1. Write for humans – optimize for robots
It’s 2013 – nobody wants to read SEO content, not even the search engine! Everything points to the fact that Google prefers natural content to obvious SEO stuff. Moreover, there’s no point in great rankings if your content doesn’t convert. So focus on your fresh and bone target audience – but help the robots find your content.
2. Forget about keyword density – once and for all
Keyword density is one of the most tenacious SEO myths out there. But there is nothing to indicate that Google favors a certain density over another. It’s important to use relevant keywords in your copy, but use them naturally. Cramming keywords in where they don’t belong will mostly likely do more harm than good.
3. Use related keywords, synonyms & grammatical variations
Google and other search engines use Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) to match search results to the intentions of the person performing the search. Using synonyms, related keywords, and grammatical variations is an easy way to make your content more relevant – without stuffing the actual keyword into the copy.
4. Use Google Tilde to find related keywords
If you add ~ before a keyword and perform a search, Google will show you a number of related keywords at the bottom of the page that Google finds relevant in relation to your query. Use these keywords to increase the relevance of your content.
5. Write long, in-depth, quality content
The average web page ranking on the first page of Google has over 2,000 words. Moreover, evidence points to the fact that in-depth articles get more shares and links than short, superficial one. Aim for content that delves deep into the subject matter and provides real insight. But Don’t write lengthy content just to please search engines – do it because you have knowledge and insight to share with your audience.
6. Take advantage of the long tail
The problem with “big”, “fat” keywords is that they usually are super competitive and ranking for them demands a huge effort. In many cases there are lots of related searches that are much easier to rank for e.g. “landing page” vs. “how long should a landing page be?” Long tail phrases have a smaller search volume, however the traffic quality will be higher as the visitors are motivated and likely to convert.
7. Answer your prospects’ questions
If your prospects have questions about your product or service, they’ll probably type those same questions into Google. Provide your prospects with content that delivers credible answers, and they’ll visit your site. Provide them with better answers than you competitors, and they’ll buy from you. Additionally, answering questions is a great way of taking advantage of the long tail.
8. Get your content noticed and shared
Sharing gets you links and traffic, and the more “shares” your content gets, the more relevant and popular it will seem to Google. Do your part to get your content out there and shared via forums, blogs, influencers, newsletters, and the usual suspects like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc. And don’t underestimate the incredible power of guest blogging?
9. Get down with Google Plus
Google+ is going to play a bigger and bigger role in SEO. Moreover, the inevitable introduction of Author Rank means that Google will start connecting ranking factors to individual authors – not just the websites hosting the author’s content. Setup your Google+ profile, add your authorship markup, claim ownership of your content, build AuthorRank, and play an active role on Google+. By doing so, you can boost the authority of every piece of content you produce – regardless of where it gets posted.
10. Title tags and snippets are still king
Your title tag is one of the first things Google looks at when categorizing the individual web page. Moreover, the combination of title tag and “”snippet (meta description) is what your prospects are going to see in the SERPs. So include keywords – but make your titles and snippets sound natural and focus on motivating prospects to click.