7 White Hat SEO Tips for 2015
SEO is a touchy marketing endeavor. Because Google frowns upon keyword stuffing and manual link building, almost all forms of SEO are on the fringe of black hat. Further, if these slightly more sketchy forms of SEO are not performed correctly, they can result in a de-indexed website (bye bye rankings.)
In short, keeping your SEO strategy purely “white hat” (or other words: natural, legit and penalty risk-free) makes it tough to be competitive. Almost everyone who is winning with SEO is using some techniques that Google frowns upon.
However, there are a number of more natural things that you do to improve your website’s search placement in Google. Below I share seven white hat SEO tips that will hold strong in 2015 and for many years to come.
SEO Tips for 2015
Here’s a handful of white hat SEO tips for 2015. These SEO techniques have stood the test of time and will continue to serve your overall strategy for the long-haul.
Optimize On a Per Page Basis
Too many SEO amateurs think that they need to include their primary money keyword on all pages of their website. This is debatable counter intuitive. Instead, focus on optimizing each page individually for dedicated keyword phrases. For instance, your homepage might be optimized for your money keyword business consulting Traverse City, while inside pages of your site might target variations and long-tails like marketing consulting Traverse City.
Just makes sure that each page has a purpose and that your not building out “SEO doorway pages” that purely dedicated to gaming Google. These tactics will not stand the test of time among SEO strategies for 2015.
Ensure Proper Keyword Inclusion
Unlike 5 years ago, you don’t want to menion your keywords a bunch of times throughout your site (as this can get you penalized,) but you do want to mention your keyword targets subtling and in a few key places. Make sure that keyword phrase (per that page) is mentioned in the page title, meta description, and visible page copy. Including keywords creatively (not SEO-obviously) in strong tags, italics, headers, and links can have a minor benefit.
Sitemaps: Google Spider Roadmaps
The sitemap page is like the road map for search engine spiders. It directs spiders, or bots, to crawl and index all pages of your site more efficiently, thus helping making your SEO effort more impactful. Be sure to create a complete HTML sitemap page and link to it in the footer or header of your website (or anywhere that’s site-wide, or on all pages of your site.) Next, generate an XML sitemap and upload this file to your root domain. You can automatically generate one using one of the many WordPress plugins, or use this tool at XML-Sitemaps.com. Later, you can submit your XML sitemap on Google Webmaster Tools, which acts as a secondary road map.
Schema Markup for Optimal SEO-friendliness
Schema markup, or structured data markup, helps to communicate your site’s content more efficiently to search engines. In turn, Schema can improve your site’s Google search engine listing by generating rich snippets, while also helping to boost your SEO endeavors. Implement the proper Schema markup on your optimized page(s). There are various forms to use, and it might take some technical SEO or HTML understanding to successfully integrate on your site. But when you do, your site may experience a nice boost in keyword rankings.
Citations are key for local SEO. In essence, a citation is simply a mention of the name, address, and phone number of your business. Google crawls the citation mentioned on your website, and compares the information with other citations found about your business throughout the web (such as you Google+ page, Yelp page, and any other listings.) Ensuring your citation is completely accurate and consistent both on all pages of your website and other external web properties is essential. Include your on-site citation near your sitemap link, such as in the footer and/or header. Next, run a citation audit and see how you citation appear on external web properties. You can use Whitespark or Yext to do this.
If you have very large media files, like high volume images and videos on your site, you can optimize them so that your pages load quicker. This is subtle ranking factor, but also helps to improve usability and user engagement with your website. In addition to optimizing media for faster load speeds, you can also keyword optimize the file’s properties, which can boost the pages keyword relevancy and SEO value.
Get Listed & Get Social
Having your site listed on various other websites and directories is a great way to build domain authority. This authority, which helps to increase your site’s ranking potential, stems from the citations and backlinks you can earn from other website listings. Use the latter Whitespark and Yext tools to find opportunities to get listed on safe, SEO-friendly website that will help boost your rankings.
Similarly, start embracing social media as part of your SEO strategy. Google +1’s, Facebook Likes, Pinterest Pins, and other common social signals are becoming a hot topic in the SEO community. And although these social signals are not explicitly defined as Google ranking factors, many experts are predicting that social media will have a greater impact on SEO in 2015.
For more insight on crafting a solid SEO strategy for 2015, visit my website Traverse City SEO TCTopofMind.com. This organization is dedicated to helping business thrive using SEO and Google search marketing. There you can apply for a free consultation or audit to help you get started.