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The ever changing world of SEO

We all want our websites to rank on the front page of the search engines but with so much confusion on the best way to do this and so many changes being done by the search engines is SEO really becoming harder or easier for webmasters?

Firstly let’s look at the basic types of SEO that is available to all
We have on-page SEO which we will cover in more detail in this informative bulletin
We also have off-page SEO which is the biggest issue for ranking your website in the search engines and we will cover this part of SEO in another bulletin for you later on.

On-Page SEO
Too many people ignore the importance of on-page SEO to the detriment of their rankings and with Google now having a specific algorithm that incorporates on-page SEO which is called “Panda” it is more important now than it ever has been to ensure you get your website optimized for on-page factors.

In the past it was argued that on-page factors were less than 10% of your overall ranking but since the 23rd February 2011 this has significantly changed as this was the date Google first released its Panda algorithm and it was estimated at that time that it affected 12% of websites online.

Since the initial launch of Panda we have a further 24 releases of the algorithm which Google has tweaked each time to look at sites in more detail and as a result on-page must now be treated seriously if you are looking for long term rankings in the future.

What does Panda look for?
Panda is designed to look at various things on a website to give it an overall quality score and some of these factors include

1) Content
2) Keyword density
3) Site layout
4) Site load speed
5) Freshness

This is just an example of some of the factors that can affect your quality score under Panda and we will look at each in turn.

Content
For your site to have a good quality score for content you must ensure

1) The content is unique to your site
2) You acknowledge and link to sources where you have found some of the information for your site.
3) The content length at least matches that of your top 10 competitors but as a minimum 2500 words as it is considered this is what Google looks for in a quality site although there is no firm evidence of this as yet. But there is also no evidence to say this will do any harm to your site at all.
4) Make sure the content is engaging
5) Make use of your (H) tags when writing your content as this will help the search engines identify what your site is about
6) Make sure the content you write or have written for you is for users and not for search engines otherwise this will affect your user engagement and affect you longer term.
Keyword Density

In the past we used to get away with keyword stuffing as it was called but since Panda this is no longer the case and you should pay attention to the keyword density when writing your website. It is estimated that between 1% to 1.5% keyword density will be ok but this will very much depend on your specific niche. For instance if you are in the pay day loan niche then it is suggested that you are below 1% as Google has a specific algorithm for this niche.

Keyword Density is the keyword you wish to rank for not being repeated more than 1% of the overall content of your site. You can check the density of your website for free following this link. http://tools.seobook.com/general/keyword-density/

Site Layout
It is important to have your site laid out nicely for the user so they can navigate around your site with ease. Dynamic menus is one way you can do this if you have long content or a large site. It is also very important that the user can navigate to the home page of the site from any other page thatit’s making him feel more comfortable and therefore making it so more likely for him to spend time on your website.

Site layout also includes images and videos you wish to share with your users and will also make it look nicer if there is a lot of content for the user to absorb. Having images and videos is also another important factor in keeping your visitors on the site as Google now looks at each visit in more detail and if the user leaves the site quickly this could indicate to Google that the user did not find what they were looking for and affect your overall quality score long term. So if you have a video for instance that your visitors are likely to watch don’t put it at the bottom of the page but above the fold for your users to see and click on it which hopefully results in them spending more time on your site.

Site Load Speed
It is now common knowledge that site load time is an important part of on-page SEO although there still appears to be some confusion as to what is an acceptable time.

It is recommended that you get this below 3 seconds. Some say it should be as low as 1.86 seconds but one thing is for sure the faster your site loads the better it will help your overall quality score for on-page.

There are many free tools you can use to check your site speed but the best of them all is Googles tool. Why would you consider using anyone else’s tool when you are trying to please the search engines and Google offers you one to use free of charge?  Use Googles tool and get it right first time.

Freshness
It has been discussed that freshness of your website is an important factor for rankings but what is considered freshness? As you will not see sites ranking number 1 in Google without having any fresh content being added for over 2 years.

Some people add blogs to their websites for freshness while others allow comments on their blogs which results in fresh content being added.

But again “freshness” could be considered as keeping your site updated with any changes or news in your specific niche and not necessarily adding content or comments on a regular basis. The debate is still very much open as to what is considered fresh content.

This is the basics to on-page SEO with a lot more to cover on this topic so check back soon and see what other enthralling information we will share with our readers.


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