In Part One of our feature on human-centered SEO, we discussed what Search Engine Optimization is and how it’s been exploited. Like many massive multi-user systems, people quickly found loopholes. However, Google is constantly updating its algorithms for the benefit of their users, not their customers (searchers are favored over publishers). What they’re looking to give their end-user is quality and value in a website. But knowing what Google wants from you can be tricky.
Now that you’ve read our article about what you shouldn’t be doing, here is what you should be doing.
It’s Time to Start Blogging
We often recommend that websites start a blog because it comes with so many benefits. A blog can help grow a website without cluttering its home page or menu bar. Blog posting can also lead to great, original content for sharing on social media.
In the realm of SEO, blog posts can help show Google that your site is active or “alive” as well as an authority voice in your field. But posting regularly is just one part of a larger recipe; adding keywords without ‘stuffing’ is what really adds flavor to SEO.
Taking Keywords Seriously
First you need to know which keywords your audience is searching for. Google AdWords is a great way to find this out, specifically by using the “Keyword Planner” tool. If you don’t know how to do keyword research for your audience, now’s the time to learn or to hire an SEO consultant. Good consultants will use analysis of your competitors to tell you how to use keywords to build a stronger web presence.
Seasoned content writers will also tell you that there’s a limit to how many keywords you should put on a page. We all know that Black Hat SEO practices like “keyword stuffing” will get your site punished, but there’s also ambiguity in knowing when you have too many keywords per page. Although there is no confirmed amount, many experts recommend your keyword density lie between one and ten percent. These occurrences should include things like using specific keyword strings, specifying your geographic location, and including keywords in the titles of your blog articles.
Keeping the Panda Off Your Back
Panda is the part of the Google Zoo (discussed in Part One) that judges the quality of a site’s user experience (UX), and is responsible for today’s popularity of Human-Centered Website Design. That means Panda is looking for typos, factual errors, how your pages are laid out (including too many ad units), dead links, etc. Thoroughly editing your site can quickly eradicate these internal errors, but how are you supposed to know when your backlinks are dead?
It’s important to regularly check-up on these things to ensure you’re maintaining good UX. This may take quite a while if you’re running a site by yourself. However, if you’ve hired a web developer or someone who does professional SEO, they can pull this information for you. A quarterly SEO report could make a big difference in your SEO ranking. Monthly website maintenance also includes some of these items.
Why Human-Centered SEO?
Google wants to stay the best at what they do, which means helping people find what they’re looking for. As the Hummingbird algorithm (also part of the Google Zoo) becomes more adept at learning how humans search the Internet, our websites must become more adept at allowing those humans to find us. To put it simply, good SEO means making a website that people want to and are able to find. By keeping up with current SEO strategies and search trends (like mobile browsing dominating the market), businesses are in turn building better websites. And what’s more human than the desire to improve upon what we’ve built?