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Basic Tips To Get You Going With SEO

Now that we’ve gone over Google’s Hummingbird algorithm, let’s go over some of the basic things to keep in mind when trying to optimize your site for search engines, both for search engines crawling your site, and the people searching for content!

  • Make sure you localize. Unless you have a national or international business, you’re most likely looking for local clients. In return, when it comes to car dealerships, financial investors, doctors, and many others, clients are looking for someone who can help them locally as well. So, make sure to make sure your site is clear on where you’re located, and give Hummingbird a helping hand with pointing those looking for your content to your site.
  • Hold off on internal links. Because of recent changes, Google now penalizes those who use keywords to link back to related pages in their content. For instance, if I’d hyperlinked the words "Google’s Hummingbird algorithm" to last week’s blog post, I’d have been penalized for that. So even if you have something that you find useful for someone reading your current blog, hold off, and instead making sure it’s easy for visitors to navigate to other interesting content.
  • Change your focus when writing. Instead of thinking in short, clunky keyword groups, write your content as if you were explaining it to a friend, client, or colleague. Not only will this help you ensure that your content is easy to comprehend, but making content conversational will help Google pick up on long tail keywords that will help them point your content to those that could most benefit from it.
  • Use a unique META description on each page. The META description may get hidden in the code on your website, but it can be immensely helpful in showing people that you have the information you need. This text shows up under the Google result for your page, so if it says that "John Doe is a financial planner in Honolulu, Hawaii" on every page, that doesn’t let the person know if you have any information that can help them. Instead, craft one sentence that let’s searchers know exactly what’s on your page.
  • Use your keywords in your page title. Too often, people use ugly links with numbers and random letters, which gives those using search engines absolutely no clue about your content. Instead, make sure your URL describes your content! One simple idea is to make sure you have a brief but descriptive title, and then use that as your URL, with each word separated by a hyphen (not an underscore). This makes it easy for both humans and search engines to read.

Now keep in mind that these are just some of the basic tips to use when creating your online content. Later on, we’ll go into more details on specifics points, but for now, I’ll leave you with this: never try to game the system. Search engine algorithms are being increasingly designed to ensure that people are creating genuine content versus trying to "over-optimize," so it’s as important as ever to just be authentic.

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