Well, that’s not exactly true, but close, when it comes to search engine optimization. The link listed first in Google search results does get 33 percent of the search traffic versus 18 percent for the second link, based on research reported by Marketing Profs. As you might imagine, the referrals drop significantly for each subsequent link on the page.
So how do you get your link to first place? Much of it is common sense:
- Create good content.
- Use images.
- Link to other relevant content.
- Use bullet points, italics and bold text to make your post easier to read.
You know, create something that you would enjoy reading. And if you get that right, you’re well on your way to good-SEO-land. But there’s more to it:
- Choose good keywords, using Google Analytics to research before you publish. I always tell people it’s a good starting point to think about what you would search for if you were trying to find something like your story.
- The number of times a keyword appears divided by total number of words should equal about 3 percent. You want Google to know what you’re writing about, but you don’t want to come across as spammy.
- Create hyperlinks from keywords in-text to content that those words describe. This helps Google understand what you’re linking to.
- Watch your website’s analytics to determine what worked well — and what didn’t. Learn from everything!
Google Analytics is a free tool that allows its users to track things like page views, where users come from and what keywords are most effective. Using an analytics tool like this also allows you to go beyond how many people visited a particular page to determine what kind of community you’re building.
Razor Social suggests measuring how many people return to your site, how long people stay on your site and how many pages people visit while on your site. Analyzing your readers’ behavior helps you figure out what’s resonating with them — whether it’s a particular topic or maybe even the styling of your post that your audience prefers.
What analytics tools do you or your company use?
What other SEO practices would you add to this (albeit, basic) list?