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Oct 2, 2013

How to Optimize Your Content for the Web

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Optimizing web content is a skill that's changed a whole lot since the early days of the SEOs.  In previous times, it was a simple matter of jamming more keywords in than was healthy, followed by purchasing a few links to the page from a creepy guy who only communicated via Skype.  Fortunately, things are now both more interesting and less scary.  So to help you, here is our guide to optimizing your page in 2013:



Have good content


In a post-Penguin world, the best way to make your page popular with the big ‘G’ is to make the content on it really good.  Like, really good.  To the extent that people love reading it so much, they instantly pass it to their mate, and then all the people on their e-mail list, and everyone that follows them on Twitter, and all their friends on Facebook, and virtually everyone they know. 

Build it for the user, not for Google


Linking into the above point, your aim in terms of page structure should be to create a great user experience.  You should build pages that are aesthetically pleasing, easy to navigate, and contain relevant content.  So once you’ve set up your website, take time to really think about what your website should look like and how the pages should be laid out; can users see everything they need to without the page looking too busy?  If they want to share the content on LinkedIn, will they know instinctively how to do so?  Make sure that your pages are easy to navigate.

Yes, meta still matters


Meta data is probably never going to go away.  Whilst the rest of the content on the page might be superb, Google still needs to find it!  However, the key in 2013 is for the keywords, H1s, H2s and descriptions to read naturally.  This is because - and you probably know what I’m about to say –this makes them more pleasant for the reader to look at.  Rather than saying 'Bodyguards UK services', saying 'Our services include UK bodyguards, amongst other...' will use the same words, but be more pleasant to read.

Mobile


Here's a fun fact for you: 60% of the videos watched on YouTubein the US last year were viewed on a mobile device.  Mobile seriously matters, so you should be focusing on making sure your site looks great on portable devices as well as PCs.  Many CMS systems (Wordpress in particular) are easy(ish) to configure, but if you're stumped then you should get an expert in to help make it mobile friendly.  If you don't target those portable devices, your pages are missing out on a LOT of potential traffic.

Integrate Social


It's no secret that social media is now a vital ranking factor.  Because of this, it's important that every single page on your site contains all of the necessary buttons to enable your viewers to share that content with their friends.  Every single one of those likes, re-tweets and +1s will help increase both your traffic and the reputation of your site.  Missing out on social in 2013 is seriously silly.

Include back-links



Five years ago, linking to other sites was considered a pretty bad idea.  ('What, them, get some of my link juice?  I think not...'), but now, it's essential.  Remember, your aim is to create useful, genuine content.  Any proper content will inevitably refer to other sources, and when referring to other sources on the web, you have the chance to link directly to it.  You're enhancing the user experience by doing so, and therefore increasing the quality of your content.