SEO YOUR WEBSITE

Matthew Carter
Hello friends, my name is Matthew Carter. I’m a professional link builder for a large SEO agency in New York City.

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If you want to rank for multiple keywords phrases with your website, you will need to make a separate webpage for each keyword phrase you are targeting.

Title metadata is responsible for the page titles displayed at the top of a browser window and as the headline within search engine results. It is the most importan t metadata on your page.

Improve your authority and credibility by adding relevant links within the text. Instead of having “click here” links, try writing out the name of the destination. “Click here” has no search engine value beyond the attached URL, whereas “Michigan Tech Enterprise Program” is rich with keywords and will improve your search engine rankings as well as the ranking of the page you are linking to. Always use descriptive links by linking keywords—it not only improves search engine optimization, but also adds value to your readers, including those with disabilities or who are using screen readers.

Placing Keywords.

Once your keyword phrase is chosen for a given page, consider these questions:

Always describe your image and video media using alt tags, or alternative text descriptions. They allow search engines to locate your page, which is crucial—especially for those who use text-only browsers or screen readers.

You’ve probably noticed that we feel pretty strongly about content . Search engines do, too. Regularly updated content is viewed as one of the best indicators of a site’s relevancy , so be sure to keep it fresh. Audit your content on a set schedule (semesterly for example) and make updates as needed.

Keyword metadata is rarely if ever used to tabulate search engine rankings. However, you should already know your keyword phrases, so it doesn’t hurt to add them into your keyword metadata. You’ll want to include a variety of phrases. As a general rule, try to keep it to about 3-7 phrases with each phrase consisting of 1-4 words. A great example would be “computer science degree.”

Description metadata is the textual description that a browser may use in your page search return. Think of it as your site’s window display—a concise and appealing description of what is contained within, with the goal of encouraging people to enter. A good meta description will typically contain two full sentences. Search engines may not always use your meta description, but it is important to give them the option.

Quality, authoritative content is the number one driver of your search engine rankings and there is no substitute for great content—this is especially true when doing SEO marketing. Quality content created specifically for your intended user increases site traffic, which improves your site’s authority and relevance. Fine-tune your web writing skills and present yourself as an authority on the topic you are writing about.

3. Metadata.

Follow these suggestions to improve your search engine optimization (SEO) and watch your website rise the ranks to the top of search-engine results.

Don’t forget to use bold , italics , heading tags (especially an H1), and other emphasis tags to highlight these keyword phrases—but don’t overdo it. You still want your language and writing style to read naturally. Never sacrifice good writing for SEO. The best pages are written for the user , not for the search engine. Read more about SEO marketing to help you find new content opportunities.

For those with a CMS website, the web team has developed an automated system for creating the meta title for each webpage based on your page title. This adds to the importance of using well-thought-out page titles rich with keyword phrases .

Beyond page URL, title, and headings, content is most influential on search engine rankings. Repeat your keyword phrase several times throughout the page—once or twice in the opening and closing paragraphs, and two to four more times throughout the remaining content. Be authoritative. Strategically link to relevant sources and additional information—both within your organizations broad website and even to other websites which are useful.

Keyword Metadata.

When designing your website, each page contains a space between the <head> tags to insert metadata, or information about the contents of your page. If you have a CMS site originally produced by the UMC web team will have pre-populated this data for you. However, it is important for you to review and update metadata as your site changes over time.

It is very difficult for a webpage to achieve search engine rankings for multiple keyword phrases—unless those phrases are very similar. A single page may be able to rank for both “biomedical engineering jobs” and “biomedical engineering careers”. Ranking for “student affairs” and “dean of students” or “gender discrimination” and “violence reporting procedures” with a single page is unlikely.

Answering yes to these questions can improve your search engine ranking. Be natural and user-friendly , though. For instance, you do not want the word “engineering” to show up three or more times in the URL or have the phrase Northern Lights repeated in the page title and also every heading. Readability and usability still trump search engine optimization.

Identify and target a specific keyword phrase for each authoritative content page on your website. Think about how your reader might search for that specific page with search terms like:

A webpage which is content-rich, authoritative, unbiased, and helps visitors learn more about what they are interested in is most likely to attract links from other websites, which improves your search engine optimization.

Content marketing for SEO involves creating, say, articles, videos, and podcasts that people want to share and link to. As the number of people exposed to the content increases, so does the potential for links.

Identify your organic-search competitors — not necessarily the sites that sell exact products and services, but also informational sites and massive retailers that compete for the same phrases. Wikipedia, Vogue magazine, and Walmart are your competitors if they’re taking up room on the search results page. Ask yourself:

Sometimes a small, common-sense tweak to a title tag can make a big difference, especially if your ecommerce platform generates default titles based on the labels in your taxonomy and the site’s name. This can result in title tags such as “Women’s – [Your Site].”

Social media enables you to connect with your audience. Nurturing those relationships increases the exposure of your content and, thus, the likelihood that some will blog about it or link to it.

Marketers tend to use the jargon of their industry and brand. Don’t assume that you know what consumers want and how they search — do the research.

7. Boost Link Equity.

“Content” does not need to be only text. Use illustrations, product photos, how-to videos, or any other content that helps shoppers. Delivering value is vital. If the content doesn’t fill a need or engage your customers and prospects, you’ve wasted your time and theirs.

Look at your highest-level category pages. My research shows that ecommerce category pages should drive up to 32-percent more organic search traffic than product pages.

Beware of the “Keyword” dimension, though. No analytics program can accurately track which keywords referred organic search traffic to your site. Only the analytics for each search engine, such as Google Search Console’s Performance report, can do that.

Do your title tags make sense? Can you make them more specific or relevant? For example, adding “shoes” to the title tag above could be a common-sense tweak: “Women’s Shoes – [Your Site].”

If you are stuck, ask questions in one of the many SEO communities. Google’s Webmaster Forum is a helpful place to start. Participants include Google employees, SEO professionals, marketers, and developers. Other popular forums are WebmasterWorld Forum and Moz’s Q&A Forum. Facebook and LinkedIn also have SEO communities.

Knowing what consumers want and the search phrases they use, map keywords to each page on your site.

Create a spreadsheet of all critical pages in your site’s navigation and map unique primary and secondary keywords to each. Create new pages for unassigned high-value keywords.

Focus on the relevance of the textual elements of each page — the title tags, meta descriptions, headings, body content — to the keyword themes that searchers use.

A sound SEO program relies on keyword research to:

3. Understand Your Competition.

Link equity is the quantity of high-quality, topically-relevant sites that link to yours. Link equity and contextual relevance are the top two organic ranking factors. Combined, link acquisition and content marketing increase your link equity naturally.

Also, study their reviews and social media activity to identify products or site info that could improve your own offerings and user experience.

Twitter is a popular vehicle to ask the SEO community for advice. Make sure to include a hashtag such as #seo, #seoquestion to increase your chances of being seen by someone who can help.

Consumer-facing businesses will likely find the most value in Facebook and Twitter. B2B companies usually focus on Twitter and LinkedIn, with Facebook in the mix as well.

Google Ads Keyword Planner is a free research tool. You’ll need an active Google Ads campaign to access it, however.

The keyword research in step 2, above, comes in handy as it provides an idea of the most influential and best-ranking sites to approach.

1. Improve Title Tags.

With your keyword map in-hand, the next step is implementing on-page SEO, including:

In Google Analytics, go to Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels . Click on “Organic Search” and then change the Primary Dimension to “Landing Page.” You can then analyze your SEO performance.

For quick updates on SEO changes, try two YouTube channels: Moz’s “Whiteboard Friday” and “Google Webmasters.”

If you have attractive images, add Instagram or Pinterest to the list. If you’re open to creating videos, definitely use YouTube.

Create ongoing content tailored to your audience. You don’t have to kick out a new blog post or other content every day. That’s unrealistic for many ecommerce sites. Just publish unique content at least monthly, if not weekly. Consistency is key.

You can’t optimize what you don’t measure. SEO requires a basic understanding of Google Analytics (or equivalent) to know which pages to optimize and which are performing strongly.

The best keyword tools offer a demand score for each theme. Google Keyword Planner is the free, go-to keyword research tool, though you’ll need an active Google Ads campaign to access the most useful data.

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