Friday, July 29, 2011

Search Engine Optimization Strategies for Resume Writers: Part 3

This is the third in a series of five posts on "Search Engine Optimization Strategies for Resume Writers." 

The first post in the series addressed the What and Why of SEO. Yesterday's blog post was about Keyword Research. The final two posts will address Setting Up Google Places and Google Places Best Practices. These posts are excerpted from the "Resume Writers Online Marketing Guidebook."

Today's post is about SEO Basics.

While breaking down SEO completely would be a book on its own (I actually purchased a 330-page eBook on this subject once!), I will go over some basics. if you have built your website using WordPress, you could do some of the on-page steps yourself. If you went with an HTML design, you might have to get your web designer to make a couple of changes. The changes will be quick though, so it shouldn’t take too much time.

Search Engine Optimization can be broken into two main categories: On-page and Off-page.

On-Page: On-Page means exactly what it says. These are the steps you take on your actual site or blog to make it more friendly to the search engines. While there are many things to consider, some great first steps include:

  Title Tags: You might have to get your web designer to fix these for you if you use a traditional HTML website. These are simply the titles of each page and are the first thing Google sees when it finds a new page. The “title” in this case is what is displayed ABOVE the address bar in your Internet browser. It is at the very top of the browser. On Google.com, “Google” is the page title.

If you are familiar with HTML code, this is usually accomplished with the tags near the top of the code. If you are savvy enough, you can change them yourself — just remove what is in between them and paste in one of your keywords. In WordPress, you can handle this even easier through uses of plugins like All-in-One SEO.

Each page of your site should have a different title tag. Make it one of the keywords that you created in the previous step. In some smaller towns, this is all you will need to do to get to the first page of Google for localized terms. If you use WordPress, you can access Permalinks through the Settings and create a custom structure like: /%postname%/. 

This will make the title tag of every post you create to be the same as the Post Title. So just name your blog posts with keywords and you will automatically have keyword rich title tags. Another point for WordPress.

  Content — You want to mention your keywords in your content, but not too much. You don’t want your content to seem low quality and unnaturally stuffed with keywords. Remember, your web content should be written for your visitors, not the search engines. Good quality content that naturally mentions your keywords will engage people, make them more likely to share your site. It will also seem more natural to Google.

  Navigation — You should have proper navigation on your site. You want it to be both logical and working. Broken links on your site are a big “no-no.” A broken link in your navigation is especially glaring. You want Google to be to easily find your whole site with no broken links. This includes linking to other parts of your own site.

  Sitemap — This step is more important for WordPress based websites, because a sitemap is needed more for a dynamic site. A sitemap is basically a list of your website pages. Search engines like Google will use it to discover your entire site. It is more important for websites that are updated with new pages often (i.e. WordPress blog). In WordPress you can easily add a sitemap to your site with a plugin like “Google XML Sitemaps.”

  Privacy Policy — This is a tip that came from the Canadian headquarters of Google itself. The complex algorithm that Google uses to rank websites does give a bonus to sites that have a privacy policy. Just get your web designer to add a link in your footer — titled Privacy Policy — that links to a basic privacy policy for your website. If you use WordPress, just use a plugin like “Easy Privacy Policy.”

SEO is a major area of study online, and there are a lot of other steps you can take, but the above ones are a great on-page start to any campaign. Since ranking for localized keywords is easier in general, these steps should suffice for most resume writing businesses.

Off-Page — In many people’s eyes, off-page optimization is where you should spend most of your time. I personally disagree, though. I think consistent high quality on-page content (aka blog posts) is the most important step. That said, off-page optimization is still very important and probably more important than every on-page step besides content creation.

When it comes down to a basic level, off-page optimization is really about one thing — getting backlinks. Backlinks are simply links on other sites that point towards your site. Google values these highly, and it is one of the major ranking factors.

When you are starting a backlinking campaign, there are a couple of terms you need to know:

Anchor Text: The anchor text is the actual text that makes up the link. When you see a link that says “Click Here,” then click here is the anchor text. Links that have your keywords as the anchor text are more valuable. An anchor text that reads, “Click here to contact an Omaha resume writer” is more valuable.

Page Rank: Google gives pages a rank from 0-10. This rank isn’t quite as important as some people make it out to be, but it is still a good guide. The higher the page rank of a website, the more valuable the link on it is. (You will sometimes see this referred to as the “PR” value — or page rank value.)

NoFollow/Dofollow: Two different kind of links. If a link is nofollow, it means that Google doesn’t pass on the power of the link to your site. There is some argument on this though. I don’t think someone should ignore a potential backlink because it is nofollow. It contributes to a natural backlinking profile, and can still drive traffic. (You can do a search for “nofollow/dofollow” on Google to find out more about this.)

These are some of the basic terms you will come across when you are looking for backlinks or learning more about them. There are a lot of blog posts out there about backlinking, as well as free guides, etc.

Tomorrow's blog post is about Setting Up Google Places.

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This blog post is just one small part of the "Resume Writers Online Marketing Guidebook." Purchase the 42-page special report for just $14 and receive two bonus special reports for free: "How to Add a Facebook 'Like' Box on Any Page" and "How to Use Facebook Ads In Your Resume Writing Business."

2 comments:

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