At one time, SEO management meant stuffing as many keywords into 500 words of copy as you could and hoping the search engines would give you a boost in the SERPs (search engine results pages). Today, however, that strategy doesn't fly. In fact, it can earn you a proverbial slap on the hand (or worse) from Google and other search engines.
So what does SEO management mean today? And how can you use it effectively (while avoiding those dreaded Google penalties)?
4 Ways to Optimize Your Website Content for Search
1. Make Your Website as Navigable and as Accessible as Possible
Users need to know how to get around your website.
Today's SEO management techniques revolve around the user experience (UX). Google likes websites that offer a seamless experience for each of its visitors, especially with regard to navigation.
Visit your website and try to view it through the eyes of someone who has never seen it before. Can you access all of the important pages from the home page? Can you identify links immediately? Do you understand the flow of information?
Colors and font choices play a big role in this facet of SEO management. For instance, if your links are the same color as the surrounding text, with no changes to font characteristics (such as underline or bold), how will users know they can click on them?
2. Write In-Depth, Useful Content
SEO management has less to do with the number of times you type a given keyword and more to do with contextual relevance. Google boosts the SERP rankings for websites that consistently deliver high-quality content.
Long-form content offers one of the best solutions. Longer articles and blog posts contain more information, and are, therefore, considered more authoritative and useful.
Use keywords sparingly, but make sure to include them. That's how Google knows what your content is about and how to direct users to your website. If you churn out vacuous articles with click-bait headlines or stuff your articles full of keywords, you'll see your rankings drop like a rock.
3. Give Others a Reason to Link
Do users have a reason to give you links?
People don't link to websites out of generosity. They create links when they find compelling, interesting, or authoritative content.
Inbound links can boost your SEO management results, but only if they come from high-quality sources. To generate these links, you must create content that others feel is worthy to be shared.
Conducting your own research and publishing your statistical findings is a tried-and-true method. Everyone loves statistics, so you might find your content appearing across the web, from blogs to social media.
If you create content that people want to read, they'll share it with others.
4. Build Your Brand
Popularity often translates into authority — at least in the world of SEO. Make sure people know about your business or website. Open accounts on social media platforms and use them to interact with your target market. Invite influencers to contribute to your blog and make sure that you brand the content that you disseminate on the web.
Learning SEO management isn't as difficult as it sounds. However, it sometimes helps to hire a professional agency that has experience creating results with SEO. If you're struggling with search engine optimization on your website, schedule a consultation.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in February 2016 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.