Over the past few months I’ve had more calls about search engine optimization (SEO) then ever before. Some have gotten a website designed for a very low cost and are wondering why their site isn’t showing up on search engines. Others are trying to improve their status so that they can grow with the times. And others still are digging deep into their content and wondering if a refresh will help there status.
When it comes to SEO there are many categories of what can be done. Things you can do yourself and things that you need a web developer to do for you.
Saving money by getting an inexperienced web designer/developer to build your site might help you save money in the short term. But ensuring your site is built properly so that search engines know how to read your site properly is worth it in the long run alone. With so many websites available, being hindered by a website not built correctly is the last thing your business needs to succeed online. As Chad Pollitt says:
“SEO is not something you do anymore. It’s what happens when you do everything else right.”
Now let’s take a look at a few tips and tricks you can do yourself.
Keywords and Key Phrases:
Keyword research is one of the most valuable activities in the SEO field. However, it’s not all about keywords but about phrases. Keep in mind that it’s not always about getting visitors to your site, but about getting the right kind of visitors. For example, consider if you are a shoe store and someone is searching for the word “shoes” they are likely just browsing. Now if someone were searching for “best price on Nike Air” that person is more likely to be ready to buy! Phrases, or “long tail” searches convert at a much higher rate then standard popular search terms. When developing your content for your online presence take into considering key phrases that your target market might be searching for.
There are multiple resources available to determine the best keywords and phrases for you. Google AdWords Keyword tools is a great starting place as it suggests keywords and provides an estimated search volume.
Including links and having other sites and pages link to your site provides an increased trust within search engines. There are a few things to consider when including link building in your strategy:
Global Popularity: The more links to your website the more popular it is. Consider Wikipedia and how many sites link to them as a reference, increasing Wikipedia’s popularity.
Local/Topic-Specific Popularity: Search engines also take into consideration local popularity and related topics. For example, if your website sells pet supplies, earning links from the Dog breeders Society matters much more than links from an off-topic site.
Anchor Test: If many links point to a page with the right keywords, that page has a higher chance of ranking well.
Link Neighbourhood: It is important to link to reputable sites. Search engines take into account that if you link to a spam site, you are likely spam yourself.
TrustRank: It’s no surprise that spam is everywhere. Getting linked to by an already trusted site can significantly boost your scoring. Examples of trusted sites include: universities, government sites, non-profit organizations.
Freshness: It is important to keep your website fresh and have new keywords, phrases and links. Which is why blogging has become popular and is a great way to keep fresh content on your site.
Social Media: Although links from social media are treated differently then direct site-to- site links they are increasing in popularity and there is no denying the rising important of social channels.
A great way to increase link building include directories (such as YellowPages, Chamber of Commerce, etc); having your customers link to you; blogging informative, valuable and entertaining ideas; be newsworthy and noteworthy; and create content that inspires social sharing.
A great way to keep your content exciting and up to date is to utilize tools such as blogging and social media. Telling your own story is always the best way to connect with someone across the globe. Everyone understands experiences. They get excited as you write and draw a picture in their mind. Because of this blogging can be a powerful tool to use and can be utilized across your social media strategy.
It’s important to note that keywords and link building should always read and be natural. If stuffing of words is used your story won’t read naturally and this will harm your SEO results.
“The objective is not to “make your links appear natural”; the objective is that your links are natural” – Matt Cutts, Google
Use more, higher quality photos. Employ interface background images for visual effect. Define and implement an image file naming convention and alt tag strategy to improve search engine optimization. These small changes will help your images and site get noticed.
Your actionable this week: Take a look at your online content, can you implement some of these tips and tricks to help your SEO?
I’d love for you to leave a comment and tell us what has worked best for you!