How to Get the Perfect Beach Body in Time for Summer
Successful SEO is essentially a combination of external factors and onsite factors. You can try to influence the external factors, but a lot of it will be up to luck and the subjective quality of your content. Onsite factors, on the other hand, are completely under your control. If you’re willing to invest the time and resources, you have the power to transform your site into a lean, mean search-engine-optimized machine. When you think about it, optimizing the onsite factors of your website is a lot like trying to get into the best shape of your life. Millions of people want accomplish both, but few understand everything that’s required to get there. More often than not, the people who are trying and failing to achieve these goals are focusing on only one aspect or simply lack an understanding of all the factors that go into play. When you boil it down, both fitness and SEO boil down to a few core fundamentals; heavy lifting, fat burning, toning and conditioning, cardio, and avoiding shortcuts.
This may sound crazy, but if you think that list applies only to fitness, think again.
- The heavy lifting is content development: get that content pumped up and you’ll have a solid foundation.
- Fat burning is cutting the fat from your site’s code: you want to make sure your nicely developed content isn’t hidden under a layer of flabby code.
- Toning and conditioning is applying semantic markup to your content: this lets you add some nice muscle definition to that big hunk of content you’ve worked so hard to build up.
- Cardio is your site speed: having big muscles is great, but if you get winded running across the street, you’re going to have issues.
- Avoiding shortcuts is avoiding short cuts, plain and simple: cheaters never prosper in SEO or fitness.
Makes more sense now, doesn’t it? Achieving fitness and SEO goals is all about taking a holistic approach; you have to see the big picture and work on your weaknesses. Now let’s get into the details!
If you want to get your body and your site jacked, you need to lift heavy; it’s time to hit the deadlifts, squats, and presses. You’ve got to bulk up your content. For this initial phase, focus on compound movements to build out multiple paragraphs of content. Exercises that use 200 to 300 words are best.
Remember though, shortcuts won’t work here. You can pump your content full of steroids but you’ll likely just end up with spammy, keyword-stuffed rubbish that will only make you look good (to search engines) for a short time. Once the initial effects fade, you’re left with insubstantial content that can’t hold its own. Take the high road on this one. Concentrate on pumping iron the good old-fashioned way and take the time to craft content that is well-written and informational. You still want to look ripped with keywords accentuating and defining your content, but make sure you are balanced and proportional.
After putting in all the work to beef up your content, you’ll want make sure it stands out. If you pull up your page source and notice that your code is bloated or flabby, you’ve got to start cutting the fat. Stay away from simple, sugary carbohydrates like inline styles and tables. These things are easy to grab when you’re in a hurry, but will really hurt you in the long run. Make sure you don’t binge either by including massive embedded stylesheets and scripts in your page’s code. In order to look and perform at your best, you need to keep things like that external (Don’t put bad food in your <body>. Get it?).
After you’ve bulked up your content and removed the layer of fat that’s been covering it up, it’s time to work on definition. Headings, strong tags, and paragraph tags are your isolation exercises. Use them to define each area of your content so it looks its best. To start working each muscle group on its own, start by wrapping each paragraph in (you guessed it) paragraph tags. After that you can work on muscle separation by adding heading tags (H1, H2, H3) to break out your content in to sections; working keywords into these headings will provide even better definition. Finally, make sure you have some visible abs; after all that hard work on your content you should make sure you highlight the good parts. Wrapping important keywords in your copy in strong tags and HTML lists can really make those abs pop.
To be in peak physical condition, you need to work on cardio as well. In the 10K to the top of the SERPs, you’re up against hundreds of other runners. Even a little extra speed can help you break away from the pack. All other things being equal, Google’s going to give the gold medal to the site that isn’t ready to pass out at the finish line. To work on your site’s cardio, you’ll want to ensure images have size declarations, compress or minify resources (like JS and CSS) when possible, consolidate resources (again, like JS and CSS) into as few files as possible to minimize transfers, and set expiration dates on your resources to leverage browser caching.
There’s no sugar coating it: getting into the best shape of your life is hard work and requires some serious dedication. This can make shortcuts look extremely appealing. In the long run though, these never pay off. Make sure your site doesn’t become an asterisk in the record books and avoid drugs like keyword stuffing. Even though you might look great really quickly, Google’s periodic drug tests flag you just as fast. Similarly, don’t waste your money on programs and products that guarantee you a “six pack in six weeks”. That shiny hidden text you ordered from that late night infomercial isn’t actually going to work. Even if it doesn’t leave you with an injury, it definitely won’t help you in any way.
Stay tuned for part two, where we’ll discuss how to market yourself and hopefully land a fitness magazine cover (through some high intensity link building!).
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