way. Yes, you most likely paid $80 bucks for a premium theme and they used an
<h2> tag for all your post titles instead of an
<h1> tag. Oops!
And in case you didn’t know, besides the
<title> tag, the
<h1> tag is one of the most important tags on the page for the search engines. Go check if your theme is setup this way and make changes if necessary.
In conclusion, here’s a few things to Consider when Publishing New Content
- Give each post or page a unique title.
- Give each post or page a unique description.
- Never have more than ONE
<h1>tag on the same page.
- Bold the keywords or phrases you’re targeting.
- Use synonyms or lexical keywords to reduce keyword frequency & reinforce the keywords you’re targeting.
- (All in One SEO plugin for WordPress works great for 1 & 2 if you’re using WordPress.)
- Use the the Thesaurus to find synonyms.
I sure hope you’re enjoying the Rockstar SEO Series. Don’t be afraid to chime in or leave feedback on this subject. Remember to Follow JR Farr on Twitter or Subscribe to my RSS Feed so you don’t miss a post!
Previously in the Rockstar SEO Series
Follow up to this post: