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SEO: What it is and Why it Matters

SEO, Search Optimization

SEO or search engine optimization concept. Paper with SEO ideas or plan, cup of coffee and smartphone on wooden table desk
  • Use your keyword liberally: The keyword you’ve chosen is the one that people search for when they’re looking for results. Ideally, the keyword should be specific enough to get to the people actually searching for your content but not so niche that your page never comes up. For this blog, the keyword will be “SEO.” Then, everyone looking into SEO will have the chance of finding this page. Some users will be looking for courses on SEO, but others will be looking for a basic breakdown on how it works.
  • Include media: Adding photos or videos will not only make your content more visually appealing, it will also boost your SEO. If you have control over the “tags” assigned to the media, make sure you include your keyword in the tag and description. If those elements are beyond your control, try to look for a photo or video that already uses your keyword in the title/name, caption, or description. Again, this is an effort to flag to Google that your content is related to what’s being searched.
  • Include external links: Links to external sites are another flag for Google to process. It also means that you don’t have to know everything about your topic—you can reference other sources as needed. Make sure you include links to high-quality sources; this will boost your credibility simply by associating your content with that source.
  • Watch your length: Your content must manage a balance of being readable and informative. If your content is too short (under 500 words), then its SEO will be lower. Breaking content into multiple paragraphs rather than long blocks of text can make your content more manageable and visually accessible. Use bullet points and other formatting to change up the delivery if you’re worried about the content appearing too dense.  
  • Go too long: Your title and URL should inform the reader what your site is about and include your keyword; however, you don’t want either to get too long. Your title needs to be catchy and to the point. If you need to provide more information, simply add a subtitle to provide context. Your URL should be succinct while also describing your site—keep it under 75 characters.
  • Cut and paste: Whether it’s from your other sites or an outside source, don’t do a cut-and-paste job. Your content should be original and new to the site you want people to access. Definitely include your other sites and references in links, but it looks sloppy and doesn’t improve your SEO to copy large chunks of text from other sites. Use the basic citation rule: if it’s more than a paragraph, you can probably find a way to trim the message.
  • Approach it the same: This is related to the above tip, but it also has to do with your overall subject. Some subjects have been so thoroughly discussed that it’ll be near impossible for your content to make it onto the first 10 pages, let alone the first 1-2. Try to stick with subjects that have enough relevance for people to seek out more information, but they aren’t so overdone that you can’t compete. If you are discussing a “tired” subject, approach it in a new way, and make sure your keyword reflects that difference.


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