Intangibles For Winning The SEO War
Most everyone is familiar with the old saying about “winning the battle but losing the war.” In the world of SEO, however, it is not an either/or proposition. When it comes to search engine optimization for your website, it is imperative that you win the battle and the war.
There is an abundance of information, ideas, and tools available regarding SEO techniques and practices. The SEO technician can pick and choose which ones and what combinations work best for his particular situation. These are the tangible parameters and will take you a long way toward winning SEO battles. However, there are also some intangible factors that all SEO craftsmen should be aware of and incorporate into their arsenal as well. It is these intangibles that are the key to winning the war.
The intangible elements referred to here are consistency, persistence, and attention to detail. Being somewhat generic in nature, these items can be applied to most anything – looking for a job, baking a cake, or learning to play golf. They can, and should, also be applied to SEO work. In fact, if you want to be successful at it, they must be.
Consistency is defined as “steadfast adherence to the same principles, course, form, etc.” When it comes to search engine optimization, it is vital that you apply your SEO techniques, whatever they may be, to every element of your web page and to every page of your website. The last part of that is most crucial. Always keep in mind that Google does not rank websites – Google ranks web pages. Even if your website consists of only one page, it is the page Google is ranking, not the site.
With that in mind, you can begin to see the need to develop consistent patterns of SEO practices and apply them to every component of your site. You may find it beneficial to take the time to develop master checklists to guide you. A checklist can be set up for an overall page and supporting checklists for elements that appear on a page.
By referring to the checklists when reviewing the page for SEO, you will be assured of maintaining a consistent SEO effort throughout your site. This is also helpful when handing assignments off to a subordinate or virtual assistant. Remember, the key is “steadfast adherence.”
Persistence is the discipline of doing the things that are required to be done in a good SEO campaign and doing them in a timely manner. The world of search is constantly changing and evolving. In order to stay ahead of the curve, or at least up with it, you must be persistent in your SEO efforts. You must work on it daily and that requires a strong sense of discipline.
Search engine optimization is one of those things that can be tempting to put off, relying on the notion of “getting back to it.” Procrastination has derailed many a good SEO program. Another enemy of persistence is skipping over things, thinking that it’s a minor item and doesn’t matter much. But, the truth is – everything matters!
To enhance your persistence, have a plan outlined that allows for specific time during the day to review and update optimization efforts. Utilize checklists, as mentioned above, to keep on track and get SEO items completed on an “as you go” basis.
The idea of persistence is epitomized by the old story of “The Tortoise and the Hare.” It may sound like a cliché, but it is an effective strategy. To win the SEO war, you need the steady plodding that persistence provides.
Attention To Detail
In the daily grind of SEO, you can easily fall into the trap of focusing on the big parts at the expense of the little things. While a lot of focus is being placed upon keyword density and proper placement of the keywords or keyword phrases, the minor elements, such as image “alt” tags, are left lacking.
Just as with the idea of persistence, you have to cultivate the mindset that everything matters. Every part of the page is important in regards to SEO. For example, when developing an article, it is easy to type in a sub-heading and “bold” it. However, if you are paying attention to detail, you will place that sub-heading between header tags (<h2> or <h3>). A minor detail, to be sure, but also a potential difference-maker.
Other common detail areas revolve around images, charts, and other embedded items. These elements usually have “alt” tags or “title” tags that can be optimized to advantage. Captions for these items provide another detail area of which you should be aware. Take the time to look closely at your pages and identify other details that need to be monitored regularly. Again, develop a checklist to keep your efforts on track.
While attention to detail is very critical, it is also wise to know the difference between optimum and excessive. There is such a thing as over-optimization and it can have a negative impact on your site in the search rankings. The basic rule of thumb is to apply solid, structured white-hat SEO techniques to your page, but develop your page for the reader rather than the search engines.
A Winning Combination
Search engine optimization is a necessary part of internet marketing. By mastering good tangible SEO skills and linking them with the intangibles of consistency, persistence, and attention to detail, you will bring a winning combination to the table.