Search Engine Optimization Strategies
The basics of search engine optimization
If you clicked the tab ‘Search Engines’, you’ll recall that search engine spiders crawl the webpages on the Internet looking at the following criteria:
- Authority based on incoming links, or “votes.”
- The primary focus of the site
- Content quality and depth
- “Score” relative to other pages
SEO is about using these criteria to best show the spiders that your site is relevant to your subject and trusted in cyberspace. While exactly how this is determined is kept under lock and key – search engines never share their algorithms – we do know what to pay attention to. The process of search engine optimization breaks down into a few basic steps:
- Research keywords related to your business, as well as each product or service you sell. Make sure these keywords are both relevant and have reasonable search volumes.
- Optimize your website by placing these keywords strategically throughout each of the pages, and by publishing quality, relevant content on a regular basis.
- Optimize how your website is connected to other related websites, as well as the content you publish in other places on the Internet.
Of course, you could easily write a book on each of the steps I just listed. There are many strategies and tools of the trade that go into completing each successfully, but you get the gist of it.
Learning how to research keywords
Your keyword list is the most important part of your SEO strategy – it will literally make or break your efforts. The key here is to create your list based on the words your customers are actually using to find your website, not the words you think they should be using. If you have a Google Analytics account already set up, take a look at which keywords are used most often. This will give you a place to start from.
- Start by thinking of all the words your customers might use to find your website, including each of your products or services. Think beyond the product – what problem does it provide the solution to? What benefits does it offer?
- Use a keyword research tool like http://adwords.google.com to continue developing your list. Include synonyms and longer phrases that include location, color, size, etc. If you haven’t you will need to sign up for a Google Adwords account—it’s FREE.
- Evaluate each keyword based on search volume— competition (typically, general terms with high search volumes are the most competitive) and relevance.
- Based on your evaluation, organize your keywords in order of priority and group them by product or service.
Part One: On-Page Optimization
The next step to SEO is called on-page optimization, where we strategically place your keywords throughout your site. Each page should focus on just a few keywords, the ones that most accurately describe what that particular page is about. Your homepage would then focus generally, on what your business offers.
Search engine crawlers look in the following places for keywords to determine what a particular page is about:
Title tags – This is the header that appears in your web browser when you’re reading a specific webpage. It is also the bold blue text that appears in search engine results.
Meta tags – This is the text inserted in your website code that describes what the page is about. It is the description copy in search engine results.
H1 Headers – The header copy in each of your web pages as denoted in the code as <H1>. It should describe what the paragraph is about.
Paragraph copy – Paragraph copy is reviewed for how often a particular keyword appears. Keep your keyword density natural – stuff keywords into a paragraph will get you nowhere.
Anchor text – This is any text that is “clickable” or links to another website. Instead of “click here”, this text should describe where the link will take you.
Part Two: Off-Page Optimization
The next thing we do is optimize how your website is connected to other websites all over the Internet. Off-page optimization is any strategy you use to collect incoming links and publish content elsewhere on the web.
- Build incoming links – Work to collect incoming links from other websites that are related to your product or service. The higher their page rank, the better for you.
- Publish articles online – Write articles about subjects that relate to your business – and your customers – and include a link back to your site when you publish them on other webpages.
- Create a blog – Blogs are great for SEO because they contain content that is frequently updated. Just stay on topic and remember that you’re writing for your readers, not just search engine spiders.
- Plan an online PR strategy – Online press release distribution is another great way to spread your content around online, and earns quality-incoming links. You may also get your news published.
And really, that’s all there is to it! Remember that some of these tasks that are great ones to outsource, so keep an eye on where your time is best spent.
If anything comes up or you have any questions, feel free to email me: frank@MrBusinessBuilder.com
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