11 SEO Tips for Today’s Web
Search Engine Optimization, SEO, is the marketing strategy of getting your Internet Properties ranked highly in search engines. The companies that make it to page 1 on a Google search get the ‘lions share’ of click-throughs.
When describing SEO to my students and clients, I tell them Google sends out ‘bots’ and ‘spiders’ that crawl the web 24/7. When it finds new content it brings it back to the ‘momma’ search engine where it is indexed and stored. When someone types in a search term, ‘she’ quickly scans all the indexed material and brings back the best matches with the best fit at the top. These ‘bots’ love new content! And while they crawl around traditional websites, they also crawl all kinds of Internet properties; websites, blogs, Facebook business pages, Google+ accounts, YouTube and other public web areas.
Search Engine Marketing is about paid internet marketing. Surveys have shown that, on Google, 75% of click-throughs are from organic or natural listings and 25% are from paid listings. Before paying for Google Ads, shore up your foundation and organically optimize. People trust the natural ranking.
SEO is not a quick fix, it is not a set and forget task. If anyone tells you that, they don’t understand SEO. If you are not prepared to pay someone significant money regularly, it will benefit you to understand how SEO works and plan your marketing efforts around it.
Consider that your website is only part of your on-line branding message. A search on your company name could bring up your Facebook Business Page, YouTube channel, Google+ Account, LinkedIn Profile, Blog articles, videos, images, directories. It becomes more complex to manage but it’s the reality of today. It’s time to think outside of the box when it comes to our web ‘image’.
Here are some SEO tips for today:
Websites (Tip 1-3)
There are 3 things that Google does pay attention to in our website source code. If you’re not your webmaster and don’t have access to the ‘back-end’ of your website, you can still view the source code from your browser. Look for the option to view source code.
1. The Title of your Page
This is the most important part of your whole page. It should contain important keywords and be relevant to the content on each page. Look at your source code. The title is in title tags like this:This is the important page title.
2. Your Headers
After the title, your headers are looked at, in order of size. H1 headers, then h2 headers, etc. Be sure you are using these tags and not just making the text larger and bold to create emphasis. Check your source code. They look like this
10 Ways to Increase SEO
3. Alt tags
‘Alt’ Stands for alternate tags. An example: This red aluminum widget works well in Larson Boats.. Alt tags are used to describe any graphic or video which are not readable by the ‘bots’. Provide keyword rich descriptions of every image, graphic and video. It is also required for your site to be Section 508 compliant – see section 1104.22 which basically means readable by the blind.
Thedescription of the page is what is shown to the viewer when they look at your listing on Google. It’s important in that respect but doesn’t count in ranking analysis.keywords are also no longer used by Google for ranking purposes, but keywords are very important to be incorporated into page text.
Blog Consistently using The Right Keywords (Tip 4-6)
1. Blog with your Domain Name
Have your blog inside, or as, your regular website and be sure you’re using a regular domain name, not ______.wordpress.com. Google would credit WordPress rather than you in that case.
2. Blogging Platform
WordPress is the largest blogging software which could garner you more oomph in the rankings. It’s the one I use for FBSmarty. There are SEO plugins for WordPress.org. This article, from Search Engine Watch, goes into WordPress SEO with more depth. I’m using the free version of All in One SEO Pack.
3. Link within your Blog
Your blog posts should include links to other pages on your website or your other internet properties when appropriate and relevant. Here are 5 easy ways to get Blogging.
4. Name those Links well
When you create a hyperlink as I just did above, make it very descriptive about what you are linking to. It is how Google determines the relevance of the link.
Optimize Your YouTube Videos (Tip 5-6)
Google owns YouTube and they’re making some great changes to it as well as to a lot of their other properties. Since Google is the #1 largest search engine, the more great content we provide to their properties, the better off our properties will rank. Each video should have a full transcript description.
1. Try the YouTube Caption Feature
It automatically reads your speech, creates a file and includes time codes. This is an awesome feature, especially if your videos are instructional as most of mine are. A clear diction is more accurately translatable. Annotations, another YouTube feature, are not indexable.
2. Add links on YouTube
Link to appropriate pages on your website. This provides an important inbound link to your website.
Get Listed (Tip 7)
Directories are generally larger than a regular website and they command a larger respect in search. When a website is listed in a directory and a search is performed for that company, often the directory will come up before the website.
When you Google your competition, what directories come up? If you are a marketer and you’re not part of the AMA and your competition is, their listing could come up before their website. Merchant Circle is another one that comes to mind. Industry Associations, your Chamber of Commerce, Business networks are others. Many directories offer free listings. Find them and get listed.
Google Properties (Tips 8-9)
1. Set up your Google Local Business Listing
Here is a video on creating a Google Local business listing. This is a MUST-DO! You can also get to this are by heading to www.maps.google.com and claiming your Place. You can upload images, videos and put in lots of keyword rich text. You can even add coupons. There’s a lot of power here and it’s free.
2. Set up your Google+ Profile
I know, it’s that ‘one more thing’ social network to maintain. The reason this is important is because it IS a Google property. Everything you enter about your business and everything to post is searchable and rankable. Remember those keywords! Here’s a great tutorial from Social Media Examiner on setting up a Google+ Page.
Facebook Business Page (Tip 10)
It remains to be seen how Google+ and Facebook Pages will shake out but it looks like they will both have a strong place. Facebook has an extremely strong position in social but Google has been far reaching in the search world for a good amount of time. Our FB Smarty Facebook for Business course goes into great depth on this subject and touches on many of the others.
1. Info Tab
Fill out your info tab on your Facebook Page completely and correctly. Eventually, this page may morph into the new timeline format, but all of your information will still be used.
LinkedIn (Tip 11)
If you don’t have a LinkedIn Business Page, yet, create one. Fill it out completely and use those same magic keywords you’ve used everywhere else. First you need a personal LinkedIn profile. As you are filling that out, you’ll be adding in your career experience. When you add your company name, LinkedIn will attempt to find that company. If it does not find it, you then have the opportunity to create a business page in LinkedIn.
You may be thinking that this is not all about SEO, but it really is! Some of this is technique but most of this is about natural and organic ways that we should be reaching out to our customers and target audience anyway! Isn’t it great that we have control over our abilities to get ranked well on Google and that it’s not about ‘cloak and dagger’ tactics?
Be Well, Be Productive, and Be SEO Smart!
Michelle Fontaine, your FBSmarty
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