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Ethical Search Engine Optimization For 2015 And Beyond

seo in 2015 must be ethicalThis post was first featured on PAC (Power Affiliate Club) HERE

Mention Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to many people and they run around hands in the air and screaming (like Kevin in Home Alone), or fall asleep, or something pretty sinister.

This was because SEO was considered a “fine art” and was time consuming and boring. Still, SEO in 2015 demands the marketer be more ethical than ever before. With Google and the Penguin, Panda (and other things you may want to kill if they were as annoying as these) updates that penalized so many websites, you need to “stay natural”.

The good news for everyone is that writing natural content, without “manipulating” it to include target keywords that need to be included in the main header, plus 2 subsequent sub headings and also bolded, underlined and italicised, with the option of including the same keyword inside speech marks (“”) has made writing easier. To engage your target market, you still need to research keywords and base your content around a main keyword, but the search engines have got “clever” and can recognize what your subject matter is and will rank your page accordingly based on the value to the reader and the kind of backlinks you do get and the amount of social sharing you get too.

Keyword Research

When researching your keywords, it’s still important to find high searched for terms, but just as important to find those with LOW competition. What we call “long tail” keywords are the best for this. A long tail keyword or phrase is one that contains your main target keyword, but is also one that is searched for a lot.

Let’s assume you have a main keyword of “lead generation”, you may have a long tail keyword of “the best place to find lead generation tips”.

Keyword research will help you write your content without a “hit or miss” approach to reaching your target. Purpose to your content is very important and the research is vital so that you are able to stand a chance of reaching your market through a generic search. Depending on how targeted your campaign is, you may be happier with a few visitors who are totally “switched on” to your offer, rather than fighting for hundreds or thousands of visitors. Be specific with what you want to achieve and do this with PURPOSE.

With the recognition of what are known as Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords, it means that you are able to write more naturally and still be able to reach your target market. What this actually means is you could write about something like “how to use Word” and you could in turn rank for Microsoft, Bing, Excel or any other Microsoft product because of the relevance and connection between Microsoft and Word.

Relevance to keyword in your content is paramount, but using the older methods to determine your target keywords is less important because it can lead to over optimization, which works against you.

Rule of thumb – write natural content and maintain relevance, but don’t stress about having to include the exact keyword / phrase as a “percentage” of the content. Often one direct match will be enough, plus synonyms of the keyword, appearance of the words in the phrase in a sentence and the LSI type keyword or phrase is much better.

To avoid over optimization, it’s best to include the main keyword phrase in the url, the header OR the title of the page, NOT all 3. Change things around in these circumstances.

An example – based on “the best sources for lead generation”:

Url – www.yoursite.com/lead-generation-sources

Page Title (Usually in SEO pack) – Lead Generation – The Best Places To Go

Header (Blog post title in WP) – What Are The Best Sources For Lead Generation?

I hope you see what I did with this. The main keyword phrase is relevant, but the words have been mixed up, or changed a little to provide the relevance and yet still give the search engines a big clue on what you’re talking about.

Getting Backlinks.

What you are looking for with your blog or website is to generate AUTHORITY. Years ago, before the Google updates, it was a simple case of get more links than your competitor and you rank the highest. Now, it’s more based on how authoritative your site looks to the search engines. You therefore need to find ways to get more high authority links to your website and more social shares etc.

In effect, Google only recognizes ONE link to your web pages (that’s each page) from any single IP address, but the algorithms have been set up to take into account social shares. So, when you link to a page on your site, which includes a post, that comes from Facebook for example, only ONE link counts, but should you have 300 shares, then that is taken into consideration too as a popular page that is being shared.

The best way to protect your site is to surround yourself with authority domain links. E.G. Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, You Tube, Linked In and many more. Any link building strategy that includes “bulk” should be posted to the big sites that can TAKE the hit. What this essentially means is if you produce a You Tube video that includes a link to your capture page; this can be treated as part of your “safety net” and provides your page with an authority link. If you want to build your own authority, you get links to the video and the “juice” flows through to your pages. You can find places to get bulk links to your content over on fiverr, or one great place I recommend is Source Market where you can find SEO experts who will ethically get you links to your own authority sources.

Top Tip: Link to a relevant authority site such as Wikipedia, or a relevant authority in your niche to back up some of what you write about in your content. It shows the search engines you care for your reader. Like this:

Find out more about SEO on Wikipedia

Be careful with “anchor text”. Anchor text is where you “hyperlink” the keyword to your post or page. Think natural, especially when posting on social media. How many people will share your posts and use a keyword to hyperlink to your site? Not many, so use the naked URL e.g. www.yoursite.com/post as the main link to your page. You can use the anchor text links from the authority sites (if you can get them), but be careful not to do more than 3 to 4% at most with direct match keyword phrase links. You can use branded keywords as anchor text and other related keywords, but be careful not to overdo these either. Consider 92% as a mixture of branded, bare url, domain name and a MAXIMUM of 8% main keyword anchor text and related. This will keep you safe.

Remember NATURAL is best!

If you have a site you want to use just to make money and you’re not worried about keeping it, you can always adopt some of the “black hat” methods that do work to make a “quick buck”, but they are dodgy at best to keep your site functioning without being severely reprimanded, de-indexed or outright banned.

Ethical marketing in 2015 and beyond includes ethical SEO methods. If you stick to these basic guidelines you will stay ethical, safe and hopefully build up good authority to your site and rank for many years to come. The higher your site authority, the more related keyword phrases you will rank for without even trying!

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