We already know search engine optimization includes, in part, a keyword-finding treasure hunt. We know they should be in your title; call us old-fashioned, but tradition says they should be in your first and last paragraph as well, and we agree. We also know that in a perfect world you should have your keyword in the page URL.
Of course, these aren’t the only places you should focus your efforts. Let’s not forget other keywords can be found (i.e. placed) in the code, your HTML tags, description and so on.
Then you have the process of developing a per page keyword matrix, where you choose the most appropriate phrases for each page. In short, you take the results of your keyword treasure hunt and fine tune the content, HTML, URLs and Meta tags. Sounds like loads of fun, right?
Now, it’s no surprise the Big Three (Google, Bing, Yahoo – in order of search market share) whnat to keep their algorithm foundations a secret. Each engine wants to be able to claim the prize for having the most valuable search results with the least amount of spam. That’s just good common business sense.
Besides, if you have any idea how many patents the SEs have submitted in general and/or those for specific engines, you’ll probably get tired of even thinking about trying to trace the algorithms down. If you could, but you can’t, so we move on. Last I heard, Google alone uses over 200 factors for ranking, each with placing their own weight and are constantly changing/evolving.
Umm… you were talking about relevance…
I was. And I’m getting to it. It’s important. #thatisall
Relevance is like adding “U.S.” to “President”. Automatically, everybody knows who I mean, right? “U.S.” adds a little clarity to which president I’m complaining talking about. So it works for the search engines. If all you talk about is SEO, but you never include “services”, well… how are the SEs supposed to know you’re frantically pedaling your services instead of freely sharing information?
Again, this is relevance. Now, you may be tired of hearing about relevance, but it will never disappear – whether it’s Google Instant or Google Light Speed – in terms of ranking factors. If the SEs took out relevance as a factor, it’d be the equivalent of signing their death warrant. With the firing squad waiting patiently a few feet away.
Relevance stretches across all areas of a website. Then, it stretches across a page. Then, it hits all those convenient, sweet, juicy links. To get a really good idea of how relevance works, let’s create an imaginary single page.
- Main Keywords: SEO, Social Media
- Secondary Terms: engaging social media, seo and social media, social media for business, semantic engagement
- Tertiary Terms: using synonyms in SEO, combining SEO and social media, personal engagement through social media, using social media and SEO, using Twitter for business, using Facebook for business, employing social media, connecting through social media, connecting SEO and social media
- Page Title: Semantic Engagement with the Masses Using SEO and Social Media
- Meta Title: Using SEO and Social Media for Semantic Engagement With the Masses
- Description: SEO and social media provide a unique, meaningful way to connect with business prospects using personal engagement factors – i.e. you.
- Page URL: http://www.example.com/using-seo-social-media-to-engage
- Heading 1: (Same as page title)
- Heading 2: Or, How to Combine SEO and Social Media for a Business that Rocks
- Paragraph 1: ‘Using SEO and social media in combination can make for great business connections. Personal engagement factors, such as your winning personality and helpful attitude, can go a long way in increasing your traffic and conversions. However, it’s important to remember that semantics, synonyms and relevance play a big part in any SEO and social media campaign, whether it’s for Facebook, Twitter or even Squidoo.’
- Link 1:
- Site: http://social-media-or-seo-keyword.com
- Site Toolbar PageRank: 6
- Page URL: http://social-media-or-seo-keyword.com/social-media-and-business
- Page Toolbar PageRank: 3
Link text and surrounding: Over at Example Site, So in So wrote about semantic engagement with the masses using SEO and social media. They had some interesting points I’d like to expound upon.
- Link 2:
- Site: http://business-seo-keyword.com
- Site PageRank: 4
- Page URL: http://business-seo-keyword.com/can-seo-and-social-media-exist-together
- Page PageRank: 2
Link text and surrounding: Now, plenty of people say SEO and social media go hand-in-hand. I’m old school, but How to Combine SEO and Social Media for a Business that Rocks really made me sit down and think. Can the two really exist and work together?
Order from the Chaos
Now, the “page” above was thrown together, but I hope you get the idea of how relevance works throughout a page, including links. However, there should always be an end goal in mind; you know, like, instead of “bringing in a lot of traffic”, your goal might be something like… “bringing in a lot of the right traffic that wants to know more about your product” sounds good.
Look. Everything you do, whether for your site or a single page, is some form of content that can be used to further convince the search engines that your page is SERIOUSLY about your keyword(s). Don’t throw in non-relevant, though trendy, topics to get more traffic because a) it won’t be the right type of traffic and b) it will decrease the relevance of your on page content. If you, at least loosely, follow the outline above, you’ll also end up having visitors that trust you to deliver on the promised title and/or description.
Overall, relevance is a good thing. It’s a great thing. In fact, it’s THE thing (well, once you throw in equally unimportant things like quality) to get better rankings, more visitors and more conversions. How do you measure your relevance?