SEO basics to improve ranking is name of this lesson and I am sure you gonna love it.
How does one structure a fool-proof search engine optimization or SEO strategy? What must an affiliate marketer do to guarantee his or her website’s rank to jack up considerable traffic?
The truth is there is no such thing as a surefire, long-term strategy when it comes SEO.
The worldwide web is a throbbing, exciting, albeit chaotic network of activity that continuously evolves. It’s shaped by so many factors including search engine algorithm adjustment, social media activity, competition, and newer, sophisticated developments.
Given that kind of dynamics, there is no way you can adopt an SEO strategy to navigate your way and ascertain consistent outcomes over a period of time.
SEO experts might argue against this point and insist on highly technical metrics to dictate what you must do and not do to assure rank and traffic. I found that in spite of all the cerebral analyses and applications, these do not still assure your desired outcome.
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So, after having been there and done that, I have come to believe that for your affiliate website to be profitable, this is the most important thing to have: sufficient knowledge or skill fueled by a desire to give value to others. Once you’ve honed or possessed this, you’ll be able to persevere through the long journey ahead and realize that all your efforts have paid off.
Just to be clear, I’m not saying that you should altogether ignore SEO and happily do your own thing. Of course not. There still is some benefit to learning the fundamentals of SEO and ranking. After all, SEO is one of the factors that affects traffic to your affiliate website.
That being said, I will then emphasize in this article the basics of SEO that you must learn and refine depending on your unique selling proposition and challenges as you go along. There aren’t any hard and fast rules here, so you do not need to apply all. Just use them as guides and find out what works and what do not, adopt the former and drop the latter.
So, are you ready? Let’s do this.
SEO basics to improve ranking
Keywords for SEO basics to improve ranking
Yes, here we go again about keywords. Keywords are essential to having a focal point in your content. Plus, these words are what connect your content to web searches, just like your identification. No identity means no way of categorizing you amid the deluge of ideas and competing content out there.
Using Longtail keywords
Now, one thing that you should already know about competing for ranking is that you not only need an identity but also a distinctive one. This means you must have a certain level of specificity in your keywords.
Keywords such as ‘best air conditioner brand’ is going pit you against high-authority websites such as Amazon and it is highly unlikely that you’re going to land on the top spot on Google. However, if you choose keywords that are more descriptive such as ‘Best 1.5HP inverter window-type aircon in Latin America,’ you’ll have less competition and greater chances of being ranked.
It might be a bit tricky at first to discern how much specificity is effective for you, but you can try to search your potential longtail keywords to determine if they work. Also, you can choose to segment your market based on need and base your decision on your chosen segment.
For example, a person who uses a Huntington Propane Gas Grill will not be distinct from another who prefers an Americana Swinger Grill.
Why? It’s because the need is the same although the product brands are different. However, grilling in your backyard during summer is different from hosting a grill party during winter. This is where the differentiation lies, and this is where you can base how specific you can get with your longtail keywords.
Locating your keywords
The singularity level of your keywords is not the only thing that you should be mindful of. You also need to position them in strategic areas of your content because these are where Google is going to check to categorize your content.
So, what are these key areas to locate your keywords?
This is simpler to pin down. Your keyword should be in the following:
- Content title
- Captions of photographs
- Image text
- Multimedia content
For example, if your keywords are ‘whey protein shakes to lose belly fat,’ which would pose as best option to title your blog:
‘Lose Belly Fat with These Easy-to-Make Whey Protein Shakes’
‘Skip Other Diet Plans and Try These Whey Protein Shake Formulas to Lose the Belly Fat’
The answer is the first option. Why? It’s because the earlier you mention your keywords on the title, the sooner that you get picked up.
Adopting your keywords in the URL may be less straightforward than doing so in your title. In my case, I decided to crop my keywords which is automatically executed by other search engine optimization plugins. For example, you can use the following URL: youraffiliatewebsite.com/whey-protein-shakes-belly-fat.
Another strategy that SEO basics to improve ranking experts suggest is to put your core focus in your URL for more relevance. To demonstrate this, let us use the same example.
Here you put protein shakes in your URL and then follow it up with the rest of your descriptive keywords: youraffiliatewebsite.com/healthdrinks/whey-protein-shakes-lose-belly-fat. If you look at your URL in this example, it becomes longer than the first example and pushes your keywords farther to the right. This negatively impacts your relevance. I will, then, leave it to you to weigh the pros and cons of each strategy based on your target market and existing competition.
Using Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords
This is a favorite topic of mine when discussing about keyword optimization because it is not often talked about and when it is, it is sometimes misconstrued for something.
Some would-be SEO basics to improve ranking experts believe that LSI keywords are those that are exactly the same as yours but phrased in different sequences. For example, if your keywords are ‘home-baked strawberry shortcake,’ some experts say that the LSI keywords are: 1) bake strawberry cake, 2) kinds of home-baked strawberry shortcakes, 3) strawberry shortcake nutrition facts.
This is not what is meant by LSI keywords. When you talk about your LSI keywords for ‘home-baked strawberry shortcake,’ these would be as follows: 1) whipped cream, 2) vanilla, 3) crisp and crumbly cake, 4) baking powder, 5) butter.
You can add so many more LSI keywords to this list. Determining which are your LSI keywords is therefore based on the premise that these keywords are likely to be mentioned when you discuss about home-baked strawberry shortcakes.
Although you cannot possibly predict how much your search engine knows about your chosen topic, especially if it is a rather unpopular one, the gist here is that once you start writing around your keywords, do not use words that are too farfetched from the subject matter.
For instance, do not go around talking so much about the era when your first family shortcake recipe was made by your great aunt. You need to relate more to the topic at hand.
Another point is that there is such as thing as overdoing your keyword usage. Try to adopt LSI words instead to avoid this but still stay on topic.
Use of Fancy Text for Keywords
My advice with regard to using these cool stylized fonts with your keywords is to do so only when necessary. Do not overuse.
Headers for SEO basics to improve ranking
Tags for content headers are recognized by your search engine according to these categories: H1, H2, H3, H4. These are tag labels that correspond to the main heading, subheading, and further subheadings.
H1 corresponds to your title the most. H2 relates to H1 and is its subheading. H3 is the second subheading to H1, while H4 is the subheading of H3.
Again, the use of these header tags depends on your content and subject matter. I normally eschew H2 because it’s large. I only use the other three header tags because they are more visually appealing to me.
I’m also more drawn to pithy headlines so I apply that to my articles. My recommendation to you is therefore to find the format that would most conform to your writing style, brand message, and what would most connect with your target audience.
In terms keyword text format, we follow the widely accepted rules. To put a stress on something, we normally use boldfaced, underscore, or italics.
So, if your subject matter is about ‘scaling Mount Everest,’ you would want to write those in italics or bold letters when you mention these in our article. You would be confusing your search engine if you underscore or mention your past climbs in bold letters while you talk about your Mount Everest adventure.
By the way, I stay away from underscoring my keywords because these may be mistaken for hyperlinking, but this is just a matter of personal decision.
Lists for SEO basics to improve ranking
Because I prefer crisp content, I often use numbering or bullets to order my content. I discovered that so does Google.
When you do content lists, there is a greater probability of being ranked on the first page or on Google’s preview portion.
If not, you will agree that lists are easier to read and most people prefer it than text-heavy content. The more readers connect with your posts, the better for your ranking.
Search Engine Optimization Linking
Linking articles within your website
One of the easiest SEO basics to improve ranking tricks to adopt is to include internal links in your article. This involves creating connections from your current post to your past articles in the website.
When your search engine checks your content and see that you’ve also run a related post on the topic through your internal link, this data will boost your relevance, and consequently, contributes to your chances of being ranked.
Website to website linking
Why would we entice our readers to jump to another site?
No one has monopoly of information or knowledge regardless of how great your expertise is on a subject matter. We need the support of higher authorities to add value to our content.
Sometimes, a subpoint of your topic may be too broad or distant from your main content and to attempt to cover it may distill the overall focus and impact of your post. It could also be that you are not interested in diving deep into it.
In cases such as these, it would be best to utilize an external link, which is to connect your article to another website’s post.
Also, remember what I told you about the most important thing in this business? We must be able to provide value to our reader and help them better understand. That is what will fortify trust and credibility in our niche.
Fortunately, this external linking also clicks with SEO basics to improve ranking logic. These interlinking with other websites will send a message to search engines that your article is relevant due to the higher concentration of discussion about your topics.
A word of caution, though, about external links. Do not overdo it. Too many of it may also tell search engines that your content is too thin or lacking in substance, and therefore, not worth recommending. I’d say one to two of these links should be sufficient.
What are jump links? These are organized links that appear like tables of content in the introductory part of a post.
When you click on any of the classifications in the ‘table of contents,’ you are transferred or made to jump to that corresponding portion of the same article.
What I discovered in using this is that this allows me to rank with several other sub links, which therefore means that I get to have more chances of being clicked on.
Another tip is to get innovative with your ‘table of contents’ links by rephrasing them into ‘call-to-actions’ which fare very well in Google ranking.
For example, if your article is about travel and you happen to include this line as one of the linking subtopic in the ‘table of contents,’ you can use this enticing call-to-action phrase, ‘How to score airfare deals,’ which Google may include in its ranking in relation to air travel.
Imagine a good number of these links form your table of contents. This means a lot of links that Google will rank in relation to your topic. This can, then, increase your chances of bolstering traffic to your website.
Inbound linking is also referred to as backlinking. I do not use this type of link but it’s just my personal preference. I profit well from my affiliate business without adopting this and so I didn’t see the need to do so.
Besides, there are a lot of crack downs on this inbound linking because people tend to abuse it in order to build up their site’s relevancy.
So, what are back links, you may ask? It’s just linking a high-authority website to your website. This is usually accomplished when you request an influencer or a partner website to collaborate with you through guest blogging, social media mutual shares, and other cross-promotional efforts.
To boost their SEO basics to improve ranking, other sites would go as far as purchase content from poor quality websites so that they can link it to their site. This underhanded manner of increasing relevancy is why Google veers away from backlinking when ranking content.
Of course, having back links is not bad. There are creative ways of accomplishing this that work for most websites such as making YouTube videos and linking them to your website.
My point is you should always go back to our main purpose for being in this website, which is to provide value to your audience.
Other Forms of Content for SEO basics to improve ranking
Besides text, there are several other ways to fill up your website and increase your chances of being ranked.
Content may come in other forms such as a video, a podcast, photograph, infographic, and social media embedding. Unlike articles, these other forms may require more resources or specialized skills to create, and because of this, a website may rank higher because of the variety of content that it is able to provide.
Posting videos as part of your content can provide good visual breaks to your readers from the heaviness of text.
Videos are more dynamic, especially those that are composed well, and can sometimes be more effective in communicating your message especially if your subject matter requires a step-by-step demonstration for it to be better followed.
Video titles must contain your keywords so that these too can be ranked by Google and other sites that compile this type of content. An example of such is YouTube.
There are also instances when videos are not as effective as articles. In such cases, videos must be used only as supplementary to the main article. We should know that people who search the Internet for information are already bombarded with so much information and may have short attention spans such as myself. Most of the time, I’d just skim through an article to get to where I am most interested in. In my case, videos would then be too time-consuming for me.
Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. I will, therefore, leave it to you to determine which types of content would be best for you to employ in order to connect with your targeted niche.
Image for SEO basics to improve ranking
As with videos, images enrich your content and increases your chances of being able to communicate your message effectively and also amp up your ranking.
When using images, you may want to include captions to it. In doing so, do not forget to include your keywords.
When you include an image using your WordPress template, you’ll find portions that says, ‘Image Title’ and “Caption.’ The former refers to the name of your image while the latter tells your reader what your image is about. I normally fill in these two portions using the same descriptions.
You use alternative text or Alt text in your image so that you can communicate to those who are visually impaired. It does not actually have to include your keyword because it just tells your visually impaired audience what your image is about. If it is possible to include your keyword, however, then it’ll add value. Just remember not to overdo the keywords when doing this on your images.
Connecting with your audience
Another factor that improves your website ranking is the presence of new content. This sends a message to your search engine that your content is constantly updated, and this is important to SEO basics to improve ranking.
So, another tip that I can leave you with is to include ‘visitor engagement’ tools. These tools may come in the form of a comment page. When people comment on your content, the likelihood of them repeating your keywords or mentioning LSIs is high and this can impact your ranking.
Another advantage of connecting with your readers this way is that they get to bookmark their visit and thus increases the probability of revisits. Also, when someone cares enough to leave a comment, he or she would tend to check if he or she received a response. Sometimes, if a debate ensues, people will likely stick around and refresh the page in order to respond.
All these possible scenarios would compound to increased probability of revisits and traffic, relevancy build-up, and growing authority in your chosen niche.
How much of these are accounted for in your ranking is, however, a mystery to us all. The more sophisticated the search engine algorithms become, the lesser we are able to quantify the impact of each SEO basics to improve ranking strategy, but just like in sales, the higher the volume and quality of contact we make with our targeted audience, the greater are our chances of success with SEO basics to improve ranking. That said, tell me what you think and let’s talk.